It’s that time of year again…. BACK TO SCHOOL!
We all want our children to be successful and make the most of their opportunities but how can we ensure that happens? We cannot know what the future holds…. or can we?
“The best way to predict your future is to create it.” What an empowering quote from former President Abraham Lincoln!
You might be thinking… it is easy for someone as successful as President Lincoln to say that the best way to predict the future is to create it. But, you might be surprised to find out his life was not always filled with success. In fact, for a large part of his life, he considered himself a failure. For example:
- 1832 (23 years old): He lost his job and also lost his election bid for the State Legislature.
- 1833 (24 years old): His business, a general store based in New Salem, Illinois failed, even though the economy was booming at the time.
- 1835 (26 years old): The love of his life, Ann Rutledge died of Typhoid fever.
- 1838 (29 years old): Defeated for his bid as Speaker in the Illinois House of Representatives.
- 1848 (39 years old): Failed to secure an appointment for Commissioner of the General Land Office in Washington D.C.
- 1858 (49 years old): He was defeated in his bid to become a U.S. Senator.
So, someone who failed in business, and early on in professional politics, still believed that a person could predict the future by creating it? He knew what he was talking about! After all, this is the same man who was elected to the office of the President of the United States in 1860 and eventually aided in abolishing slavery.
Can you believe Lincoln only had about 18 months of schooling when he was young and never even went to college? He was an avid reader, and he taught himself what he needed to know. For example, after his election to the state legislature, Lincoln wanted to become a lawyer, and began to teach himself the law by reading. He was admitted to the bar in 1837, and began his career as a successful lawyer.
How did Abraham Lincoln create his own future and how can his example show our children the path to success? How do our children go about making a life filled with significance and value, achieving their wildest dreams? As in Lincoln’s example, even with young children, it boils down finding their passion and their level of commitment. It definitely will not be easy. If we want our children to create a bigger and brighter future for themselves, we have to teach them the steps to success. Start by discussing the following tips:
Tip# 1 — Dream Big
If you are going to dream, you might as well dream big. The greatest innovators and the most successful people in the world have always dreamed big. But in order to make dreams a reality, you need to set goals on paper. Having them in your mind is not enough. What is YOUR dream? How are you going to MAKE IT HAPPEN?
Tip #2 — Find Motivation
What are you passionate about and what drives you forward in life? Who or what do you believe in wholeheartedly? Even small children show great excitement for certain things more than others. They may not be able to verbalize their motivation, but as a parent you will recognize it. If you REALLY want to achieve something, NOTHING CAN STAND IN YOUR WAY.
Tip #3 — Create a Plan
It is not enough to dream or have motivation, you also need to CREATE A PLAN. A goal without a plan is just a wish. What are all the steps you need to take to hit smaller milestones on the way to your long term goals? Any dream worth pursuing has to have a specific plan to make it happen.
Tip #4 — Measure Results
Analyzing your results gives you some momentum. It is in those small wins that we are able to keep pushing towards creating the future we want. You can make a chart or buy a small notepad and write down your results every single day on paper. The point here is to STAY CONSISTENT AND DEVELOP HABITS.
Tip #5 — Stick with It
When goals are new, they are exciting. But as time passes, they are not so exciting after months and even years. In fact, for the most part, we tend to forget about them after a while. But if you want to create your future and design the life of your dreams, you have to STAY FOCUSED AND COMMITTED.
Abraham Lincoln is able to offer our children great back to school advice because he understood the value of education, fought through difficulties and stayed so focused on creating the future he dreamed of that he became President of the United States! It is not just great advice for our children, but for adults as well. We ALL have the opportunity to CREATE our future by the choices we make TODAY!
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