Don’t worry about the horse, just load the wagon.

I’ve come to realise that it is easy to put yourself off doing something, anything, by focussing on the endpoint.

“I would feel silly teaching my child to sprint because they are not going to win the Olympics.”

Yet, few of us would argue the value of being actively involved in the development of our children. The creative process of connection, possibility, and trial and error with your child. Winning the Olympics is a prize, not the point.

Since few of us have an ultra-specific, inspiring, endpoint, like winning the Olympics 100m sprint, driving us relentlessly towards our purpose. And the risk of creating an endpoint is that you will feel silly. How do you put yourself on the hook for the physical development of your child?

Work to a question instead. Here is an example:

In our family each week we ask the same question.

How much fun was it to be in our family this week?

The scores range from 5 — So much fun to 1 — No fun at all.

We ask the question because we want to create an opportunity to sit, talk and listen to each other. Not that we don’t care about the score. But the score is part of the process, not the point.

We don’t just care about the score, we care about the conversation, connection, and possibility of learning something about each other.

We trust each other to give a true score.

We trust each other not to judge each other’s score

We trust each other enough to know that our intention is true and shared.

We don’t create graphs, action plans or bring in a fun expert.

Although the score, a soft, subjective measure, does not move much from a 3, 4, or 5 each week. What has improved is the quality of our experiences, and our conversations, driven by our purpose, not our measure.

If you don’t have an endpoint. Don’t overthink it, just load the wagon. And ask a question instead.
How do I encourage my children to be active, healthy, and curious contributors to society?




Coach, speaker, blogger on fitness, coaching & personal leadership

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Simon A Harling

Simon A Harling

Coach, speaker, blogger on fitness, coaching & personal leadership

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