Experts believe that one of the cornerstones of achieving excellence in life is by being happy and having a positive outlook toward life. Research states that a school-going child's happiness depends on the quality of social support available to him, the time he gets to spend with his family and peers, and what he perceives his worth to be. So, it is important that parents and teachers teach the child how to be happy and content with his life. Embracing a simple SMILE, that is, self-regulation, motivation, innovation, lifelong learning and an empathetic attitude, on a daily basis can ensure that your child achieves excellence in school and later, in life.
5 key factors to achieving excellence in life
- Self-regulation: Recognising, controlling and managing one’s emotions and behaviours is crucial to attaining success in life. As a parent, you must teach your child not to dwell on her negative emotions. In an experiment, a prominent psychologist Daniel Goleman found that those individuals who knew how to regulate their emotions from a young age were more likely to succeed and be content than those who lacked self-regulation skills. Following a balanced approach to parenting and teaching children the importance of waiting for their turn can help them learn how to regulate their emotions.
- Motivation: The power of motivation is what keeps us going, even in times of adversity and failure. Therefore, it is an important skill to teach your child to achieve excellence in life. To help children learn the skill of self-motivation, it is important that parents and teachers teach that success and failure are two faces of the same coin. Celebrating the achievements of a child and teaching him to learn from his mistakes, rather than brooding over them, is one way to inculcate in him self-motivation skills.
- Creative thinking: Innovative and creative thinking helps individuals resolve problems more efficiently. At times, life throws us challenges that may require innovative thinking. To help enhance this skill, parents and teachers should encourage children to be curious and ask questions. Encourage your child to boost her creative thinking and problem-solving skills by giving her puzzles, brain teasers and riddles to solve.
- Lifelong learning: Learning is a journey that one embarks on early on and continues till death. Some individuals restrict their growth by limiting their learning process. However, those who persist and look for learning opportunities in every phase of their life are more likely to attain excellence. To help children become lifelong learners, parents need to model the same behaviour. Parents who are open to learning from experiences and people from all age groups encourage their children to become lifelong learners too.
- Empathy: The last, but the most important ingredient to achieving life excellence is to have an empathetic attitude. Empathy is the basis for building strong relationships and is essential to have an effective support and communication system. Encourage your child to volunteer for social causes and charities to help him become more empathetic toward people from all walks of life. Also, encourage him to share his blessings with those less fortunate than him.
Teach these important life skills to your child and help her attain excellence in school and in life.
Prof. (Dr) Sanjeev P Sahni is the Principal Director, Jindal Institute of Behavioural Sciences (JIBS) and Dr Mohita Junnarkar is the Assistant Director, Jindal Institute of Behavioural Sciences.
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