Thinking Requires Practice

Allow your children to practice thoughtful thinking. Welcome and praise mistakes now to proactively prepare them for successful futures.

To be a successful adult requires the ability to think and plan strategically. The quality of your thoughtfulness, i.e., the careful concern for the resulting consequences of each decision and action, may be the single most important skill of an effective leader. This skill does not materialize all by itself and you’re not able to learn it from a book or even a college course. This is one of those life skills that must be learned by doing.

How to practice thoughtful thinking?
What does it look like when someone is practicing to become a thoughtful thinker? It looks exactly like making a mistake in judgment. When you’ve made a decision and something goes awry you’ve learned to think a bit farther ahead of the immediate outcome next time. With each subsequent mistake in judgment, you learn to think even farther until one day you’ve mastered the skill of thoughtful strategic thinking.

Practice is required
All big life lessons are learned through practice and it’s best to start practicing as early in life as possible while mistake consequences are low. It’s especially true for thoughtful thinking. The mistakes in judgment for a child can be as simple as putting off math homework until the last minute only to find that you need materials from the library which is now closed. A ten-year old will learn to think a bit farther out next time to ensure he or she will have access to the resources needed. For a teenager, the mistakes in judgment can count much more so it’s best not to wait the lesson. Earlier practice in thoughtful strategic thinking will help immensely when your child is faced with tough decisions, such as deciding whether to ride in a car with a person who has been drinking. This life skill transfers to all the decisions your child will make in life, so by having practiced and mastered thoughtful thinking early, maybe he or she won’t have to actually make the mistake of riding in that car.

Praise for Mistakes
Allow your children to practice thoughtful thinking. Welcome and praise their mistakes now as a way to proactively prepare them for successful futures. Don’t wait until the price for learning is too high.

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Offer of Influence

Your messages that influence aren’t heard with ears; they are heard with eyes and ears.

To influence your kids is to make an offer and to have that offer accepted.  There is a choice on both sides of the equation.

What you offer: 

A front row seat to watch your life as the example of your messages.  

How they accept: 

Sharing their life and dreams with an invitation for feedback. 

Your choice:

To allow your kids to actually see into your life—you know, behind the curtain of perfection and under the veil of certainty.

Your kids’ choice: 

To trust that you will actually see them in all their perfect imperfections before you voice your feedback.

 Your messages that influence aren’t heard with ears;

they are heard with eyes and ears.   

Have you chosen to offer your influence?

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Texting and Driving Needs a Market-Driven Solution

Texting while driving, perhaps ATT is right, market-driven solutions are needed to stop the madness.

Article first published as Texting While Driving Needs Market-Driven Solution on Technorati.

Hurray!  AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson is asking investors to refrain from texting behind the wheel.  His latest request was in New York on Wednesday where he spoke to hundreds of major investors. 

Hurray! Stephenson and other telecommunications companies have stopped trying to derail legislation curbing distracted driving. 

Hurray!  Stephenson says more laws aren’t the answer.

Human Nature

Stephenson seems to acknowledge the human nature of the people using smartphones and driving cars.  Creating laws to curb human nature will be difficult to enforce and probably won’t make much of a difference.  Stephenson thinks that market-driven solutions will be more effective to change individual behavior. I agree.

People buy smartphones because they feel a strong need to be connected.  Whether you or I agree that being connected 24/7 is actually necessary is irrelevant; the person texting and driving gets to make that call.  So, if a person feels the need to be connected and drive a car at the same time, let’s make sure that technology supports him or her safely.  It’s good business for everyone.

  •    People don’t die needlessly
  • People don’t go to jail needlessly
    • “A Massachusetts teenager was sentenced Wednesday and sentenced to two years in prison and loss of his license for 15 years for causing a fatal crash by texting while driving.” NBC News
  •  People satisfy needs  
    • “What’s the trigger? Sometimes it can be a free-floating sense of anxiety that you need to know what’s going on.” Kelly McGonigal, health psychologist, Stanford University
  • People buy more smartphones
    • “Smartphone industry is a lot more vulnerable to economic shocks these days than during the 2008-2009 financial crises.” Apple Sounds Warning
  • People buy more data plans
    • T-Mobile USA says it will launch a new unlimited data plan next month, a move aimed to stem a tide of fleeing customers.”  USA Today
  • People are free to be human without guilt or tragedy
    • “Guilt is the greatest destroyer of emotional energy. It leaves you feeling immobilized in the present by something that has already occurred.” Guilt, The Crippling Emotion

More than one solution

As reported today by the NY Times, even though all but 11 states ban texting while driving, “there is some indication that the behavior is increasing.”  Perhaps more laws and stiffer penalties are part of the solution; I just don’t believe they are the solution.

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