KNOWING ONESELF: A GUIDE FOR PARENTS
Resolving to improve in weak areas is fine insofar as it involves skills you legitimately need or are genuinely passionate about. Often, however, the drive for improvement becomes a weakness itself.
Do any of the following situations sound familiar?
When we insist that every parent or child should be good at everything—or at all the things some authority figure decides are important—we reap a world of mediocrity and discontent.
“You’re a Natural!”
While most people can get very good at most things if they persist, they can’t force themselves to be passionate about things they aren’t made for. The world is full of “successful” but unhappy executives who cheated themselves (and the world) out of far better successes, by burying dreams of becoming pilots, archaeologists, or singers.
When your own child expresses a dream, take it seriously and encourage him or her to learn more about it. And if you yourself have long-forgotten dreams, dig them up, dust them off, and do something about them. See if your whole family isn’t happier and more effective when people spend more time on things that naturally appeal to them.
It may be you’ve spent so many years following your “duty” that you aren’t sure what your dreams are—or what you are (extrovert or introvert? writer or runner? organizer or improviser?). If anyone in your family is in that situation, a professionally designed test can give them fresh insight into how they think and what they do best. A few well-proven resources:
Test results may confirm what you’ve long suspected—or they may surprise you. In either case, give their recommendations a serious chance before dismissing anything as silly or impractical.
And if “personality assessments” recommendations seem impossible to put into action? Give them a chance anyway. There’s always something you can do for a starter, if only getting up fifteen minutes earlier each day to draft one page of a novel.