Are you raising the next Tiger Woods ? The next Serena ? Messi ? Steve Nash? Kasparov ? Questlove? Well let me tell you something…you could be.
Before having children I had this image that my son will be great at this or my daughter will be awesome at that. I pictured helping them focus, train and practice until they become the best at something, anything.
Now that I have them I realize it’s not so simple. I have to balance my wants and dreams vs theirs and figure out when to push and when to back off. (Seriously they are only 5 and 3). I started thinking and worrying should I be pushing them in this sport or that activity ? So many options.
Over the summer I read this book called Range: Why generalist triumph in specialized world by David Epstein. The author argued for diversity and balance over specializing and provided countless case studies to support his arguments.
If that sounds like a good read it’s because it is. Buy it it’s worth it. (Yes shameless plug). But back to my point.
The book made me realize that there is no special formula to get anywhere. Your path is YOUR path. Yes, we get the one in a million athletes like Tiger and Serena who were trained with one goal in mind from a young age. But in reality most successful stories are a result of range. Trying and failing at different things help you become well rounded and help you discover what you truly like and are meant to do.
This made me realize that no matter what I want for my kids there is no single way to get there. Yes I can guide and help them when in need. I can provide advice and support but there is no golden blueprint. It’s OK that they fail, it’s OK that they stop and try something else even if they are good at it. It’s OK to let them quit (sometimes) as long as they are learning from the experience. Odds are that my daughter or your son will not be the next great one but it’s looks like being well rounded and balanced does give them a better chance at reaching that goal. So keep that in mind when you get that urge to have them go all in.
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