"I'm Thinking of an Animal"

This is one of our favorite road trip games. One of us starts by saying "I'm thinking of an animal that starts with the letter (whatever) and lives in the (someplace)." Then the rest of us have to try to guess what the animal is. We have a board game at home called Alpha Animals that the boys love to play and really tests our own knowledge. I'll tell you, when your 6 year old starts whipping out "marmoset", "mongolian wild ass", and "albatross" on you, you truly know that you were a victim of the American public education system. I can almost guarantee that no other 6 year old knows what the hell a marmoset is. For those of us too embarrassed to admit not knowing it either, here's a pic. Cute little buggers, huh?
Have fun, all the time, and never settle for less. See the world through the eyes of your children. Learn more about something that your kids are interested in (animals, in this case - I suck at this game!)
At the LiG conference SSUDs meeting, we spent some time talking about how to "get" our kids to learn about certain things that they "need to know" or that are "important to us." I was glad that we discussed it, because a number of us in the room were of the opinion that "getting" kids to know things implies that our view is superior to their passions and interests. I'm no unschooling expert, but isn't that the antithesis of unschooling? Instead, why not open your own mind to the passions your children are pursuing, and enjoy the act of learning about them yourself? You don't have to be a teacher to be a parent, but you do have to be a student.
To a degree, happiness in work life is a matter of perspective. Do you see the world through the eyes of others, or do you come to every meeting with your own agenda, your own message to deliver, your own result in mind? Do you listen, or simply wait to talk? Are you open to outcome, or attached to outcome? More importantly, do you see events and contrasts at work as an opportunity to learn and grow? I have the chance to coach a number of new executives each year, and I tell them all the same thing: to be successfull, ask five questions for every statement you make. I think Stephen Covey says it best: "Seek first to understand, then to be understood." And whatever you do, learn what is important to others so they will feel comfortable allowing you to be a part of their glorious lives.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Jeff,

    I stopped by after seeing your post on the Yahoo!Group SSUDs.

    Happy blogging!