November 27

Training

November 27, 2015

Parenting, Personal Growth

Alesha has been having difficulties loving and teaching her son, Michael. He resists her about his homework, household chores, outbursts of anger, vulgar language, being late to everything, and more. He wrote me to find an ally, but I wrote:

“Michael, I love you. I’m certainly not trying to make your life hard. Neither is your mother. It’s a simple fact that you’re about to be an adult, much sooner than you might think. And when that time arrives, you WILL reach for essential abilities and skills that will utterly determine whether you’ll be happy or not.

“If you haven’t done the training necessary to develop those skills, you won’t have them, and you’ll really hate what happens next. More than you can imagine. Doors will be closed to you, relationships will be rocky, and you won’t be happy.

“Imagine that you’re training for the Olympics—whatever the event. If you want to compete at that level, the training schedule is difficult beyond words. and your devotion to training has to be total. Sure, you can skip training sessions all you want, and nobody will stop you from doing that, but with each skipped session, you become less capable of competing in the event you have chosen.

Right now—every day—you are training for the Olympics of living. At stake is whether you’ll be happy in your life, and your mother is trying to help you train for success. You can argue, swear, object, resist, and withdraw, but the future consequences of your resistance will be yours, and you can’t even begin to imagine how severe the price will be for ignoring seemingly small training opportunities now.”

Genuine happiness requires rigorous training in learning to feel loved, to love others, and to be responsible. Acquisition of those skills requires consistent dedication.

Happiness is not an accident, and when we reach for the skills we need to achieve it, we quickly discover that either we’ve sufficiently prepared to possess them, or we have not. If we haven’t, the subsequent disappointment and unhappiness are often far greater than we could have imagined.

The time to prepare is now.

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