Blog #2 11.23.15 Going For Hard; The Power of Failure

So how does one go about finding one’s voice?linda2

Today’s culture paves a smooth path for many kids, making sure the bumps and potholes are missing in their world as they grow into adults. In my last blog posting, I wrote about how today’s college bound adolescents are “failure adverse.” As a result, they are not prepared to handle real life problems and issues.

It is critical for character development that we change our mode of operation. I assure you, the result of hitting some speed bumps is not only essential, but you’ll be surprised to see how resilient children can be. My grandson, Jackson, is a lacrosse player. At 12, he was one of the best midfield players in the state of California for his age. Whenever he went to tournaments, he received a lot of attention from coaches, refs and other players. Over the summer the family moved to Greenwich CT where it seemed that every 13 year old boy has a lacrosse net on his lawn. On the East Coast Jackson was not the super star.  His world changed overnight when he tried out for a local team and didn’t make the cut. It was a major and very painful speed bump. My daughter called, seriously distraught. It was incredibly hard to see her son “fail.”

Then, over the course of the week, something magical happened. She watched him shoot endlessly on the front lawn, taking his disappointment and anger out on the net. Not only could he deal with the rejection, he resolved to pick himself up “and show those coaches that they overlooked.” In the end, he made the team, and through the course of the season the feedback from coaches was nobody worked harder in practice than Jackson. Hard work, tenacity and perseverance they stressed is more essential than talent.

At the end of the day it’s all about grit.Jaackson lacrrosse

If, in fact, failure is one of our most important motivators and if, in fact grit, is our most desired goal, why do we want to pave a smooth path for our children?