Career Magazine

12 Habits of Highly Effective People: What I Have Learned from My Children – II

By Olgadegtyareva @olga_degtyareva

Last week I started sharing with you productivity techniques I have distilled from years of being with my children and observing how they go about their day. Those techniques have been making real difference to my effectiveness at work as well as life in general.

The habits I listed as the first six are 1) being present in the moment, 2) imperfection rocks, 3) being patient and persistent,  4) practicing complete focus, 5) letting go of fear and 6) accepting what is. Today I present another six.

To some of you these might seem a bit controversial, some of them might appear opposite to what you’ve been told! Nevertheless they have been working wonderfully for generations of young children, so why not try and apply some of them in our busy adult lives. Especially if everything else has failed…

7)   Love and accept yourself. Have you seen a baby that is unsatisfied with herself?

12 Habits of Highly Effective People: what I have learned from my children – II
Young children are so happy with who they are, they are full of love, delighted and thrilled about themselves.

The negative thoughts about ourselves, the criticism and beating ourselves up get in the way to being our best, attracting the greatest outcomes and achieving our goals.

A good start is to look into the mirror and say: “I love you” (watch this for inspiration). It might bring stuff up so use it to learn about you and what is in the way of loving yourself. This is the first step to truly loving others and serving them in the best and biggest way possible.

8)   Forgive and forget. Young children are so resilient and amazing at forgiving. When you (accidentally) get angry and yell at them, do you notice how quickly they forget it and in a few moments talk to you as if nothing ever happened. It makes them vulnerable but at the same time so effective at communicating.

Imagine talking to a person be that your colleague or your relative as if nothing bad ever happened between you two. Communicating with openness and kindness you show respect to the person you are talking to as well as to yourself. Drop your story of what has happened between you and the person you are talking to, let them BE (and don’t take things personally

). Feel how much more effective your communication becomes.

9)   Know your preferences. I am amazed how my children always know exactly what they want and have strong opinions about everything. I believe this is because young children are in touch with their desires and with themselves.

We are so scattered and splattered during our busy working day, so disconnected with ourselves that often we make decisions in a reactive state choosing something we don’t really want or like. Getting in touch with yourself and with your desires and priorities will make it easy for you to say Yes to things you like and No to the things you don’t want in your life.

10)   Start each day like it’s your birthday… or Christmas, or Easter. When we boil eggs for breakfast boys often colour them before eating them. Just because! When we bake a cake the boys usually insist on blowing candles and singing songs – why not? Every day is so precious and I am thrilled to see the boys choose to celebrate each one of them.

Start you day by doing something for yourself, be that reading a book, listening to an audio book or having the best breakfast you can possibly have. During the day do something you LOVE, that makes your heart sing. Do what you love more often and do less of what you don’t like. It makes for a happier working environment as well as for a balanced life! Also, this way being productive becomes more effortless.

11)   If you can dream it, you can do it. It was an early morning and the boys demanded to build a lighthouse. Oh, no I said, it’s too difficult (forgive me, it WAS an early morning). The boys insisted, they wanted a lighthouse, they dreamed it. They listed every little detail the lighthouse will have. It took some time and efforts, but we got a pipe, a flashlight, a rope, and some bed sheets and with some twiddling it all made a lovely lighthouse. The boys were overjoyed.

Start by re-visiting your dream and spending your leisure moments on thinking about tiny details that will constitute your creation. Be open to opportunities, and take them once they arise. You CAN do it


12)      Reach out for support. “Mommy, help!” “Daddy, help!” I hear it all the time. The boys are totally fine asking for help, they are not ashamed of this, neither afraid to look like wimps. They KNOW who to ask if they need help.

Adults are often ashamed to reach out for support in very important instances or simply don’t know where to seek help. I am so appreciative I have a mentor, Elaine Bailey, who is there to support me in my ups and downs, share her wisdom and experience and encourage me on my path. I am also grateful that many of my readers trusted me enough to go through my mentoring programs and some continued with receiving personal coaching from me.

It’s OK to reach our for support, it’s not embarrassing, it means you honour yourself and are ready for growth! You can always start today HERE.

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