Written By: Robyn Shulman
Today I was able to spend the entire day with my daughter, as she finished school yesterday. Unexpectedly, the day turned out to be more fun than we both anticipated. However, without any planning or intentions for ‘big conversations’ our day quickly turned into 5 life lessons in 5 hours. These lessons seemed invaluable to the both of us, and I thought I would share them, as they are appropriate for any age.
1. Learning never ends: This came about because we went up to the health club and she noticed a room labeled classroom. Why a classroom in a health club? She was shocked! I told her: learning never, ever ends. There is not one person on the planet that knows everything, and if there were such a person, his/her life would be over. Learning is an ever-growing journey whether it is in a personal or professional realm. Everyone is learning, even your great grandma. There is always room to grow, and you should never forget that. You may become an expert in certain areas, but there will still be more to learn. Embrace the world around you and share what you have learned. Never close your mind.
2. Pleasing people is not your job: It is not your job to please people or make them happy! You cannot please everyone if you tried. However, you can help people, be a friend, and give to the community. If you live to please everyone around you, you have lost you and your purpose. Do not live to please, live to give and do good things in the world. Be kind, courteous, giving and make a difference because you want to, not to please your dad, your teachers, or me.
3. Exercise your body and mind: You need a healthy balance of exercise for a healthy life; including both your mind and body. You need to run, jump, feel the fresh air outside and the sun on your back. You need to swim, laugh and play sports. You also need to read, research, analyze and question. Please, think about things from many different points of view and from different cultures. Ask why! Your body and mind need exercise to stay healthy, vibrant and young. Balance both.
4. Your reactions can be controlled only by you: You cannot blame another person for the way you feel. If someone did something to you which hurt, you have the power and choice on how and if to react. You have the power to control how you feel. If you choose to be sad and cry all day, you have that choice. If you choose to move on, learn from different situations, you have that choice as well. Your power is great; you simply have to realize it.
5. If you don’t want to do something, don’t do it to please others: You won’t believe this one! My daughter actually has an amazing voice. Yesterday, her music teacher told us that she was unusually gifted. Today, she was supposed to audition for a big show which may have landed her on TV. All night she was anxious, squirming and uncomfortable. I asked her this morning if she still wanted to audition. She didn’t want to audition for the show she said. I told her she does not ever have to do anything she doesn’t want to do. She does not have to do anything that makes her uncomfortable. However, I explained that that when she makes a commitment, she needs to think about it first and slow down to make a decision, as to not impact the lives of others. How empowered she became. How relieved I felt. Stay local for now kid, you have the choice and power to decide your fate. Your fate is not mine. Your treasures and gifts are yours and you can use them however or wherever you want.
What life lessons have you shared with your kids or class?