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Can You Be Successful And Be An Amazing Parent At The Same Time? Here’s How…
Today I'm asking a powerful question: how does one become successful and be a good parent?
It's a great question, because we're either parents OR we're a child of a parent, and then we get to see what they've done or they didn't do, and what we've done—or are not doing.
I'm going to outline three simple concepts that have helped me to raise great kids with good morals, and a strong work ethic to boot—all while maintaining a successful business.
1. Avoid choosing between kids and work
Let's start at the beginning. We need to move from the idea of parents struggling and having to choose “either/or” to a mindset of “both.” Not just in terms of money, like I've talked about before, but in terms of all parts of our lives.
We cannot let go of our money in order to balance our relationship, or our relationship to make sure our money works. It's got to be both.
The idea that you have to choose between your life, your happiness, your success and your children is really, really old school. It's not only old school, it's for unenlightened people. And that's okay—however, if you're open to it, I would suggest you learn and then practice choosing both.
So, first of all, I would suggest using the ‘big rocks system'. I talk about this system in my Get Rich Doing What You Love program, but basically it's all about making sure you put your priorities down in your calendar first before anything. This way you are making sure you create time for them.
Have you ever heard this saying — “You can't get orange juice from a lemon?”
This means you can't give what you don't got. If you don't take care of yourself, what kind of juice is going to come out of you?
I'm a big believer that a stressed out mother puts stress into a kid that's breastfeeding. I'm a big believer that a freaked out mother or father puts that into their kid—not just energetically. It's all transferred.
Einstein said, “Energy can neither be created nor destroyed,” but it definitely can be transferred.
So you've got to take care of yourself and you need to adopt the mindset that you don't need to suffer in one category of life because others are predominant.
2. Challenge your beliefs around parenting
Next, you want to look at the premise of what you're doing — the belief systems that you have.
Your kids barely hear what you say, but they certainly watch what you do. Watching what you do and understanding what you do, those are much more powerful than anything you say.
You can't say to your kid, “Hey, don't smoke,” while you're lighting up a cigarette. That's just ridiculous. “Hey, don't drink,” and they're watching you drink. Come on. “Well, you know, you shouldn't do what I'm doing.” This isn't the kind of thing you want to be doing—saying one thing and doing another.
As parents, we think that's okay. We say, “Hey, go upstairs and do homework”, while we're watching TV for six hours a night. The truth is they're going to model what you're doing—so YOU have to be the model.
Now, the idea many parents have, that you're needed every moment, and that your life has to revolve around your child's—that's just arrogant.
That's all about who? It's not about them—it's about you. Because really, the number one job of a parent is to teach your child how to become independent.
If you look at nature, what does pretty well every animal do? They feed their children for a time. Generally, as short a time as possible, and then they put them out into the world, the forest, into the jungle—whatever it is.
They don't stick with them for 18 or 24 or 32 years. Half their life. Only we do that. Why? Because of us, not them.
So if you ever find yourself thinking, “My children need me every moment”, you might want to question that. Because truthfully, they don't—you do.
You need you every moment. You want them to need you every moment so you can feel special and important.
Don't listen to what you say you want—watch what you do, that'll tell you what you really want.
3. Banish entitlement
Whether you're a parent with younger children or you're young and part of this generation, there's something going on right now with millennials.
There's a word that's being bandied about, and I certainly wouldn't generalize this to all millennials—absolutely not. But there is a predominance of groups of people right now that has a disease.
It's this disease called “entitlement.”
It's a problem because they grow up, they go out into the world with a false sense that the world is just going to bend over backwards for them, and they believe everything good is going to come their way.
Well, I'll tell you what: everything will come their way, but it ain't going to be really good. Even if it looks good for awhile, there will be struggles and issues that they won't know how to overcome. It'll be like the baby bird in the nest that never learned how to fly.
It's unfortunate for a lot of people that they're giving their kids the disease called “entitlement” when they make believe, they pretend, they think—falsely—that they're helping their kids.
Now, nobody said they have to struggle. Don't teach them to struggle—teach them that they need to take the actions necessary to get what they want. That's all.
There's consequences for everything, both positive and negative. You're not doing them any favors by protecting every single thing about them.
You can monitor this by watching the way your kids react to hardships and obstacles in their lives, and how willing they are to do things for themselves.
If they're at home at 26 years old, not helping out and not paying their fair share, then you need to monitor yourself. At this stage, it becomes “learned helplessness.” We're the only animal in the kingdom that does that.
I'll give you an example of my kids. As far as I'm concerned, I want to give them as much as I can, without making them feel entitled to everything, or that they don't need to work for it. Not just for productivity, but to feel fulfillment and inner success.
My kids have a great work ethic, and I'm very thrilled that they do, because I don't see them being as entitled as they could be. But I monitor that. And as a parent, that's what you need to monitor.
Watch your kids. If they're beginning to take advantage of a comfortable situation, take stock. But at the same time, if they are really learning values of effort and work and service and helping others, then you're in great shape.
To me, the idea of a parent is to teach independence and teach values.
Once you've taught them what they need to know, you can start to move them out of the nest—you're not doing kids any favor by having them hang around forever!
At the same time, if you're not a good model, you wouldn't want them around to witness that. So, good parenting has to do with one thing—it's always about you. Keep notice of that.
If you want to be a great parent, then be the best model possible.
If you are not exercising and you are always stressed out, and you are this and you are that, do you think your kids are going to be any different?
The truth is, they're going to be like you, or they're going to be the anti-you. It's generally one or the other—and the choice is yours to make.
How do you focus on parenting while maintaining your business and life? Have you encountered entitlement in your kids—or in yourself if you have no kids? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below!
As mentioned, a lot us feel we don't have the extra time to work on all the (equally) important categories of life, so we choose to focus on one category while letting other areas of our life suffer.
Maybe you focus on health, but then your business suffers.
Maybe you focus on business, but then your relationships suffer.
Life does NOT need to be a game of either/or! In fact, this actually hinders your success, not helps you…
…Which is why I created a 7-step system to show you exactly how you can create your ‘ultimate life', where all the categories of life are working at a Level 10.
Click here to learn this system that has changed thousands upon thousands of my student's lives and join me on my upcoming (free) class!
For Your Freedom,