News Herald – Juliann Talkington
Li Ka-Shing, the richest man in Asia, began his career at fifteen, as a factory worker. Within a short period of time he convinced management to move him into sales where he quickly became the top salesman. By nineteen he was general manager of the factory. When he eventually started his own business, his work ethic and willingness to handle every task propelled him to success. He is now worth over $25 billion.
Even though Stanford University football player Christian McCaffrey has a smaller frame than most running backs, he leads the nation in all-purpose yardage. He is almost always the first to practice and the last to leave, spends countless hours preparing for games outside of practice times, and is quick to complement and encourage those who help him succeed.
A little talent combined with discipline, focus, motivation, humility, and work ethic seem to be the recipe for success.
Today there is a great deal of focus on ability and less emphasis on building the necessary foundation for success. This means there are many young people who know what they like, but few who have the skills to become successful in their area of interest.
Strong parenting is often the missing link. Parents need to lead by example and actively teach their children how to be hard working, disciplined, focused, motivated, and humble.
Parents should demonstrate these qualities in their daily lives. They need to do the best job they can on every assignment, even when it is menial, boring, or out of their area of expertise. When they complete tasks they need to openly and graciously thank those who helped them achieve their goals.
Once parents are actively demonstrating proficiency in these areas, they can expect the same level of effort and follow through from their children whether it is taking out the trash, undertaking scientific research, or making a contribution to a sports team.
Another helpful step is to require kids to continue activities to a defined point in time. This helps kids understand the importance of follow through and how to regroup when they experience setbacks. Then kids need to know when they have failed to live up to expectations and be asked to take responsibility for their mistakes.
When parents lead by example; expect their children to be hard working, disciplined, motivated, and humble; and make their kids take responsibility for their actions kids develop the necessary skills to succeed in life.