On Feb. 17, an opinion piece entitled "Teaching Self-Control, the American Way" appeared in The New York Times about parenting and parenting methods. “Helping your children learn to manage themselves, rather than rely on external orders, could pay big dividends in adulthood. With a little luck, they may end up agreeing with the legendarily hard-striving Thomas Edison: 'I think work is the world’s greatest fun,” wrote Sandra Aamodt, a former editor-in-chief of "Nature Neuroscience," and Sam Wang, an associate professor of molecular biology and neuroscience at Princeton. They are the authors of “Welcome to Your Child’s Brain: How the Mind Grows From Conception to College.”
America remains a great country to allow and facilitate a wide range of choices, lifestyles, dreams and results. The motivated individual with vision, desire and the willingness to take action can achieve extraordinary entrepreneurial results (see: Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Larry Ellison, or Michael Bloomberg). But, with great freedom comes great responsibility.
All humans are born with a certain laziness. Laziness is nothing more than the physical body not wanting to be uncomfortable, in pain or exert effort. If given a choice, the body would rather sleep, eat and do nothing. If the mind is not strong enough, the body will make your decisions based on its pain or pleasure.
Take a look at any time you didn't meet your friend because you were tired. Or you didn’t want to go down a career path because it would have taken too long, required too much money or been too hard to make changes. Take a look at all the times when you made the easier choice and not the more difficult choice. Easy shouldn’t be confused with a right choice. Difficult shouldn’t be confused with a wrong choice.
If the benefits of a difficult choice outweigh the benefits of an easier choice, why don’t more people make the difficult choice? Most times it’s because of the lack of willpower, confidence or patience – all traits of the mind and not the physical body. Modern, formal education as a system struggles—if not outright fails—to teach human beings how to have constructive, deep interpersonal communication skills and relationships, self-motivation, confidence, self-leadership or the keys to having a meaningful life.
Most parents and workplaces don't have the ability to teach this information. A high school or university can do a competent job teaching knowledge and skills in a specialized field but not developing the mental strength to take control of your life and steer it in the direction you want, regardless of your health, age, occupation or income. Some people aren’t aware that true responsibility is based on the individual knowing they are fully responsibility for any outcome in their life.
If you fully understood the preceding statement, you will want to find more people with the same understanding and who want a life of above average results, meaning and happiness. Whether as a child, a teenager or an adult, we all need mentors, teachers, and guides who will aid us in increasing our self-motivation, self-leadership and personal meaning. This is a lifelong process, not one that stops because you received a school diploma. Your diploma in life will be based on the results you have by the end of your life.