Back 2 School Special: Awakening Purpose and Leadership In Our Children
It takes a village as they say. And yet our ultimate jobs as parents – and also as relatives, teachers, members of the community – is to teach our children to go out into the world and not only become self-sufficient, but also shape them into the future leaders of our society.
It is up to us to guide them to realize their purpose and help them develop the tools to make it a reality.
Purpose and leadership go hand in hand.
It takes a leader to self realize his or her purpose. And it takes purpose to develop and enhance great leadership. Our purpose in life is a deep calling we can’t explain but know in our hearts to be real.
Once we reach inside ourselves and discover this calling, we can create a clear vision of what we want to make happen. A grounded sense of purpose to serve, in whichever service you choose, naturally calls on your leadership abilities to help it come to fruition.
Guiding our children to develop these defining qualities prepares them to face their uncertainty head on, to confront their mediocrity and inauthenticity. It leads them to discard their own self-doubts and self-imposed false limits, and instead be genuine and true to themselves, driving them forward and helping them reach for new heights, as well as their communities.
It gives them faith and conviction multiplied.
Our children have the capacity to believe not in what they themselves can see or what the world is telling them to see, but in what they can’t see – their purpose – and with this they have the ability to believe in themselves, believe in who they are and most of all, believe in their calling.
In order to invoke leadership to direct your vision, check in with yourself to see if your thinking, speaking, and actions are in alignment with your vision. Then start being the space through thought, words and deeds that embody our vision right now. We are the space for our children’s greatest becoming to unfold.
Here are 3 steps to awaken purpose and leadership at home:
Help your child discover and create their vision by asking the right questions. Get in the habit of getting to know who they are as individuals and become clear as to what they really want. Ask them what their vision is for themselves, for school, the future. What is their vision for their friendships, what is their work ethic? What’s important to them.. And let the judgements go of how it should be. Find out what their deep passions are. What are their goals? Be consistent with your questions, as people are constantly changing. Children especially – as they grow and mature, they go through frequent changes and their vision for themselves evolves. Get to know your children and your spouse in every moment. Learn what their life pursuits are. What are yours?
Get to know your child’s values, both individually and collectively by asking questions and having open discussions where they are free to express themselves. What are the family’s values – do your child’s values match up? How do they view relationships, intimacy, and lifelong commitments? Listen, really listen to their answers with an open mind. Try not to project your own thoughts and feelings onto them; the key is to gain insight and understanding into their inner world. Let go of the urge to have things be a certain way and be supportive if their values differ from yours. Simply get to the heart of the values that drive each soul within your tribe. You will understand their reactions to things much better when you know what they value; what’s most important for them in that particular moment.
Accountability is an essential part of good leadership; holding both yourself and others accountable in your everyday lives. Children can play all day long but still be accountable. Learn the structures that each person has for their own accountability and their measures for progress and success. Share your own structures and measures with them. Creating a buddy system at home for accountability is a great way to help develop leadership skills and responsibility.
We are the primary influence on our children, and it’s our responsibility to provide guidance for our children at home in support of their personal and spiritual growth. With a solid vision and uprooted values, they will overcome their social peer influences. With these steps, we can help them realize their visions for themselves and awaken their purpose to serve, calling upon their leadership qualities so they are able to one day transform their visions into reality.