How is it that some people just seem to be able to have things fall into place for them in life? This is a question and perception that I hear often but one I don’t agree with. Life has shown me by the example of others in my life and by my own experiences that this just isn’t true. I think it is one of the great mistruths that robs so many of us of our true destinies. Falling into place gives the idea of things being easy, and playing the waiting game and a great deal of expectation Instead, I came across a quote from Michael Jordan, known to many as the greatest basketball player of all time, which helps me think a little clearer.
“Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.”
This quote speaks real truth into this mistruth. When we hear these inspiring quotes, on days when we are tired and not motivated, they can annoy us. But through our own growth, and perspective we can soon see the power in them. When we see others successes, that seem effortless and maybe even like they have been handed opportunities on a silver platter, that can be frustrating.
We All Have Potential
We all have huge potential within us. However, potential cannot be left on its own. Potential must be partnered with determination and commitment. As parents, it can be hard to know how to encourage our children in a way that produces this attitude. There is never a simple answer. Every child is different and they each produce varied parenting challenges. I myself struggled with this often as a mother, and my now-grown children tell me that my example taught them more than my words. The way we encourage our children and grandchildren if you have them, is to lead the way without pulling them kicking and screaming behind you. Be gentle, and let them blaze their own path in whichever direction that may be. We definitely have to be encouraging our children and grandchildren to give their best, whether that is easy or hard. However, if they don’t see us push through the hard things ourselves, sadly our inspiring words will fall to the ground.
I have a precious older grandchild who currently is in the middle of very important exams. She is a very good student who does her best and puts a lot of effort into her school work consistently. She has outstanding gifts and abilities, however, exams are just very hard work and big challenges for her. So how then do I encourage her in times when she is not motivated? To see her studying hard, giving it all she has and yet knowing the whole process of exams is not the best way to display her potential is difficult.
Be Encouraging… and a Good Listener!
So when these moments of stress and frustration occur, for my granddaughter, it is her exams, for others, it is new experiences or opportunities, it is best to be first and foremost encouraging. How do we do this well for my granddaughter, how do we help her through this stressful school assessment journey? The next thing we do is listen, let her share her fears in a safe environment, give her a cuddle if she wants it and let her know gently that we believe in her no matter what. It is important to be patient with her because she is a little on edge at the moment, give her some space and slack until the exams are over.
Speaking kindly, maybe not expecting her to contribute as much as normal around the home, and giving her the space she needs until she is finished the exams. This isn’t always the best time to remind her of her other outstanding gifts and talents she has that others would love to have because right now they aren’t helping her in this situation. By all means, encourage her in these things at other times, but right now it is just annoying and it doesn’t help this situation she is facing now.
Share Your Own Stories.
You see when this grandchild isn’t in the middle of these exams her parents are always encouraging her other talents, going the extra miles with her to expand those gifts, helping her see her special potential and generally speaking life into and over her. The other thing they do and we as grandparents do, is we tell her of all the times in our journey of life when we have had to persevere and push through hard challenges that are necessary but by no means enjoyable.
This method of sharing stories is, of course, the most helpful, because what makes hard experiences easier is knowing that someone else has overcome them. We share our stories of how we had to do things we didn’t want, in order to reach a place that we could rest for a moment and remind ourselves how far we have come. The times where everything was against us until we hit through the other side. They are the days we can use to motivate others.
By sharing those stories of hard times and the victories that came from them, before she is in the middle of this hard time unable to really hear them properly because she feels like she is drowning, the cuddles, the listening to her fears, mean so much more because she knows we know how hard times like this hurt. No one wants a lecture in times like this, we may not mean it as a lecture but that’s how it will come across at this point in time if we share those stories now.
Know how to ‘Make it Happen’
As all good stories of challenges and successes tell us, nothing happens without first hard work. So where does the quote from Michael Jordan come into all this you may ask? Let me explain. When we sit and share our stories of how we didn’t just want it to happen or just wished it would happen but made it happen, we are allowing those around us to realise that nothing happens without hard work. The same goes for school exams, for interview preparation for work, for new business enterprises, for anything you want to achieve in life. I know my granddaughter will thrive, she will get through it all and she too will have her stories of “making it happen” that she can share with the generation behind her. To share the stories of our challenges (even when we are in the middle of them) becomes the legacy that we leave behind.
So when things seem to fall into place for you, make sure you are always reminding yourself you didn’t get where you are by chance and good luck and minimal effort. There have been obstacles climbed over, there have been battles fought and won and there have been glorious successes to combat your strengthening failures. Have a fantastic week, friends.