When it was time for our daughter Natalie to start kindergarten, she was so excited. During the first week of school, she jumped right up and got ready before any of her older siblings. She spent those mornings asking over and over again when we could leave for school. As the second week of school rolled around, the excitement was still there but she was no longer the first one out of bed. I could tell that she would rather have stayed at home with her little sister to play. By the third week, she wasn't excited at all and didn't want to get up for school. One morning as the coaxing to get up became harder, she didn't even open her eyes, but said very slowly, "Don't want to go to school." I said, "Natalie, you need to get up and get ready for school." She said even slower and with more emphasis, "I’m not going to school!" I didn't want to try and force my daughter to do something she didn’t want to but on the other had I wanted her to be successful in life. Edward B. Butler said, “One man has enthusiasm for 30 minutes, another has it for 30 days, but it’s the man who has it for 30 years who makes a success of his life.” I didn't want to have a kindergarten drop out and knew that one day Natalie would thank me if I encouraged her to get an education.
I decided to use some logic on my five year old daughter. I told her that our government had made a state law requiring young children to attend school. This reasoning had no effect on her whatsoever. She didn’t seem to care much about attendance requirements. I then told her that I had gone to school when I was her age and so had her mom. I also told her that her two older brothers and her older sister were going to school and we expected her to do the same. She was not impressed and rolled over with her face toward the wall. Next, I told her that she needed to go because it was a family rule to attend school. This helped somewhat, but she still wasn't convinced that she ever wanted to go back. After several other comments, I finally told her if she would get up and go to school, I would take her to Dairy Queen for a big ice cream cone that night. I was finally talking her language. She jumped out of bed and quickly got ready for school.
Life is a roller coaster. At times we jump out of bed excited about the day and other times when we want to pull the covers over our heads and go back to sleep. Life is not always easy but we can’t quit everything just because it is hard today. Unfortunately, most of us don’t have parents who will take us to Dairy Queen if we will get out of bed every morning. We have to be self-motivated. Many of the most successful people in our day are those who consistently get up and get on it despite the difficulty of being persistent and not quitting. One of the most successful business leaders of our time is Estee Lauder who had this to say about her success: "When I thought I couldn't go on, I forced myself to keep going. My success is based on persistence, not luck."
- Life is a roller coaster at times and many get discouraged and want to give up and quit trying.
- Successful people are often those who force themselves to keep going when times get tough.
- We must be self-motivated since we cannot always depend on others to offer us a jump start.
Come up with a reward program for yourself when you consistently pursue worthy goals even though times get hard and you are tempted to quit.