5 things kids teach us about determination

happy-childThis morning, during the usual insane morning routine of getting five people to slurp down smoothies, scarf down oatmeal and stuff down toast, at one point I realized my daughter was wearing leggings with a hole in the butt. Her flowered underwear poking through saying “look at me world!”

When I told her she wasn’t going to school like that and she had to change, of course the typical negotiation ensued.

“But mom, I love these leggings.”


“But mom, these are my last clean pair. You haven’t done laundry in like two weeks.”

(Kinda true, but that didn’t mean she was going to school with a beacon on her behind.) “No way.”

“Come on mom. It’s not that big of a hole.”

“Not going to happen, my love.”

“If I change, it will take too long and I’ll be late for the bus.”

“Believe me. You’ve got time.”

“Please mom. I’ll just cover it with my shirt.” (which of course instantly rides up the seconds she pulls it down.)

“Nice try.”

Pause…wheels in her head spinning at full speed.

“What if I put shorts over top.”

Hmmm, she might have something there.

I relent. “OK. I guess that’s fine. Just cover up that butt!”

As I sat back and finished my oatmeal, I couldn’t help but be impressed by her problem-solving ability and more importantly, her determination. She so badly wanted to wear those pants that she focused all of her energy on finding a solution. She wasn’t going to take no for an answer. She would find a way…and she did.

Napoleon Hill calls this having a burning desire and making a definite plan. Kids have burning desires down pat. When they get focused on wanting something, any parent knows how friggin’ hard it is to convince them otherwise. But the incredible thing, is watching a child work her way through a problem to come up with a solution. My daughter has always been a master at that.

For some of us who settle, or give up too easily, or take the easy road – which is probably all of us at certain times in our lives – think about or watch children in action. We could all use a little of their moxie.

5 things kids do we could all learn from:

  1. When you don’t succeed the first time, try again…and again…and again.
  2. When you hear the word ‘no’ (100 times), don’t care what other people say. It’s not about them.
  3. Have total clarity on what you want. It’s easier not to get distracted.
  4. Stay focused; want it so badly that nothing else around you matters.
  5. Be creative. There is always more than one way to solve a problem.

Successful people in this world do all of these same things. They are clear about the goal. They stay focused on the goal. The make a plan to reach the goal, but are able to adapt if need be, and they don’t stop until they’ve achieved the goal.

It’s in all of us. So embrace your inner child…as long as you cover your butt!