Tag Archives: Goals

On Being Savagely Successful

Only through failure can we learn to succeed.

While I believe that’s one of the most important life lessons we can learn, it’s all to often overlooked when we, as parents, attempt to shelter our little dudes and dudettes from this sort of thing, to ensure a failure-free lifetime for our spawn.

The problem with that plan is that it ensures the growth of a no-longer-child who cannot cope with setbacks, who doesn’t know how to learn from mistakes, use that knowledge to correct his or her errors and move on to the next aspect of his or her life. Those of us of the adult persuasion understand that learning from our mistakes so we don’t make them again is essential in just about every aspect of our daily existence.

Folks shouldn’t look at failure as a bad outcome, as long as they contain the persistence to continue working toward the goal they, at first, didn’t attain. Heck, listen to huckster and part-time inventor Thomas Alva Edison: I didn’t fail ten thousand times. I successfully eliminated, ten thousand times, materials and combinations which wouldn’t work.

Adam Savage is a Maker, sort-of scientist and best known as co-host of Discovery Channel’s Mythbusters series. Yesterday, I ran a list of his 10 rules for success. One of those rules said — simply — fail.

If you’ve ever watched Mythbusters, you know one of his sayings is that “Failure is always an option.” He’s not a defeatist, rather he understands that by examining why something failed and how it failed, he can apply those lessons to make the endeavor succeed.

Another of his rules that I particularly like would have to be: If you want something, ASK. I’ve a feeling this should be self-explanatory, but, for too many dudes and dudettes, this completely escapes them.

Too many people seem to believe that their only choices are the ones actually offered to them. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

One of the most important lessons that Zippy the College Boy learned in high school and that, hopefully, Hyper Lad will learn now that he’s attending the same high school, is to self advocate. Which means, in a nutshell, ask for what you want.

If you don’t understand something in class, ask the teacher for clarification. If you still don’t get it, don’t worry. Just keep asking and trying until you do.

If you see someone doing something cool? Ask them how they did it, how they learned it? Where can you learn it?

Looking at Savage’s list, I think the most important thing you can take away from it is that you should approach life as a participatory sport, rather than something you should watch happen.

Get involved! Get motivated!

Work, as Savage said, your ass off to achieve your goals. If you don’t have what you need to accomplish those goals, don’t collapse into a weeping pile of angst. Ask for help. Get what you need, practice the new skills and get good. Then go out and accomplish your goals.

Success takes more than just hard work and diligence, but you can’t succeed without either of them.

Share on Facebook

Back To School

by Richard

And today marks the return of the last of the young dudes to the confines of school. Hyper Lad was the lone hold out and truly enjoyed himself as the only dude home for the last couple of days.

But all good things must come to an end and so did summer.

With that in mind, I thought I’d check in with ADDitude magazine for some tips on how to help your (well, my) young dude with ADD succeed in school.

The first tip is for parents to accentuate the positive. Young dudes and dudettes with ADD or ADHD (Attention Deficit Disorder and Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) have often started to feel pretty down on themselves as they try to control what they’re doing, as the other kids in their classes have, but keep failing and failing. It’s really not an easy life for them. However, as they get diagnosed and begin to receive treatment (whether medicinal or not), these kids need to be helped out of seeing only doom and gloom. Help them find the positive in situations they discover. You might be amazed how self-perpetuating a good attitude. If they’re looking for good, they’ll find it, which makes them look for more good, which helps them find even more. That’s the good kind of cycle to be in.

Sometime near the start of school, try and have a sit-down conversation with your young dudette’s teacher. Now, don’t be pushy about it, but do fill the teacher in on the specifics of your little dudette’s ADD/ADHD condition. Better yet, give the teacher some tips on how best to work with the young student to overcome her disorder. Being positive always works better.

Talk to your child before school starts. Have a frank conversation with the young dude and talk about what expectations you have for the school year and for him. Also find out what goals he has for the school year. Then talk about how you can help him to achieve his goals. What he needs from you and what you need from him.

Finally, have a little talk with yourself while you’re at it. Go over with your spouse or by yourself what you’ve learned about ADD/ADHD over the past year, especially as it relates to your young dudette. Did any new symptoms pop up during the year? Did you figure out any good ways to help her deal with, say, impulsivity? Did you get any good advice from parents of other ADD kids that can be applied to your life?

If you’re interested, you should definitely click here to read the rest of that article. They’ve got some good tips that I think can benefit any parent looking to have such a conversation with their child. The start of the school year makes for a convenient time to assess how you’re doing as a parent of a kid with ADD/ADHD and how your child is doing.

Hyper Lad and I are set for that talk this weekend as he tries to keep from laughing that he only has two days of school for his first week and then he gets the weekend off. I wonder if he’ll be able to pay attention.

Share on Facebook