No, I am not asking you about your Halloween shopping plans. I am serious. What do you think about making your kid into a SuperHero or a Princess of their choice? It’s not a trick pop quiz and no, I am not pulling a prank on you! Most of us have had our imaginary idols growing up and they died a natural death when we got busy living a ‘real’ life. But what if I told you that SuperHeroes can actually change yours or your kids’ lives? Don’t believe me? Let me explain…
One of my favorite pass times (when I have the time for it) is reading books that are action oriented. I love learning and experimenting. So the other day when I went to meet a friend at Barnes & Noble, I picked up a book that soon became my philosophy to try new things in life. Its called ‘Smartcuts’ by Shane Snow and is a darn good read! He breaks down his research on how people build successful companies into 9 actionable strategies and gives you real life case studies to validate his data gathering process. One of the important strategies is ‘training with the Masters’! I know what you are thinking, I am not selling you any kind of course nor am I asking you to take your kids to the best in the industry for their piano and swim lessons. That’s not what I am talking about…
What I am talking about is Real Life Heroes – both men & women – who have used their heart, mind and soul, basically their entire life to make a difference in their chosen field of interest. Warren Buffett, Magic Johnson, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Coco Chanel, Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela, Richard Branson, Malala, my list is never ending 🙂
Here are 2 examples of young girls who are designers at the age of 10 & 11. If you hear their interview, you will see their passion be like Valentino Garavani and Coco Chanel actually got them to be designers at a very young age! One of them read the biographies of these prominent designers really young. Yes the world will call them crazy, but isn’t it for a good reason? Why should they be reading books from “Reader 1st level , 2nd level’. ? Because the store determines your kids reading age? 🙁
Check out their stories
http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000376814 wants to be like Valentino Garavani
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3NBXfN0xOc0 – reading biographies on Coco Chanel and Valentino Garavani
inspire your kids with super hero stories…they really work!
The stories are plenty and abound – Like the founder of Pensole who was raised in a challenging crime borne neighborhood and stole Magic Johnson’s used shoes to learn shoe designing, noticing tiny details on design, comfort and consumer response and much later in life had the chance to meet the real hero and custom design his shoes. He didn’t have any fancy direct mentorship, just a deep desire to emulate his super hero – MJ!
Or about Clement Stone an ordinary reporter who interviewed many successful businessmen through the help of Andrew Carnegie, assimilated their success principles, wrote a book called “Think and Grow Rich” and used the exact principles that businessmen used to make make money, to make his son born without physical ears HEAR!
In the words of Sheryl Sandberg, COO of FB and author of ‘Lean In’, formal mentoring is like getting an autograph from a celebrity, it really doesn’t have much more value than that.
Rather it’s easier and more effective to have an informal mentoring where out of their own interest people want to learn more about their Super Heroes through Biographies, their achievements and their contribution to society. The key difference is that they form a deep personal relationship with them with their heart not their head! Wanting to emulate their Super Heroes allows them to absorb their principles and teachings and actually does something fascinating – it makes them more and more like their Super Heroes.
This is nothing new, according to “SmartCuts’ author Shane Snow, Mentorship is the secret to highest profile achievers through History. Socrates mentored young Palto who in turn mentored Aristotle , who in turn mentored Alexander the Great! What is revealing to you today is that, mentorship doesn’t have to be in person. It can be with luminaries we want to be like and if we follow them for the right reasons, we can turn out to be a lot like them.
what they think, they will become
What stops you from picking one of these heroes above and making it your kid’s Super Hero/ Prince/Princess, read their Biographies to them, with them and create a common ground for you to fantasize to be like them?
‘Without Deviation from the Norm, progress is not possible ‘, Frank Zappa!
Those kids are special and different you might think, they had it in themselves to shine at a young age. Society even terms them as prodigies! Before you buy that boatload of crap and call it the exception, not the norm, instead of waiting to find out what your kid might be really good at, like waiting for the suspense at the end of a thriller movie, I ask YOU to give it a try. Consciously create Super Heroes for them. Be involved and more active in whom you want your kids to emulate and what you want them to become. I assure you it’s a fun and fascinating process to build purpose, goals and big dreams with them. They are never too young to start..
We did this in India all the time with Epic stories like the Ramayana, Krishna, Mahabharata to cultivate devotion in children from a young age. It worked so well, we never thought of it as building a role model but yes we eventually did teach children what was right, from wrong, good & bad with these ancient super heroes. We sowed the seeds young and reaped the rewards for a lifetime! Nobody thought it was foolish or fake. Story telling was a serious business for character building and creating awe in children’s mind. Today we have outsourced it to electrical machines called TVs. Somehow the impact is not the same, unless you are mindful of what you choose for them to watch and emulate.
I clearly remember reading some comics on Saints as a young kid and that stuck with me for life. I can’t tell you why or how I was touched by their life story, but much later in life, on my constant thought about them, I had some very profound spiritual experiences which were life changing! I have never met them in person but wanting to emulate them with sincere devotion was enough to trigger the knowledge my being needed to experience what they did!
- Create a lofty goal
- Feed the inspiration with stories, this is crucial, there is no better way than to create a lasting impression in a person’s heart than a well told story, and children ask for them all the time. Make it their bedtime story!
- Find a good way for kids to emulate these super heroes by doing what the super heros did, at the kids level.
- Reward them for trying to be like their Hero
- Create a longing in their mind to contribute to society just like their Heroes did.
Let me give you an example. We love Warren Buffet and think of him as a fantastic role model! Instead of straight jumping to his interviews and biographies at a young age, we decided to follow his free cartoon series called “Secret Millionaire’s Club with Warren Buffett” and use these everyday to analyze our environment where we can apply his ‘Webisodes’. Now it has become quite a habit with my 6 year old to rattle off the teachings from those cartoons and do the analysis on his own without much prompting! Yes he loves his Megatrons and transformers, but we also managed to squeeze in Buffet into his list!
We also wanted to share a fun programming activity with you on how to build a virtual Aquarium in scratch! Its very easy to be a Coding Hero! You just need to play and create games 🙂
Build an Aquarium using Scratch Programming – Part 1
Build an Aquarium using Scratch Programming – Part 2
We’d love to hear from you, if you have benefitted from emulating someone in your life, please share your thoughts in the comments below