When my wife was pregnant with our first child, I put a lot of thought into what life lessons to teach our kid. I was in my late 30s and stewing over how old I would be as they grew up. I kept thinking, if I die while they are young what do I want them to have known. Not the best thing to think about, but I really wanted these kids to grow up with a foundation
I put a lot of thought into this idea of life lessons. It had to be simple enough for a 2 year, yet dynamic enough to evolve with the kids as they became older. It had to be short and sweet so it could be repeatable. The Life lessons had to be something that if implemented would create a self sustaining person.
I came up with three life lessons. 1st If you fall down get back up. 2nd Just figure it out. Third: be a good person.
Bingo! Life’s lessons that apply at any age. Easy to remember. They are simple. They are dynamic and take on different meanings at different stages of life. Kids could understand it. Kids could repeat them.
Let’s look at each one:
If you fall down, get back up.
I wanted to think of a way to explain resiliency. This phrase perfectly apply. When kids are learning to stand, learning to walk, learning to jump they fall down. They have to know they can get back up. Eventually we learn how to not physically fall down. But when that happens we start to emotionally fall down. We mentally fall down. Sometimes we start to financially fall down. We have relationships break. We are let down often no matter how great our life is. Resiliency is what makes us stronger. If you fall down 6 times get up 7. Keep getting up. Keep going! Rule #1: If you fall down, get back up!
Just figure it out.
At first this one was “think as a human”, but my wife quickly nixed that. The idea is the same though. We all will experience so many problems and challenges in life. Always. From the 2 year old trying to figure out their shape puzzles to you trying to figure out how to be Financially Independent and Retire Early. There is a really important word here. The rule isn’t figure it out. The rule is Just figure it out. Slow down and simplify the problem. Don’t stress, just think about it and figure it out. Rule #2: Just figure it out.
Be a good person
I thought the 2 rules were sufficient. They would help my kids, or anyone grow to be a self sustaining person. But there was still something missing. I didn’t want to create a jerk. I would fail as a parent if the kid grew up to not get along with others. Be a good person seemed critical. We all need to be a good person.
In addition to the value of being a good person, there is a bonus that ties into this whole conversation. It’s really hard to tell good people no. It’s hard for good people to not get what they want it life. Think of the person in your life that you just think “wow, they are a good person”. Noone says no to them. It’s easy to say no to someone that is not like able. I didn’t want a manipulator. I wanted to raise someone that is just simply a good person. Everyone benefits from it. Society benefits from it. Rule #3 Be a good person.
So, whether you are a new parent, an old parent, not a parent, consider these rules to spread or adopt your self.
- If you fall down, get back up.
- Just figure it out.
- Be a good person.