Kids learn repeatable patterns through practice and experiences. Their characteristics, habits, skill development, and values are shaped by these experiences.
It’s done through reading and imagining, through play, through creating, and through testing.
One of the neat things as you observe this is there are minimal to no instructions. Kids correct course most of the time and in some cases learn the hard way when they don’t. Those life lessons stick with us forever and sometimes we even have the scars to remind us.
But rarely, if ever, do they learn by being told something. When it comes to deep learning, we need to let them experience it themselves, think openly, and be challenged.
The best teachers in the world do this not by giving the answers but by asking the right questions.
The next time your child asks a question you know the answer to don’t be in such a hurry to answer it. Instead, return serve with a simple question like “What do you think?” or “Why do you think it’s like that?” or anything around this questioning.
Although it may be simple to you, watch their brain rev up as they try to come up with an answer.
You’ll be amazed by the imagination they have through the answers they come up with and they might shock you with their perspective.
Who knows, It might open up additional questions and dialogue that might fuel their passion and spark their curiosity to explore more.
In the end, that’s the fun part of learning anyways.
I had a chance to get back out to Umstead Park today with my son to go for a nice trail walk and enjoy some of the beauty nature has to offer. As we were about halfway through the walk he started to ask the age-old question, “Are we there yet”, which prompted me to share some insight about life which I’ll share here.
The trail is a metaphor for life and the only thing certain is there is a beginning and there is an end.
We all start out the same way, through birth, although everyone’s trail looks different.
My perspective on the trail and the difficulty in certain spots is based on my experiences in life up to this point. I might be able to easily navigate certain terrain more easily because I have come upon similar things before and can use those memories to help me get through. There will inevitably be spots though where I need to pause and consider a plan of how to get to the next step; which rock should I step on to propel me forward, should I jump or take a long step, is there any spot that looks slick. All of these types of things come at us at different speeds and at different times, too. You have to be ready to seize all of the opportunities when they are presented to you and make the correct calculation and best decision with the information you have to go in the right direction.
My son has a different perspective. For starters, he is much shorter than me so his view on the world is already different. Everything looks bigger and scarier and his footing is a little unsteady because of the surface area of the roots and rocks. It’s not harder, it’s just different. But he also doesn’t know what he doesn’t know. The things that I am looking out for, right or wrong, may not be things that he even considers and that can work in his favor, too. There is also a lot more fear of the unknown because he hasn’t seen as many paths as I have and hasn’t climbed as many hills so his mind isn’t callused as much as mine is. That will come in time and he’ll have to endure these when they come upon him.
That’s why support systems and having people you trust are so important to get through life. We all need mentors and guides at various times and those lessons taught (like Yoda on Luke’s back during Jedi training) will come in handy as we are on our own and have to make decisions in real-time. You can walk the trail of life alone and maybe do just fine but it gets lonely and dark and depressing that way. Finding purpose is a lot harder.
You won’t always know if this path will lead to the right spot but if you continue to evaluate the terrain coming ahead you can try to get back on course if you happen to veer. So this hits another parallel, what happens when you get way off course?
We all get deep into situations we shouldn’t have whether it is a poor career choice, poor health, or a poor financial situation like when I was in $18,000 of credit card debt. That sucked. I couldn’t believe I got myself in that big hole on top of the car payment and student loans that needed to be paid off. Not to mention the other bills that had to be paid each month.
But I had a choice.
I could continue to go down that path even though I had a feeling of where that was going to lead me; more stress, more anxiety, more frustration, less happiness, or I could alter course and use my judgment and newfound experiences to lead me in a better direction.
It wasn’t going to be easy and it wasn’t going to be quick but for me to get back on level ground I had to keep chopping away in small increments. I had to choose that new path every day. In order to tackle newer challenges that were important to me then I had to make the sacrifices in the short term to help me out in the long run. Eight years later, I was completely debt-free, over 50k paid off, and I felt back on track to conquer new adventures.
And so that’s the moral here, as I told my son, the trail is the fun part and not the destination. Oh, you’ll certainly get somewhere someday but what stories are you going to be able to tell when you get there and what level of pride will you have that you navigated tough terrain and not only achieved your goals but worn the path just a little bit more to help people that are coming behind you.
That’s what I wanted him to learn and I hope it’s a great lesson for you reading this today.
Enjoy the peaks and valleys because they are inevitable.
Stop and smell the roses and don’t be in such a hurry to get somewhere.
Help others by being a guide and marking the trail with your experiences.
Don’t let fear guide you on your path but the belief in yourself that ultimately you know the direction if you just trust your own judgment.
Good luck as you navigate your own trail and hope to run into you at some point on the journey!
Episode 38 features our first “Digital Nomad” on the Podcast in Entrepreneur Jinny Oh. Jinny is the Founder of WANDR and travels all over the world to explore the endless possibilities that are out there as well as continue her mission to grow her company WANDR. We get into some great discussions about how she has scaled her company, leadership, remote employees, and of course about traveling!
About Jinny Oh
Hi, I’m Jinny—an entrepreneur who’s lived, studied and traveled around the world. My passion for exploring led me to a digital nomad lifestyle, from which I built a multi-million dollar business in product design and strategy. From features like Forbes to speaking engagements, and as a startup advisor—I owe it all to the experiences I’ve had and the people I’ve met while working remote and traveling the world.
In 2016, I started WANDR to empower startup founders with better user experiences. Since then, we’ve launched over 250 brands and worked with several Fortune 500 companies to re-shape their product strategy. Below are some of the clients I’ve worked with.
I currently serve as an equity partner for Partner.ly, Trendi and KaptionThis, which I’ve helped build, launch and/ or advised.
In October 2017, I found myself energized with a growing online audience. When my LinkedIn Post on “sacrifice as a founder” reached over 20 million views, it led to countless opportunities. I’ve since traveled nationally and globally for speaking engagements and podcast interviews on topics such as Design Innovation, Designing User Experiences, My Journey as an Entrepreneur, Life of an LinkedIn Influencer, and more!
I packed up for my first solo trip at sixteen years old. I’ve since traveled to over 40 countries, lived in 5 countries, and fluently speak 3 different languages. I travel to discover new cultures, and challenge my creativity along the way. Some of my favorite places include: Colombia, Greece, China, Iceland, Spain, and Indonesia.
On Episode 37 I get to sit down with the Co-Founder and CEO of a really neat Start-up, GiveButter.com
Max Friedman is a sharp young entrepreneur and sprinkles in many highlight moments in this episode when speaking about how first job, how his team delegates work, advice for those wanting to start something, and much more. It’s refreshing to hear the perspective from someone this young and it’s powerful advice for folks of all ages.
It all started with a simple idea: build a transparent, low-cost, all-in-one giving platform to help people raise more money for good causes. We knew there were plenty of people doing some aspect of this already, but we believed we could do it butter.
We jumped in by coding for friends who wanted to fundraise for everything from kosher food trucks to fashion shows for kids with cancer, and before we knew it, they began sharing our work with others.
Fast-forward two years, and we’ve been able to help raise millions of dollars for good causes spanning over 300 college campuses, alongside many of the world’s leading nonprofits.
Our vision is to build a world where every person makes giving a part of their lives. Our mission: Eat. Sleep. Give. Do you?
Episode 32 features a young and impressive entrepreneur by the name of Justin Lafazan. From an earlier age, Justin saw his Dad struggle through the 2008 Recession as a Mortgage Banker and vowed to pave his own way in life so that he never had to be impacted by other peoples decisions. That drive has led him to create a company while still in high school, write a book, and start a 2nd company to bring together young entrepreneurs from all over the place. Oh and he is only 22 years old!
I truly enjoyed this interview with Justin and excited for you all to listen in!
Featured in USA Today, Forbes, Entrepreneur Magazine, Huffington Post and Inc. Magazine, Justin (22) is an experienced entrepreneur, consultant, speaker, and best-selling author.
Justin is the co-founder of Next Gen, the premier community and conference for millennial entrepreneurs. Next Gen curates the brightest and most talented young founders worldwide, and provides them with resources for their personal and professional growth (funding, mentorship, vendor relationships, etc).
Next Gen Summit has developed into a must-attend event, winning various accolades including:
++ Forbes “1 in 5 can’t miss events”
++ Entrepreneur Magazine “1 in 7 of the best events for entrepreneurs under 30”
++ Entrepreneur Magazine “1 in 7 conferences that will level up your A-game”
In December 2015, Justin published his best-selling book, What Wakes You Up?, receiving endorsement from the founders of UGG, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Chuck-E-Cheese, and more.
EPISODE 29: Founder, Prsuit.com | Host, New Mindset Who Dis Podcast
ALSO AVAILABLE ON THESE PLATFORMS
Had a phenomenal conversation with Case Kenny on Episode 29 of the Just Get Started Podcast.
We get into an interesting conversation around his life and journey into growing his media company and we discuss the background of his Prsuit.com company and how using the thought around “perspective” is ideal for growing yourself and becoming fulfilled in life. His consistency in putting out great content has helped him grow his audience to hundreds of thousands of readers and become a regular top 50 iTunes Podcast in just a few short months of starting it.
One of the things I enjoy about Case is how raw he is when speaking. He believes what he says and isn’t afraid to share his opinions of the world and offer advice where he feels it could help others. Putting yourself out there and being vulnerable can be difficult but once you build your confidence and understand that your voice can help motivate and inspire others it’s cool to see what can happen. Enjoyed the chance to get to know Case a bit and know you all will enjoy this episode.
About Case Kenny:
Hi! My name is Case Kenny (@case.kenny) and I created the PRSUIT email to feed your soul..
With PRSUIT I share my no-BS perspective on all the things that make you human – your sense of self, confidence, optimism, mindfulness and so much more.
I call myself a “dudebroguy” because I’m just a guy who’s living his life. I’m not a coach, guru or more enlightened than the average person.
BUT I’m also a guy who knows that growth and fulfillment comes when you push yourself to be uncomfortable, try new things and live life from your heart.
With the email, I rely on my own life experiences to help you live your best life. That might include personal awkward stories, times I terribly embarrassed myself or silly jokes I love to tell that apparently aren’t that funny (*shrugs).
I do this to help you find your life’s truth – a truth that is so much more than living a normal, comfortable and expected life. Your truth is always pushing yourself to search for what lights you up inside — people, places, interests and passions.
Join me Mondays and Friday and you’ll find yourself saying to yourself…