I love telling the story of my friend June's 9 year-old son, Brevyn. The story of how he stuck up for his friend Claire who got shoved by another boy, and how Brevyn came to Claire's aid saying, "We don't hit girls." When I asked June how she thought he learned that behavior, she said, "It started early...like in pre-school. He knew and all of my kids know that even if someone hits you, you don't hit back. And you always stand up for someone who is littler than you--boy or girl."
GRIT > GRADES
At Starbucks, after a warm bowl of yukgaejang (spicy beef soup), I sat and asked my friends (two incredible moms) how to create "successful" humans. June immediately said, "Well, it's about grit, isn't it? Research shows this and proves this." I instantly recalled Angela Duckworth's book Grit in my mind. "Kids model your behavior. Beyond grades, you wanna raise kids who will persevere through the tough times, through those extreme times of adversity." I thought of how her father-in-law, their grandfather had just recently passed away. I admired how they were all holding up in their own grit.
For all the challenges being connected online present, one of the things I am grateful for is Class Dojo. It's a website that allows me a sneak peek into what my 5 year-old niece is up to in her kindergarten class. Some pictures that have caught my attention recently are a behavior-based evaluation system. Each student is given a secret number, and each number is placed next to a chart which tells them how well they are behaving. In September, Alexandra won a "Shining Star" award for "exhibiting integrity by doing the right thing when no one is watching."
Imagine if our workplaces actually evaluated employees the same way? I think perhaps we would have less corporate bullying and crazy CEOs slapping their employees and making them kill chickens with a bow and arrow? Ummm...recent true story that has come to light in Korea. Read about it here.
ENVIRONMENT > "SUCCESS"
Chenoa chimed in, "It depends on your definition of success. You know, that's going to be different for everyone. I just want my kids to look back on their lives and be able to say that they lived a full life--and be able to appreciate their lives. It's not about money or the superficial things either." I thought about how she lived her creed, as she was about to embark on a mission trip to Japan the following week. "All we can do is provide a loving and supportive environment in which they can be as successful as they want to be."
A good friend of mine recently posted on Facebook that one of her elementary school aged daughters had woken her up in the middle of the night with a nightmare. "Mom, I had a nightmare of the lockdown drills, but they were actually real, and there was a bad man who was coming to get us." My friend asked for love and support not knowing quite what to tell her daughter. Would grit be enough in this case?
On my weekly call with Dom, a fellow coach, she talked about a woman she serendipitously ran into. She was a total badass. She had written a book but didn't want to promote it locally. As I listened to the story of this woman, I thought of all of the women I had coached, and so many other women I had met who were all badasses, as well as myself. Yet there was a holding back when it came to their own success, my own success. "Kyla, you know what I think? I think you fear success," Dom boldly gave me feedback. I couldn't disagree with her. Is that something I learned as an adult? Because I certainly don't remember fearing success as a child.
POLLUTION of the MIND
As we said our "goodbyes" outside Starbucks, June put her mask on. It was an apocalyptic day: Air quality readings were at 167 (RED)--similar levels to the ones in China. Chenoa commented, "I just don't feel like I have energy with this pollution." I began thinking about how on a micro level, these women were going back to being "productive members of society" in their own words. They were really moulding future generations of leaders. On a macro level, something had gone seriously wrong with the current leaders that had allowed and created this pollution. It was nowhere near a successful or sustainable model for anyone. Perhaps our minds were polluted as adults to believe that success looked like money at the expense of everything else and everyone's health (mental/physical).
I learned about Mindvalley, a global school that delivers transformational education that is powered by the community. The guy who started it Vishen Lakhiani talks about how Mindvalley began as just him offering classes on meditation. He had quit his corporate job at Microsoft and everyone told him that he had gone mad. He and his business partner were trying to scale the business by going to all of these classes on strategy, marketing-- all of the classes they thought they needed in order to succeed. Then one day, they happened upon a class on mindset. They thought they wouldn't need it in order to succeed, but went anyway. And that is when things started happening. Now he has more than 100 employees and his company is a multi-million dollar company. Oh and they are creating more successful humans in the world through transformational education. Not too shabby.