Nurturing The Visionary In Your Child
Recently I overheard someone being accused of being “idealistic – all full of vision but not in the real world”. It was something that stuck in my mind – no more so than the person pointing the finger was a headteacher of a secondary school. I went away and thought why he would say this in such derogatory terms and how and an educationalist could educate tomorrow’s children without understanding how important this is. And then it struck me. He had confused “idealism” with “visionary”. He had done so in the very same sentence “idealistic …. vision” and whilst the two can play a vital part in forming our focus for tomorrow and our life-plan or pathway ahead, idealism by itself is fruitless if not accompanied by a visionary outlook.
Let me explain. Dan MacAdam in his post “Are you a visionary or an idealist” explains that idealists are people who have a vision for the future, but their ideas may be based on a faulty perception of reality whereas a visionary is someone who visualizes the end point but also includes the means, or the pathway, to reach that point. It is fine to be idealistic, indeed it is a creative genus that should be celebrated BUT it is vital to be visionary. Maybe the first creates the second – I don’t know. But when we are helping our children develop, it is vital that we encourage them to grow a visionary purpose for their lives taking their ideals and getting them to see how, and indeed if, these ideals are possible.
Paving Positive Pathways
There is no point a child saying they are going to be a concert pianist if they have no intention of practising long hard hours to get there. Or indeed, if they say they want to be the next Jamie Oliver but do not understand that they need to get in the kitchen and cook to get there. They can’t be Andy Murray without the determination to get out on the tennis courts and play as well as build up their fitness. Idealism is one thing but the link between the present day reality and the end point is what turns that ideal into a vision and that is what we need to be helping our children realise in their lives.
Children with a focus, with a vision, have purpose. They are inspired to put in the hard graft to get where they want to be BUT it needs to be their vision; their purpose; their inspiration.
They need to know that they won’t be knocked down for dreaming and dreaming big. When my son was 10 years old, he told me he was going to be Prime Minister of England. Good on him – we said. However, it was his ideal. He had no idea how he was going to to get there and the void or gap between his current situation as a 10 year old schoolboy and number 10 Downing Street was vast. At that stage it didn’t matter – he had a focus and therefore he had purpose; purpose for a future, to work hard at school, to concentrate on learning. Within two years or so his purpose shifted, somewhat more realistically and he decided he was going to be a professional musician and go to a conservatoire for Music to further his craft. The thing is he wasn’t fearful of dreaming. He hadn’t had the stuffing knocked out of him by someone scoffing at his ideas of being Prime Minister, but at the juncture of wanting to become a trombonist, he turned his ideals into a vision as he paved his way forward. He knew he had to practice hard – everyday. He knew he could be helped along the way with music lessons, drawing on others expertise, listening, learning, diligently moving step by step, or grade by grade, to his vision. He knew he needed to change school to go to a school that provided more opportunities for him musically, have lessons with a pro, network and mix with other musicians. This year part of that vision will be realised as he starts his BMus degree at a conservatoire here in the UK.
He had a vision but more importantly he had a structured, lit, pathway ahead of him to get him there. It is no mean feat to secure a place at Music College as is the same for a lot of other ventures that our children want in life. His is just an example but it is what the RESET programme is all about.
“Focus and Determination”
RESET is a visionary model to get you from where you are now to where you want to go. It’s a simple process but requires focus, determination and resilience to stick with it but the end results are inspirational. Above all though it believes that each one of us, and our children too, at whatever stage they are at, however bad things are, even when resources are at rock bottom, can find the resourcefulness to be visionary.
It’s the emotional quantum physics in each one of us and it’s the seed that will grow to make your ideal your reality. RESET believes that every single one of us has the capacity to do this with a healthy mental diet to train our minds to focus on our visions and emotionalise often to achieve them for it has been found that those who do just that attract their chosen futures.
In the words of John Assaraf “Without a clear and precise vision of what exactly it is that you want, you’ll never reach it or have it”.
Today then, resolve, to be inspired to dream. Encourage your children to dream – to dream with heads in the clouds BUT all the while keeping feet on the road so that you can emotionalise, plan and focus on the pathway ahead towards those dreams.