See-Saw

20 Exchange Place, Financial District, New York CityYou did not raise your child – only. Your child raised you too.

I see adults arrogantly talk about how they raised their children. Like they need refund from their kid. I beg to differ. You raised each other. It’s a two-way street.

You see, children start contributing to society the second that they arrive. Your baby gives you joy and bring so much emotional value into your life. For many, the arrival of a child gave them a reason to live. The value is immense. Yet, your kid never gives you an invoice.

As your kid grows, so do you. Folks enjoy personal growth in the process of raising a child. Most likely, you’re more patient, developed greater insight and have become more strategic since your kid appeared.

They don’t have a job yet, raid your refrigerator and play all day…but these little adults are doing their job…usually ‘unpaid’. Kids probably add more value to you than you think you’re adding to them. Children don’t pay the bills, but I believe they contribute greatly to the process. Your child is raising you too.

You should probably write your kid a cheque!

No Cloths

noclothsChildren never sign contracts on the playground. They simply show up, play and go home. There’s trust, even after a fight. “I don’t want to play with you”, quickly turns to, “let’s play”, unlike their parents.

You know you’ve crossed the threshold into adulthood when you start having trust issues. As adults, we have contracts, laws, lawyers, court hearings, board meetings, etc, stuff that would bore a child to death…just to guard our interests.

If you don’t know better, you would think adulthood is all about avoiding hurt. It’s not. Trust can be fun.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had my fair share of hurt doing life. However, I’ve refused to allow these experiences close me up to the joys of living. It took awhile, but I finally learned that people’s immaturity does not have to make my life unpleasant.

I enjoy trust. Since adulthood is what it is, I’ve put systems in place to ensure that I’ve got the environment that I need to trust and be trusted. And when systems fail, I learn, do the repair and keep enjoying my life.

The avoidance of hurt will never become my prison. No way!

The Good Fight

thegoodfightA child’s innocence is challenged by a harsh world. Soon enough, they find themselves confronting their parents’ fears and society’s limitations. Slowly the limits on their minds begin to pile as they’re progressively discouraged from asking questions.

Society has a way of crushing the existing dreams in a child’s soul. Hence, for anyone to truly live their dreams, they have to put up a fierce fight. Whether you win or lose, the battle is inevitable.

It starts with lies about how far you can go. They tell you that your desire is unreasonable and cannot be done. You’re shown the ‘casualties’ that made an attempt. Fear is instilled…it’s a big bad world. “We’re trying to protect you”, they say. That may be true, but in the grand scheme of your dream, it’s a lie!

Sadly, many great dreams have been buried under these lies. The child is fought to be ‘normal’. In being normal, you’re expected to think and talk like everyone else, act the same, do alike…and die together. Not cool!

Never be ‘normal’.

Wild Eyes

wildeyesOne day, when I was 5, my parents were getting ready to take me out. As we prepared, I suddenly went quiet. My young mind was wondering why my dad’s cloths were bigger than mine.

On that note, I insisted on wearing my father’s cloths instead of my small ones. I wanted big cloths. Following a prolonged tantrum and my parents’ futile attempt to reason with me, my father finally gave in. He put his jacket on me and I was swallowed up. I disappeared.

I quickly realized that size mattered. The jacket was not designed for my little frame. It was uncomfortable. My desire for my dad’s big cloths died. Yet, I was satisfied. I had explored.  I learned.

The vastness of life is humbling. The insane creativity in nature is stunning. The complexity of life is mind blowing. That said. I don’t see the point of locking your mind down to a few mundane options. There’s so much more to life.

That’s why visionaries seem restless. The more they see, the more there is to see. A vision is an endless evolution. Life is infinity. Explore!

The Child

thechild5Death is what happens when the child in you disappears. When your eyes lose the sparkle of inquiry, you’re lifeless.

I once lost my sparkle. And sadly, I had no clue it was gone. Seated across from one of my mentors, he said to me, “Samuel, the sparkle in your eyes is gone”. I was shocked.

The sparkle in a child’s eyes is priceless. Full of hope, joy and expectation, the toddler ventures into life…not worried about the dangers that lurk in her path. That’s until adulthood sets in. The lively kid gradually becomes a scared adult, full of suspicion and fear.

The billionaire businessman, Sir Richard Branson, insists on having it differently. He’s literally built an empire simply by constantly engaging the child in himself. That child wants to travel the world in a balloon; live on an island; shuttle people to space and engage in many crazy adventures…and the world is paying to watch him play.

Adulthood shouldn’t be the death of the child in you. It ought to be a state where the child has developed such amazing capacity and can now become…a really cool kid.

You’ve got no excuse.

Excellent

langlang2His performance is an out of body experience; very intense. A trance puts it in perspective. The Chinesevirtuoso pianist, Lang Lang, is like no other. He ‘ripped’ the hall apart at the 56th Grammy Awards when he performed with the heavy metal band, Metallica. In his element, he’s completely caught up. Beyond the typical, his output is nothing short of celestial.

This intensity is usually found among the very best. They’re completely sold out to their craft in strange ways. This is the arena of exceptional leadership. At this stage, they lead by essence. It’s deep!

Few see the need to be exceptional. Probably because of the level of sacrifice involved, their environment or maybe they’re just not interested. Whatever the case, mediocrity is simply boring.

Folks that function at this level of excellence first decide on the level of impact that they want to make on the world. It’s no flaky approach. They decide, then commit.

Decide to be the very best. Plot much higher levels in your being and endeavor. Soar with the eagles. Move beyond normal. Make plans to ‘rip the stage’. Totally nail it!