“Breaking The Average Cycle”
Most parents want their kids to experience a lot of different activities. Sounds great, right?
Maybe not. Let’s dig a bit deeper.
Excellence requires time and commitment. In depth study produces confidence, focus and
perseverance. In Okinawa, they call people that jump from one activity to another butterflies, never getting
past the initial stage of learning. Destined to remain a beginner and average.
Let’s consider two boys, Steve and David. They both start karate in the beginner class together and
made good progress. At the end of their initial training phase, Steve stays with karate and moves to the
intermediate class. David decides, with his parents, to move on to another activity and decides to try
At the end of that session, Steve moves onto the advanced class, David moves on to golf, guitar,
tiddly winks etc. Steve begins to feel like he’s not a beginner any more, develops persistence and
learns to overcome little plateaus and discouragement. Skills he can use in the other areas of his life.
Kids like David learn to move on when things begin to require work and focus. We must not be
concerned with keeping up with those parents that run all over town to a new activity each day of the
week. You can see the split in their child’s focus and skills. Enforce your kids activities; be the parent
here. Not like a dictator, just let ‘em know they are going to stick it out and get good at it, really good.
And watch their confidence grow.
As Zig Ziglar says, “We are creating a culture of wandering generalities and no meaningful
specifics.” Get great at two things and no matter what, don’t quit or
jump ship because it begins to require some more work and time. This is the fire that real persistence
and character are developed in. Give the great gift of follow through to your kids. If you think
it’s hard work now, wait till you have a college age child or adult child that hasn’t learned this skill
yet, that’ll be real work and worry. Do this when they’re young. You can do it! If you need help, let me
Master Virgil Greer III