As we try to guide our children towards a happy, healthy and fulfilling adult life, we must keep in mind that our definition of "success" may be very different from what our children’s definition is and what that definition may develop into during their adulthood.
James Ray’s The Science of Success program is thought provoking for this very reason as he points out “success is a direction you choose, no one can define it for you. It is not an outcome or result or a set of circumstances. It’s a never ending journey and the constant progress to the life of your dreams.”
I like this definition because it gives our children (and us) complete freedom to decide our own definition of success and in today’s world, this can easily get distracted by all the hype around material items that supposedly depict success.
James further states that "while external issues (environment, circumstances etc.) influence a person’s achievement of success, they do not determine the person’s success and are not the greater cause of success."
When you look at some of the most successful people in the world, you can see that this is most certainly the truth. They became successful despite their circumstances. Oprah Winfrey, Walt Disney, Thomas Edison, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson and Henry Ford to name but a few. They had a vision and their willpower, determination and belief brought the vision to reality.
Our world is changing at such a rapid pace it can be challenging to know exactly how to support our children in various realms. I think when it comes to seeing our children as “successful” adults; it’s important for us to truly understand what our children’s definition of “success” is. It may even reshape our perspective.