By Erika Fehrenbach Prell
Have you ever noticed that really profound lessons can come from really simple places? Well, if you stop a second in the hustle and bustle to notice them, that is. I want to share one that happened to me right in the middle of the chaos of Christmas. It all started with an ironic exchange of gifts that snowballed into the big lesson.
Ethan, our technology-loving-12 year old, really wanted a smartwatch that synced with his cellphone. In true 12 year old fashion, he had researched the specific one he wanted, then incessantly reported all the bells and whistles of this particular model. So, his big gift was a pretty easy choice...lol. I also thought that my husband may also enjoy the same gift...score! Here’s the funny twist, Ethan went shopping with Adam for my gift and got me the same watch. In case you didn’t follow that...Adam gave me a smartwatch, I gave Adam the same watch, and we gave Ethan that same watch as well. V-e-r-y creative gift giving in the Prell household, folks. So, the three of us synced up our smartwatches and started daily step competitions.
Here’s where the plot thickens, so to say. Not to be left out, Liam went searching and found his long forgotten Vivofit so we could be part of the step-counting festivities. The 4 of us had our steps counting, comparing our outcomes throughout the day and seeing who was beating whom. In the process of finding his Vivofit, another step counter was also found. Two year-old Lucy came up to me with this step counter, handed it to me and pointed to her wrist. Using her very effective charades, she communicated that she wanted to be part of whatever we were doing. I put the counter on her little wrist, tightening to the very last hole, and she was part of the crew. She didn’t know what she was counting or participating in but, when we look at our wrists, so does she.
What’s the point? So glad you asked! Kids are always watching and learning from us, even when we have no idea they are paying attention. Let that sink in a minute...
The goal of these gifts was not to start our family on a togetherness step counting journey, although, that is a fun bonus. This was a simple but profound demonstration that kids start out a blank slate and learn from not only our words but also our behaviors and actions. The next leap in thinking is, what are you teaching?
Some things to ponder...
-Are you demonstrating a positive or negative mindset?
-What is your reaction to failure...life lesson or life devastation?
-Do you share the goals you are working on?
-Do you have an attitude of gratitude?
-Do you demonstrate healthy habits?
-Do your actions line up with your words?
I could go on and on. Important reminder before anyone starts beating themselves up, we are all works in progress. It’s never too late for any of us to work on growing ourselves…personal growth and development, especially when it comes to mindset, is an ongoing process! Keeping in mind that my kids are literally soaking up everything I put out keeps me motivated to stay on a path of growth, positive and possible.
And, when I want to give up...when that goal seems too far away or too hard...when the negative mindset or self-limiting beliefs or the Itty Bitty Shitty Committee is getting the best of me, I am going to remember this silly little step counting life lesson and say to myself...remember who is watching. The realization that I want to demonstrate the important lessons to keep going, keep trying, fail and get better to my kids, and anyone else that is watching my journey, helps me pick myself up and try again.
I thought about giving up, then, I remembered who was watching…
Let’s work together to give them a great show! We’ve got this together, DreamChaser! Shine on!
Jackie White has been writing about life and its ups and downs for many years. With a degree in Industrial Psychology and a life-long student of personal development she is intrigued by how each individual chooses to live their life. Jackie feels strongly that truly living your best life is imperative to attaining peace and fulfillment. SoulShine was borne of her desire to inspire and teach others to live their best life. This is her mission and her dream.