Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Children Learn What They Live by Denis Waitley

An ancient Chinese proverb tells us, “A child’s life is like a piece of paper on which every passerby leaves a mark.” We cannot teach our children self-esteem. We can only help them discover it within themselves by adding positive marks and strokes on their slates. All positive motivation is rooted in self-esteem—the development of which, just as with other skills, takes practice. Think of self-esteem as a four-legged chair.

A Sense of Belonging
The first leg of self-esteem is a sense of belonging. We all have a deep-seated need to feel we’re part of something larger than ourselves. This need, which psychologists call an affiliation drive, encompasses people, places and possessions. Our instinct for belonging—for being wanted, accepted, enjoyed and loved by close ones—is extremely powerful. It explains the bond of an extended family, friends and teammates. It also explains why some adolescents join gangs. They want to belong, even if it’s wrong.

Make your children proud of their family heritage and make your home a place where they feel safe, loved and welcome. Also, make your home a place where your children want to bring their friends, rather than a place they want to leave as soon as possible.

A Sense of Individual Identity
The second leg, which complements the sense of belonging, is a sense of individual identity. No human being is exactly like another, not even an identical twin. We are all unique combinations of talents and traits that never existed before and will never exist again in quite the same package. (This explains why most parents believe their children came from different planets!)

Observe your children as they grow and play. Watch their learning styles. Notice what they love to do in their free time. Help them discover their unique positive talents and help nurture them into skills. Report cards don’t necessarily measure talents. They often are a measure only of discipline, memory and attention span.

A Sense of Worthiness
The third leg of self-esteem is a sense of worthiness, the feeling that I’m glad I’m me, with my genes and background, my body, my unique thoughts. Without our own approval, we have little to offer. If we don’t feel worth loving, it’s hard to believe that others love us; instead, we tend to see others as appraisers or judges of our value.

Show your children unconditional love. Carefully separate the doer from the deed, and the performer from the performance. The message, “I love you no matter what happens, and I’m always there for you,” is one of most important concepts in building a feeling of worthiness or intrinsic value in children. After every reprimand, let them know you love them. Before they go to sleep at night, give them the reassurance that, regardless of what happened that day, you love them unconditionally.

A healthy sense of belonging, identity and worthiness can only be rooted in intrinsic core values as opposed to outer, often material, motivation. Without them, we depend on others constantly to fill our leaking reserves of self-esteem—but also tend to suspect others of ulterior motives. Unable to accept or reject others’ opinions for what they’re worth, we are defensive about criticism and paranoid about praise—and no amount of praise can replace the missing qualities.

A healthy sense of belonging, identity and worthiness is also essential to belief in your dreams. It is most essential during difficult times, when you have only a dream to hang on to.

A Sense of Control and Competence
Early in my career in motivational psychology, I thought the chair of self-esteem balanced firmly on those three legs, especially since they involved intrinsic core values. It took much time and research to realize that a fourth leg—one of the most important—was missing.

There are many reasons why few Americans currently in high school and college believe they were born to win. The supportive extended family—in many cases, even the nuclear family—is disappearing. Role models are increasingly unhealthy. The commercial media bombards young senses ever more insistently with crime, violence, hedonism and other unhealthy forms of escape. But whatever the explanation, constructive citizens and leaders in society cannot emerge and develop without the creative imagination that serves them like fuel—which is why the apprehension, frustration, and hesitation I see and hear in the younger generation is cause for concern. At the moment, the future they imagine will help drive neither happiness nor success.

The chair’s fourth leg is self-efficacy, a functional belief in your ability to control what happens to you in a changing, uncertain world. A sense of worthiness may give you the emotional means to venture, but you need self-efficacy, the sense of competence and control, to believe you can succeed. That’s why it is so important to assign responsibility for small tasks to your children as early as possible so they can learn that their choices and efforts result in consequences and successes. The more success they experience, the stronger their confidence grows—and the more responsibility they want to assume.

Give them specific household chores and duties they can accomplish and be proud of. Teach them that their problems and setbacks are just temporary inconveniences and learning experiences. Emphasize it constantly: Setbacks are not failures.

Armed with a view of failure as a learning experience, children can develop an early eagerness for new challenges and will be less afraid to try new skills. Although they appreciate compliments, they benefit most from their own belief that they are making a valuable contribution to life, according to their own internal standards.

In an increasingly competitive global marketplace, each new, young member of the workforce simply must believe that he or she is a team leader, a self-empowered, quality individual who expresses that quality in excellent production and service. With increasing pressures on profit and the need to do more with fewer workers because of e-commerce and changing technology, it is essential that parents and business leaders help raise the value of their children’s and employees’ stock in themselves.

Our Kids Are Not Our Clones
One of the most valuable lessons I have learned in being an effective family leader and in raising six children is: “Treat our children with the same respect we expect from them.” Our children are not clones or copies of us. Although they mimic us and other adults as role models, they cannot be expected to feel or act the way we do. Kahlil Gibran is my favorite on the subject:

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself….
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit,
Not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them be like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Revealing Heart

The passion and purpose you pursue for yourself when grounded in a heart centered place will always reveal itself in ways that are unimaginable. Just knowing that you are living an authentic and transparent life brings THE REVEALING HEART to all you do.

The pure presence of truth will open you up for more and more of your real self to be expressed. This real self is the powerful creative essence of where you were always intended to live from. By living from the heart the magical mystery tour of life brings all the glory and insight you need to manifest anything you set your mind out to do.

The simple fact that you can choose the path you want to take will create an awareness that is centered around the joy of giving and receiving all the beauty that is before you. Setting an intention to follow your heart is the first step in firing up the attention you need to follow your dream.

LIFE will always bring to you that which you are seeking. Rather than focus on what you don't want, which by the way is what you will get, focus on what you want and watch as what flows to you will support your vision from a place of absolute and perfect understanding.

There is no way your life can look like anything other than what you want it to. THE REVEALING HEART is the center of the universe from which you live. All the joy and love you need is right where you are fully available to you. There is no thing other than magnificent excellence emerging from you in every moment of your day.

You already know this. It is in your heart always. Create the life you want to lead by leading with your heart and see the perfect loving essence in you. Your LIFE is awesome and amazing. Feel it, embrace it. Get ready the ride will be extraordinary.

"When you look within what you will find is the real YOU. Connect with your heart it is the command center of your being."


You must avoid breaking when things don't go your way. You'll always be secure to the degree that you accept change.

True security comes from being able to bend your insecurities.

Recognize and accept that change will inevitably take place. You'll become secure, not by standing still, but by growing, moving, and staying energized.

Be secure in the knowledge that you can deal with anything
that happens to you.

Have the courage to bet on your ideas. Take some calculated risks and act on your dreams.

There is no permanent security on this earth, there is only opportunity.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Breadth of Thought

The power of your thought will carry you purposefully towards the destination you desire. Behind every thought is a vision, part of the dream you have for yourself and in that vision there is a an action to be taken.

No matter what you may think, the awareness that lives within you is always seeking its perfect expression encouraging you to keep waking up to your brilliance so that what is seeking you will have a clear and unbridled path to manifestation.

Are you ready for your life to look like you always wanted it to? Do you know that you hold the key to how your gift gets expressed? Will you stay in the present moment as you see the infinite possibility for your life?

The BREADTH OF THOUGHT that holds your attention will carry your intention. The action you take on those thoughts will lead you to having the life you desire.

Make sure the thoughts you hold are creatively backed by the courage of self-expression. You are the magnificent steward of your dreams. The excellence in you is waiting to be shared in all you do so that what you bring as your unique gift and talent is given freely.

There can be no holding back of the amazing and extraordinary presence of who you are. In every moment of your day there is a path that is open for you to take that will bring to you all the resources needed to be the change you want to see.

Being in harmonic alignment with the calling in your heart will give you the permission to think big and bold. No matter what things may look like or appear to be there is always a perfect opportunity to grow and transform.

The BREADTH OF THOUGHT you hold for yourself is heard around the world because the choice you have made to express the divine inspiration you are will release the ;brilliance that is calling you.

Your feeling tone of infinite and abundant consciousness is a most magnificent gift and presence of who you are. Keep on giving that gift.

"The perfect expression of who you are begins with the thoughts that you hold for yourself...hold big, bold and positive ones so that all of LIFE will rush to you in ways that are magical."