It's Obvious that our culture had become obsessed with teaching Teens how to be successful in corporate America. Kids are exposed to so much information now in school with the advent of the computer and the information age. Of course education is important, and striving for higher goals is not in of its self a bad thing.
But a life of excelling in education and spelling bees does not assure a productive and happy individual. Being successful in life can only be accomplished by a person who knows how to think, how to place value on self, on responsibility and never placing the outcome of the race before the journey of the race.
Research has shown that most people who win the lottery will eventually wind up in worse shape than they were before they won. This is simply because no amount of money will change the way a person thinks or his priorities. Then of course we have powerful and "successful" CEO's who become power hungry and obsessed with money and public standing who wind up destroying a company along with the investors life savings.
These things can happen when a person is not raised with the fundamental building blocks that create a happy and well balanced person. Sure, they learned all the academic information they needed, but they were never taught how to place value on the most important part of being alive.
Living in America, the most rewarding country of all, Teens are still neglected from learning these principles. They go to school, some go to church, they watch extremely adult programming on TV and also they watch their parents and others reactions to life situations. Through all of this, still they do not get direct understanding of how powerful their mind and thoughts are. They learn reactions from others, never being taught that each reaction should be a choice and not a habitual response.
Kids and Parents these days really have their hands full more so than ever. Its no longer possible to shield a kid from the negatives of the world. If a kid is not aware of these things, the day will come when they become exposed to them on their own. There may be a silver lining to that however, as honesty is really the best policy.
Even the best parents however may not have a priority to teach kids these principles simply because they were not raised with them their selves; even as they may have a loving and supportive home which is very important, they may not be teaching their kids how to react out of choice rather than habitual reactions.
Just as an example, perhaps a kid notices how a parent opens a bill then becomes upset that the bill has been raised. The parent may go on a mini tyrant about how they are getting ripped off, how can they afford it etc. Well kids learn everything from example. Usually a kid will emulate that of the same sex parent. Therefore a kid learns through repetition how to react to that situation. This is of course an obvious condition, since most kids will eventually take on the same political side of the parents, the same religion, etc. Kids learn by the parents example. The parent is in fact just continuing that example set by their own parent years and years ago.
So, what is wrong with a person becoming irate when they open yet another higher bill? Well that is a very interesting question and a very important one as well. Surly we can all justify that this situation should justify a pouting reaction. After all something beyond my control happened to me, taking something I value away from me. This makes me angry and when I get angry everyone will know about it! Now I feel helpless for I have no control, so I will get angry and try to scare the hell out of this bill! Subconsciously I remember my parents doing this and that's how I'm supposed to react.
And of course this reaction is not just limited to opening the monthly bills, but I also use this when I'm issued extra work at my company. And you better believe I'm going to get pissed when I get pulled over for going 85 miles and hour on my way to work! If I'm having a particularly challenging week, I may find myself in a pissed off state for most of the day. Now I've developed a certain look in my eyes, and if I cut my eyes to you with this certain death stare, you have better have only good news for me. ha ha.
Well part of being an adult is that we do not let our selves become angry because we simply did not get our way. After all, we tell our kids this all the time. Its just implied that they do what we say, not what we do! Unfortunately we never got direct instructions on how to actually live this way ourselves. Let me just address the serious negatives to this situation starting from the end state. I have become shielded in a mood of discomfort. I dwell on each situation that is causing me distress. In fact, I go through them all one by one and as if that wasn't fun enough, I do it again. Maybe if I think about this long enough I will find some loop hold that will set me free from this hideous cycle of self condemnation.
Living in this bubble of self inflicted discomfort, now I'm oblivious to other things in my life. I haven't even noticed that my son cleaned up his room. I haven't noticed that the roses in the back yard have begun blooming. My mood is tense, my heart rate is high. My awareness is now limited to only the negatives I'm dwelling on. People can easily sense that I'm in no mood for conversation and my sense of humor is fast asleep on me now. After numerous cycles or repeating the same thoughts through my head, now I'm creating a whole new cycle of interesting thoughts. I'm thinking about my retirement now and I wonder if I will have enough to retire with. Then I think, "holy cow, who's worried about retirement when I have kids who need to go to college". Then a stray thought pops into my head, "I wonder if my boss will consider me for a promotion this year? I doubt it, with my luck I'll probably get fired".
Its just simply a universal law that "like attracts like". This principle is not limited to only physical matter, but is also quite valid with a persons own thoughts and experiences. In the example above we have all taken a turn on that ride. You don't need to be a philosopher, a priest or a rocket scientist to see how this principle works. Taking this a step farther we all know someone who is the doom and gloom type of person, and this person will truly have what seems to be one unlucky experience after another. And my personal favorite (not really) is the complainer. This person never ever has anything go right for them; for them life is one long day of one disaster after another. And if you will notice, a few minutes with this person will become infectious. You will suddenly find your own self participating in this disrespect for life trying to top his next complaint with your own. After you manage to pull yourself away from this spiritual vampire, you will find yourself feeling drained, and certainly not happy.
So why do we choose to jump into this bubble of discomfort? It can be such a habitual reaction that we may find ourselves in it before we knew what hit us. It was certainly not something that was forced on us. We voluntarily jumped into it with a sense of familiarity that almost felt like home. It happened so quickly that we didn't even notice it was actually a choice that we made.
At any moment we find ourselves in, in-life, there are an infinite number of things we can think about. Certainly there is a world full of negative things all over the planet that we can choose to think about if we decide too. On the other hand, at any one moment there is a whole world of positive things that exist in that moment that we can think about. Why is that statement so important?
Simply because that is all you have. What you think about is responsible for your experience of each moment and for your whole life experience; your relationships, your memories, your contemplation of the future, all of this is done inside your own head and heart. The KEY is of course CHOICE! In a sense, just for arguments sake, nothing exists outside of a person. Sure our eyes and ears say something is over there. But our experience of that is always and forever, inside us.
This becomes important for you to understand because you have to teach your kids that no experience on the "outside" of them can cause them any harm unless they choose for it to do so. Naturally I'm not speaking of physical dangers, but experiences.
Suppose your Teen starts a new school, in a new state. His first day maybe he finds out that the other kids don't dress like he does. Maybe they don't even talk about the same things as he is used too. Your kid fits in fine where he comes from, but is clearly an outsider at this new school. Some of the older kids tease him, he doesn't feel like he can make friends with these strange kids. Naturally he does what all kids do and becomes upset and he jumps into his bubble of discomfort.
Looking at the big picture how is it possible that this situation causes him harm or discomfort? This situation is completely on the outside of him. In a sense its not much different than watching a new TV show. He is experiencing something new as an observer. His attention is focused on what his new surroundings are, the new people, the new conversations, and even the teasing. Unfortunately he doesn't yet understand that outward experiences have no power to change his mood UNLESS he allows it to do so. Once again in that moment the world is full of experience, and memories. There are great ones, and negative ones. The ones that a person gets in tune with are the ones that they CHOOSE!
Don't you think that our kids need to know that they are not victims to whatever crosses their minds? That they are not victims to things they observe. The most powerful magic that they possess is the ability control what and how they think! What they choose to think about is what they choose to feel. A person should go through life feeling GOOD! A kid should be well informed and taught how to use the most powerful computer on earth, their brains! Once again, I'm not talking about algebra or compound sentences, I'm talking about the foundation of the mind.
In the earlier example of opening the bill, a parent who going to set an example of power and confidence may do something like this. Open the bill, look at it, and set it down. And that's about it!
That's because in his mind, he knows that sacrificing even a minute on being upset and angry is just ridiculous. In the big picture he knows that the whole world is set up on a system of giving and receiving energy. The symbol for this is of course money. He understands that the electricity is something that he wants, something that he needs, and something that really if he had too, would pay twice as much for it as he does. He knows the electric company has a lot of employees and a lot of expenses themselves. When he makes his payment, he is contributing to the whole community for a service that he requests to have. More than that, a 2 percent increase is basically nothing in the big picture of life.
More than that, he keeps the positive attitude that he CHOSE to experience. No outward force of discomfort invaded his mind and emotions. He did not sacrifice one moment of what he wanted for the chance to pitch a temper tantrum. He sees things in the big picture. He chooses to see the best in people and circumstances. He understands that the quality of his journey through life has nothing to so with opening envelopes or checks for that matter. It is simply, a state of mind.
There is a magical aspect to this that actually goes much farther than just avoiding the temper tantrum. Wise men and women throughout history have tried to tell us in as many ways as they could about these principles.
The magical aspect is that "like attracts like". A positive attitude not only saves the moment, but goes out to save future moments too. That is called the law of attraction. When a person decides to choose positive experiences the universe will began to provide more and more of them for you to experience. These situations are sometimes called luck. Sometimes they are called blessings from God.
I have purposely avoided addressing religious theologies, as there are so many of them and so many different views. And whatever your theology is, just relate these principles to that of your creator. These principles do exist; they were made into the fabric of the whole system just as the planets and forces of nature.
Some famous quotes that reflect these principles;
"Cast your bread upon the waters and in many days it returns"
"Spirit is the Life, Mind is the builder, the physical is the result"
"Live by the sword, die by the sword"
"Change the way you look at things, and the things you look at will change"
These are just a few of countless quotes that are simple ways of explaining how our thoughts DO influence experiences they we actually create.What a person believes and expects about the world are key to how this person's life unfolds. Have you noticed that the world is EXACTLY how you believe it is? Think about that. That is a very powerful statement! It is both true for you, and your kids.
In short, always stretch for a better feeling thought than where you are. Teach your kids to do the same. The road to happiness is in choosing how to feel, not reacting to how to feel.
If you want to drive to another state, you may use a road map for directions. When you drive through life, your directions to happiness are your emotions. When you feel bad, you are going the wrong way. Find a better feeling thought, find relief, then you will be headed back in the right direction. The best thing you can do to Parent your kids is to teach them how to use this magical roadmap of life!
Tony Hanes, Author Baboo Says - a Life Manual for Kids