I graduated high school as the valedictorian and I performed very well in the sports I played. Of course I would want him to have my interests, but I do not expect him to. I do want him to be mentally capable and I for sure want to know how to help his development to surpass me as soon as possible.
It's tricky. You were obviously motivated. What you might be asking yourself is whether that motivation actually lead you to do the great things in life you once dreamed of, or whether it caused you to follow some other path or dream.
I'd say the best thing you can do is to make sure you share your curiosity with your child, or if that seems to have faded, share his curiosity with him. When he wants to rip something apart to figure how it works, be there with him. When an appliance breaks, take it to pieces with him. Always wonder, always talk to him like he can understand everything, because at some level he can. Amazingly, there are concepts of calculus/statistics/geometry we can understand without knowing our times tables.
Just get interested. And if money or access is an issue, that's great, because then you have to become creative. One of my sons is into archery and knife throwing. We got on youtube and found some ideas for targets and made our own, one out of corrugated cardboard boxes, the other out of scrap lumber.
Another asked about twins, and I pulled out my old Animal Reproduction textbook (my B.S. is in Animal Science) and we got to look at fertilization, implantation, etc.
Now that my kids are almost all teenagers, the one thing I wish I'd spent more time on is getting them to develop mastery in something. It's what caused me to look at Sal Kahn's Ted video above. There are kids who are at the top of their game by the time they are 16. Just look at the Olympics. And how many world class musicians started as kids? They liked something, they practiced. They got that getting good was fun, and made them better people.
On the one hand, pushing doesn't help. On the other, giving the space so they can take what they like and really play full out is amazing. Sometimes it's hard not to push though. You see something your kid is good at, you'll say “Wow. This is it.” All of a sudden you've pushed a bit too hard, and he won't touch it again, ever.
Oh and read Alfie Kohn's Unconditional Parenting.
And trust yourself. Just by asking this question, you have ensured that he will be, because you are interested enough and committed enough to make sure it will happen.
Ask a different question. Our mind gives us answers to the questions we ask it. You're asking your mind to invent a raft of trust issues.
Why not start asking, “How can I connect with the people I meet today?” You'll start making connections. Some of those, you'll want to deepen. Before you know it you'll have life full of people you feel connected to, and some you will be ready to trust with anything, including your heart.
And if You want some help being the kind of Man who asks the right questions, you might want to join my course starting next week:
I wonder what goes through people's heads as they risk life and limb to join frenzied mobs to be one of the lucky ones to grab a deal, as they fight and fret so that they may stand on line and possibly go into further debt.
I suppose bragging rights may play a part. “You should see the crowds I had to brave to get my kid the new XYZ gaming console.” “Look at this bruise I got when I had to fight over the last umpteen inch TV in the store.”
And I should not dismiss basic economics. If I can save fifty dollars on a product I actually need, and I make only $15 an hour, and it only costs me two extra hours and five bucks in gas, I've saved $15. And I've got some bragging rights in the bargain.
But the cost is far higher than any savings. The average household credit card debt is $15,675, which leaves the average consumer paying $2600 a year in credit card debt.
Let's say you spend just $500 on your holiday shopping. If you are only paying 15% on your card, you're paying an extra $75 a year to carry that debt, or five working hours.
Taking the $2600 average payment in the US, even if you earn $26 an hour. You're still looking at a 100 hours of work a year to carry your debt, 67 hours of time and a half work, 50 of double time.
But you also get a lot of stress, and worry, and maybe a big TV, that you can stress and worry in front of.
There are better things to do with your time, especially if you want a relationship.
Instead of spending two hours to get some appliance you'll be replacing in a few years anyway, why not create a memory that could be with you a lifetime.
Leave your phones at home. Take a walk in some deserted summer hangout, go ice skating, if you can still find an old main street with holiday lights and cheer, take a walk, and don't stop to shop. Just enjoy the sights and smells.
If you can, find a coffee shop or bakery that isn't Starbucks, and doesn't have wifi, and enjoy the moments with each other.
If you are already in a relationship, maybe spend the time to do that thing that you said you'd get around to, which you are reminded about all the time, and which really, if you admit it, ought to get done. That will be remembered. Send the gardener away and rake the leaves yourself, if they are still there, and then come in and have home-made hot-chocolate together.
If you are a little artistic, or even not, you could just fold a piece of paper in four and make a card.
The thing is, people remember how you make them feel, and they remember that far longer than they will remember what you bought them, but maybe not quite as long as you'll remember that you have to pay and pay and pay, and work and work and work, and spend countless hours of your life for what you don't even remember you bought this Christmas, and the last, and the one before that.
So I suggest you use the one thing you can't get back, your time, to create the memories that will always be with you, and that maybe the better memory is the time you spent with the people you love rather than the time you had to fight to get the device/toy/gadget/fashion item of the season so you could pay it off longer than you care to remember.
What should I do if my wife doesn't surprise me on my birthday?
I always wanted my wife to surprise me on my birthday but she just wishes me. That's all. Nothing more than that. I just feel bad after reading few answers on Quora about Wife-Husband birthday surprises. What should I do now?
PS: My wife loves me so much!
My first suggestion is to go and tell her. The second is to be surprised by everything that happens:
“I woke up! Wow, how amazing it is to be alive. I have a wife next to me, how cool is that. She loves me. Holy moly, this is going to be a great day.”
This is actually be a great way to go through all of life.
Maybe you should also find pleasant ways to surprise her. Take on finding a way to get that special smile out of her every day, if it's a flower, taking out the garbage before she asks you, helping with something you usually don't do. Maybe she'll get how much fun that can be and start to look for ways to make you smile too.
From my alter ego over at Herz for President, I share my Election Day Greetings
My Fellow Americans:
I greet you this election day in a spirit of amusement. I do not expect to see any great shift toward a bold new world with either of today's presidential choices.
Either way, we tend to balance things. We may adjust congress in two years to moderate the effect of a too zealous leader. We may count on the snail's pace of political decision making to ensure that change takes a measured course.
But if we really want to see a change in the world, our job, today, tomorrow, and for the rest of our lives, is to change how we look at the world, to adjust our philosophy as the late Jim Rohn would suggest.
It is the fearful, those who see themselves as powerless, those unwilling to take responsibility for their own lives, who think that the answers will come from somewhere else, from “government,” from a Donald Trump or a Hillary Clinton.
The interesting thing is that government as we know it has no chance to keep up with how the world will change in the next ten years. Technologies are now coming on line that will change our lives in ways that most of us can't even begin to imagine.
Whole industries may disappear. Others will spring up. What our role inside of those will be we have yet to discover.
But maybe that's what's missing. I didn't listen too closely, but I didn't hear as a major theme in either campaign the encouragement of a sense of wonder or curiosity, or support of the notion that we are the authors of our own lives.
I've been listening to a lot of Tony Robbins recently. The man touches a quarter million lives a year. He enrolls people in a vision for their lives that leaves them in action and creating bold new futures, sometimes in a conversation of just a few minutes. I'm wondering how many people that Hillary and Donald have spoken to actually found themselves called to action in a profound way in their own lives, rather than called to try to get their candidate in to “fix things.”
Things will never be “fixed” until we stand up to do so. So my invitation for you, for today, for the next four years, for your life, is to take a stand, give your life over to something bigger than yourself, and you and I will see the world change in a way no political hack could make it happen.
And I leave you with an apology. I am sorry I did not take a stand and take my own campaign as something that could grow wings and change the world. If anything, this election cycle has taught me truly and finally that America is the land where anyone - natural born citizen obviously - can rise to be president. And if the best don't step up, and sometimes even when they do, we will be left with the kind of choice before us today.
So we have a choice. We can spend the next four years watching Donald or Hillary theater imagining that our lives would have been different if the other were chosen, or we can be the agent for change in our own lives, whatever Hillary or Donald have to say be damned.
Happy Election Day.
Whatever you choose at the ballot today is small fry next to your actually choosing yourself. Please do that and we'll all have an amazing four years.
All My Best,
David R. Herz