What every child (and every human being) craves for

Deep within each of us is a longing that can be traced back to when we were children. Even as adults we still desire what every child craves for. What is it and why do we crave for it?

What every child craves for picturePhoto Credit:ICAN International

Because we’re social beings and we delight in social interaction. Unless of course you’re suffering from a phobia and have locked yourself away in a castle guarded by a dragon, so no one can get to you.

There are people that fall into this category and they have their reasons to live a recluse life. But, for the rest of us, interaction!

My children love my attention and a remark by daddy after they’ve had a shower, combed their hair and dressed up all pretty just makes their day. How good they look isn’t quite established until dad’s looked in their direction and commented with an “oohhh…cheechee…you man!”

What fascinates me about these little encounters is that their reaction is always the same. A soft smile, flutter of the eyelashes and a slow sway from side to side as if they heard the most pleasant thing.

Almost two years ago I started with the NGO I now work for and in that time I had the privilege of meeting a great man. We’ve now become very good friends and soon to be business partners. In truth, he’s become like a little brother to me. What intrigued me the most about this individual was his character and ability to light up a room with his sense of humour and goofiness.

Last year, we both represented our volleyball team for the business house tourney at work and he had this uncanny ability to make losing…Not Suck! Yes indeed! We could laugh our lose off as a team and continue on as winners in our own right.

But this wasn’t what set this particular man apart in my books. When I began at work, and we were still getting to know each other, there was something I did or a story I told him to which he replied: “I’m proud of you.”

Now at first I found this a bit strange coming from another man. I mean seriously, wouldn’t you? This however happened numerous times over different things I had done and I must say those three words kind of grew on me. What felt awkward at first, with bells ringing in my ears and a warning sign to run in the other direction, became quite comforting.

Of course the question that you’re probably asking is, “why would those three words feel awkward?” The truth be told is, I had never heard them prior to this grown man telling me. Maybe I did as a child and simply can’t remember. And if I did, it definitely ceased over the years as I grew older.

I wouldn’t hold it against my mom though (God rest her soul) because I was a total headache in my teenage years. Which is probably the reason for my not hearing those words in the first place.

Anyway, here I was, one grown man hearing these three words from another grown man and for some reason it brought about a comfort and satisfaction that I can’t really explain.

Was it because he said he was proud of me or what I had done? No, not really.

When those words were spoken, they were received by the child in me. And I believe the root of this satisfaction goes back to what every child craves for.

Simply, to be acknowledged.

The term acknowledgement is defined as –
“the action of showing that one has noticed someone or something.”

It breaks my heart to think of the numerous children in the world that are missing out on the attention they fully deserve.

Children that want to be seen.

Children that long to be heard.

Children, that need to be acknowledged.

Now that you know what every child craves for (and probably every human on planet earth)…GO!

Acknowledge your children today. Tell them you’re proud of them just because. Acknowledge other under privileged children as well. Even your friends, colleagues, partner and family members. Tell them you see them.

And if they answer with a blank “HUH!?”

Then simply tell them that you understand…

“Nobody wants to be invisible.”

Feel free to leave your highly appreciated acknowledgement in the comments below 🙂

What makes you even more powerful than you can imagine?

 What makes you even more powerful than you can imagine picture In my last post, The greatest secret to achieving your goals that you can pass on to your children; one of my readers, Troubled Jon Jon, left this comment:

“True true. what you do daily determines what you become permanently … I don’t think I can ever stop myself from those habits, everytime I try to make a better me there’s always my kryptonite that makes me weak and pulls me back, but deep down inside I know and feel that spirit of change …and just how light illuminates the dark… yeah my darkness devours the light”

And that comment has warranted a full post. So here goes.

Let me begin by saying that the darkness in us will only devour the light if we allow it to. The truth is that the spirit of change in you is greater than you may know. There is an incident recorded in the bible [Deuteronomy 30:19] where Moses tells the Israelites:

“This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live,…”

The key here is that you have the freedom to choose. Unless of course you live in a country where your freedom of choice has been stripped from you, then you have the right to be only what you know…a slave.

For the greatest power that lies within you, is your freedom to choose. Take that away and you are but a slave.

A slave who knows nothing beyond the shackles that he is bound by. Wearing the stripes of a leather whip that he so wretchedly curses while waiting for the sweet sound of that final lash to be delivered with all it’s scorn.

Fortunately enough, you, are not a slave!

So every excuse you make can only be considered lame.

I have seven children and I continue to remind each one of them that they are mighty warriors and tell them that “if you set your mind to it, then you can do it” (whatever it is they want to achieve in life).

I strongly believe and stand by this statement with all of my heart. As a dad. As a writer who’s hoping to bring about the winds of change in peoples lives through his words. But especially as a man. A free, man.

The question to ask is:

What do you want out of life?

The answer to that question warrants an even greater second question:

How badly, do you want it?

Always remember, that your darkness will only devour the light, if you allow it to.

So, you can either continue to take a beating and get your donkey kicked over and over again. Or, you can tap into the spirit of change within you, grow a pair, fight back and kick darkness in the nuts so hard that he’ll think twice before messing with you again.

The choice my friend, is yours.

The freedom to choose however, is what makes you even more powerful than you can imagine.

Feel free to leave your highly appreciated two cents in the comments below 🙂

The greatest secret to achieving your goals that you can pass on to your children

the-greatest-secret-to-achieving-your-goalsHave you ever seen a lion silently crouching behind a bush while staring with piercing eyes at an elephant? Then as if to break the silence he opens his mouth slowly and mutters under his breath, in a deep almost soothing voice… ‘Dinner’?

Well, neither have I. But that’s not the point to our little anecdote as you will soon discover below.

Last year, in an effort to become a better and more productive me, I set out creating resolutions for myself.

I even created a template, which you can download below (shameless self promotion), to help with achieving your resolutions. The approach was slightly different from the usual to do list as I also catered for the ability to track your goals, remind yourself of why you are doing it in the first place and encourage you to press on.

Do note that I had never done anything like this prior to this whole goal setting experience. Now, while I didn’t succeed in fulfilling all of my resolutions, the whole exercise however did pay off as it allowed me to discover the secret to achieving goals.

What is the greatest secret to achieving your goals that you can pass on to your children?

It isn’t sitting on your royal behind and hoping things will change for the better, that’s for sure.

The greatest secret to achieving your goals, that I found, is to create habits. Good habits that is! Just like digging for gold or scratching your golden nuggets in front of your in-laws are bad habits and something you probably wouldn’t do (especially if you’re not married yet) then all you need to do to succeed in achieving your goals in life is to create good habits.

Simple enough, don’t you think?

Unfortunately the problem with this is the need to break free from a lifetime of bad habits. And to break away from some of these bad habits you’ll need the ferocious tenacity of a hungry lion. Being single minded and not allowing anything to come between you and your meal, or in this case, your goals.

Why bother with creating habits anyway?

Whether you’ve realised it or not, everything you now do is a result of allowing the repetition of little things to go on in your life. Either consciously or unconsciously.

Over time these repetitions become habits. These habits become a discipline. These disciplines become a lifestyle. And your lifestyle becomes your brand. Be it good or bad.

The good news is, after one year of being a guinea pig to my own goal setting endeavours I can honestly say that there’s really nothing to it. Why? Because you’re a hungry lion…remember.

So. Whatever your goals? Whatever your dreams? Whatever your visions? Create the habits that will drive you toward achieving them. Good habits that’ll change the course of your life for the better and see your goals being achieved over and over again.

I’m not going to lie to you by saying it’s going to be easy. But what I can promise you is a feeling like no other when you stand on that mountain top after you’ve crossed the finish line. That single moment of victory will be worth the pain, the sweat, the blood, the tears and the time that you invested toward achieving your goal.

How can I be certain of this?

Because like the lion…

You will have never given up.

And that in itself is a victory worth celebrating.

“Your audacious life goals are fabulous. We’re proud of you for having them. But it’s possible that those goals are designed to distract you from the thing that’s really frightening you—the shift in daily habits that would mean a re–invention of how you see yourself.
— Seth Godin

Download the Resolution Template to get a fresh perspective on goal setting and feel free to leave your two cents in the comments below 🙂

Download The Resolution Template

What are you thankful for?

So many times we take for granted the many things God has blessed us with, even when there are so many things to be thankful for. My beautiful wife [ahem…hopefully she reads this ;)] wrote the other day –

Daddy and his litlle girl.

“It really just broke my heart tonight as I watched my 6 year old son struggle to go to the toilet and relieve himself.

I had to hide my tears as he called out to let me know he was done.

You see my son Ethan, still crawls to get around.

However, I believe with all my heart that one day my son will walk…

The mere fact that we are able to jump out of bed and can run, hop, skip & walk is something we should appreciate daily.

I am thankful for an able body that helps me get around from point A to point B with ease.

What are you thankful for?”

So! What…are…you…thankful for?

Share it in the comments!

You may also like:
Take time out to enjoy the simple things in life
An utterance from the Lord, for you today!
What do you plan to do when you are dead?

Why your resolutions are short lived, and a template to help you see it through.

Team Hoyt always finishing their races
Team Hoyt: Always finishing their races

How many times have you set resolutions for yourself only to break those later?

You start off enthusiastic and ready to take on the world and 1 to 3 months down the line; you ignore your diet program, you put off learning French, you train less, you end up having more than three mugs of beer and the list goes on.
Continue reading Why your resolutions are short lived, and a template to help you see it through.

What is the secret ingredient to being the perfect dad?

I mean really, how do you become a perfect dad?

The secret ingredient to being the perfect dad
Photo Credit: Ronnie Simpson

The only solution that comes to mind is to call Harry Potter and ask Hermione to conjure up a potion that could make us perfect. A potion that could help us be in 3 places at once.

But then again, the side effects may be too drastic that our own children won’t even recognize us [because we’d end up looking like Dobby].

Continue reading What is the secret ingredient to being the perfect dad?

What do you do when you are up against the ropes?

Have you ever felt like you had your back against the ropes and didn’t know how to get out of there?A boxer against the ropes
You tried everything you could but still you felt cornered — taking blow, after blow, after blow. Like a live punching bag.
Well I have and still do from time to time. This post is about that. About taking those hits life throws at us and what to do when we are backed up against the ropes.
Continue reading What do you do when you are up against the ropes?

How to start building your child’s brand

Building your childs brandWhat is a brand or what is branding anyway? Allow me to share a lesson that I have learnt on the importance of branding and how you can use this knowledge to start building your child’s brand. Let me first define what a brand is in its simplest form.

A brand is never what you say, or think you are. A brand is what others say; think, and feel you are. Continue reading How to start building your child’s brand

Fathers to be and the delivery

I thought I’d begin here to help all fathers to be, prepare for the delivery and because I don’t know how long you have before your new mother to be goes into labor. This is the new dads experience to delivering your child.

Arnold and Danny in the movie Junior
Arnold and Danny in the movie Junior

Now being a new dad is a wonderful beyond words experience and I always encourage all soon to be dads to be there for the birth of their child. So I’d like to re-iterate this point here and say if it is possible for you to be there for the birth of your child and if your doctor permits it then –

This is a once in a lifetime experience that you do not want to miss.
Continue reading Fathers to be and the delivery