TBT – Determination

liv on the computer

I think my daughter was maybe 18 months old when this picture was taken but really it could just as well have been last week.  That look of concentration and curiosity is always just below the surface waiting to bust out.  It was on her face as she sat at the kitchen table working on her math homework this past weekend.

When she was three and in preschool there was a play set outside the school that the kids would climb on and swing from.  Part of the play set was a metal bar about four feet off the ground.  Not being a particularly tall child she found that she couldn’t quite reach the bar to swing on like some of her friends could.  Her teachers told me that she would stand under that bar every day and jump and jump and jump trying to grab on.  Then one day when I cam to pick her up she dragged me over to the bar and said. “Watch this.”  She bent over, scooped a pile of wood-chips into a pile under the bar, stood on top of that pile and grabbed the bar.  “Look I can reach now.”

Sheer determination had enabled her to reach her goal.

She started grade three this year and is in a split class with other grade three student and grade four student.  Split classes are petty normal these days and it was bound to happen but I was still a bit apprehensive.  When she came home that first and told me about her new class I asked her how she felt about it.

“Great.  It will be a challenge for me to try to do grade four work too if I’m allowed.”

Oh vey.

Whether I like it or not I have been blessed with a child who loves to push herself and is determined to try everything and anything she is presented with.  Now while this is all well and good, it can create some……let’s call it……drama.

Both my husband and I have voiced concern to ourselves and her teachers that she could be a bit of a perfectionist and that it could mean problems in the future.  So far it has hasn’t.  Typically perfectionism in a child manifests itself in these ways.

  • chronic procrastination and difficulty completing tasks
  • easily frustrated
  • overly cautious and thorough in tasks (ie takes 3 hrs to do homework that should take 20 minutes)
  • frequent catastrophic reactions when things don’t go perfectly or as expected
  • refusal to try new things and risk making mistakes

So now I’m thinking that maybe I am the one that’s a perfectionist and that my daughter is totally okay.  It’s a huge relief because The Best Thing in Life is knowing that your kids are going to surpass you when it comes to succeeding in life.

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Just Do It

just do it

Three simple words that Nike has used for years to inspire.  But sometimes even the great and powerful Nike can’t make you “just do it”.  Quite often, the even more powerful foe, procrastination, wins the battle.

How many of you out there have something that you need to get done and well, you just aren’t doing it?  I’m gonna go with about 97% of you.  Maybe more.  And if you are one of the 3% that are doing everything.  Call me.  We need to talk.

I had a small task I needed to get done a few weeks ago.  Nobody else would be effected if I didn’t do it.  Nobody would even know if I didn’t do it.  But I knew that I needed to get it done….for my own good.  Yet, it sat there on my To Do list for days.  Taunting me and laughing at me each morning.  I could have just crossed it off and moved on.  But I didn’t.

I did it.  Eventually.  And once it was done it felt so good.  I actually felt good about two seconds after I started doing it because I knew then that it was going to get done. And it only took me about half an hour.  Half an hour.  So why did it take me so long to get it done?

According to Psychology Today the underlying reasons most people procrastinate is fear of failure, fear of success or perfectionism.  Fear of success?  Pretty sure that I think I can cross the last two off.  But I knew that nobody else would see or judge what I did.  How could I fail if that was the case.  Yes, the mind is a strange and powerful force that can make you do things without you even knowing.

The funny thing is that I see my son and my husband doing it too and it drives me crazy.

“Why haven’t you booked your drivers test yet?”

“Dunno. Busy.”

Busy?  Doing what?  Now me, I’m really busy.  I could be busy all day long.  There’s laundry and cleaning the cat’s box and sorting my sock drawer.  (No really, that actually is something I need to do). The fact of the matter is none of us are so busy that we can’t do that thing that needs to get done.  Typically it’s something that we know will help us.  Be it financially, emotionally or spiritually.  But yet we put it off in favor of a menial task that has no consequence.

Is there a solution to this dilemma?  Other than Nike’s?  A way to put aside the fear of whatever it may be that is holding us back?  If there is, I really need to know what it is because once I completed my small task……I realized that it had led me to an even bigger task.  And now I’m not getting that done either.

The Best Thing in Life is just getting it done.

PS. I’ve been meaning to write this for a while now but well, you know.