Read the following statements:
- Oh my son Rahul, seriously, you will not believe, he is so smart…. he gives me advice in my business.
- Really Loy, the minute my daughter speaks, she just mesmerizes everyone
- He only studies few days before the exam and manages to get pass marks. Imagine if he would just give 1 hour — only 1 hour everyday. He would be the rank holder in the school
- I challenge you Loy, take her interview, ask her any question — you will be surprised what answers she will give you. In fact, you yourself may take some tips from her
- You know Loy, I swear in the name of Jesus, I have never met a child as talented and gifted as my son. But please — don’t tell him that. I don’t want him to be over-confident….
Even though I am paraphrasing, these are some of the thoughts parents have shared with me where it concerns their children.
The normal adjectives that these parents use to describe their children is…….‘amazing’, ‘incredible’, ‘talented’, ‘gifted’… blah blah blah….To me is sounds more like “Loy, you are honored to know that my child is God’s greatest gift to mankind since the invention of oxygen’.
As always — I listen to them, look down at my feet, scratch my head and wait for them to finish — I wonder, how many more times do I have to endure this supposedly incredible new global unveiling of the 8th Wonder of the World. Once the parents complete boring me to death with their preposterous manifestation of their personal insecurities — I very politely but firmly ask the parent if I could test their children’s incredible street-smart, mind-boggling, spirit-defining, soul-shattering, world-dominating, universe bending talent with a few simple questions from my side.
Almost 100 out of 100 times, the parent gleams with pride & glee that I am once again going to be yet another ordinary speck of a micro-organism who would bow down to their child’s infallible greatness. And they say “Yes, please go ahead…..”
And then I proceed immediately…..immediately to shatter, break, destroy and expose the nothingness of what the child was trying to hide with verbose sounding words exploding under the tsunami of arrogance, pride & over-confidence. After my session was over, most of the time I would watch the expression of the youngster and then watch the expression of the parents. I can tell you a fact that majority the time it was always the parent who was more shocked, more upset and more deflated than the child. The youngster would obviously be upset and broken. But the condition of the parent was something I would always notice as being really damaged & hurt.
Now what exactly is going on here?
And why exactly am I doing whatever it is I am doing?
The problem that I see with our youngsters today is this confidence, belief in themselves and arrogance that stems from:
- The hype that the parents want to believe and make the child believe about themselves
- The presence of Social Media
- The easy access to selective information on the World Wide Web.
So now you have a youngster who has:
- ZERO experience
- ZERO expertise
- ZERO real world skills
- ZERO hands-on knowledge in handling & managing people
- ZERO leadership track record and
- ZERO practical experience
But who believes he (or she) can change the world.
Because maybe he has read a inspirational book or downloaded a PDF or watched a motivational youtube video or listened to 100 podcasts, and along with the parents brouhaha of praise and worship — the child feel he can make a dent in the universe.
- Reading 10,000 books on “how to handle rattle snakes” doesn’t make you an expert at handling rattle snakes even if you memorize every technique, quote & strategy
- Watching 10,000 hours of MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) fights doesn’t make you the next World Champion in MMA
- Listening to 10,000 podcasts on Spirituality doesn’t make you a saint….
In the same way Reading, Watching & Listening to 100,000 hours on Leadership, Creativity, Success, Inspiration, Motivation or Entrepreneurship DOES NOT MAKE YOU the next big thing in Leadership, Creativity, Success, Inspiration, Motivation or Entrepreneurship.
The problem is today everyone has this “illusion of greatness” that comes because of these titles, trophies, awards & certificates which are awarded by Schools, Colleges, Universities, Companies, Organizations & Groups which give people the false sense of greatness. When the fact is — all this is nonsense.
In my dictionary if you want to be great, or successful, or whatever — you need to prove it in the real world — day after day after day after day. And where youngsters are concerned — greatness is NOT mugging up and vomiting facts, figures & quotations of 1,000 books which you practiced for a year or starting a nice little company while staying in the safety nest of your family — while mummy was happily preparing the meals, daddy was busy paying all the expenses and the kid was busy driving the over-priced family car to show off his success.
Success, Respect, Leadership, Achievement and Greatness in the real world comes only and only when you get out there by yourself in the real, deep, dark, dirty world of politics, crime, dirt, unfair competition, favoritism, sexism, racism & unpredictability and then with courage, guts and balls of steel grind it day after day, night after night and earn your stripes.
And that takes years.
I come from the school of thought where you earn respect when you can look after yourself, take care of your expenses, support your family, your personal & professional dreams and yes save for the future. But when I hear a parent praising a youngster for singing, dancing, memorization skills, being awarded 1st place in a debate contest or painting contest and that too rubbing it on the faces of everyone on the planet — including mine and then on top of that looking at my face waiting for me to utter those words “WOW — REALLY??? THAT IS AMAZING!!!”…… Well they are seriously mistaken.
I come from a very rough, tough and hardcore upbringing where I have witnessed the most horrific things one can witness in a lifetime. Don’t get me wrong — it is not only the bad that I have seen. I have seen good also. But I always believe in preparing for the worst and not just hoping for the best while being super speculative & optimistic about the future.
As I conclude this article, I once again have a look at my whatsapp group which is filled with all these hopeful youngsters and ambitious college students. As I scroll through the tons of forwards, messages and questions, I am once again reminded that I am not wrong in my analysis of today’s generation — They are full of shit — each and everyone of them being filled with the selective number of carefully chosen articles, videos, books, PDF’s, podcasts & messages which they use to reinforce their beliefs in whatever it is they wish to believe. And as they hang around with like minded-idiots, they become stronger in numbers. However, once they step out into the real world, when failure starts knocking on their door, day after day after day after day and they find earning money, becoming rich, becoming successful, becoming an entrepreneur or making a dent in the universe is not as easy as reading a book, watching a youtube channel or sharing a Social Media post — it is then they are exposed to a shocking realization “No buddy YOU are NOT so Special after all as your parents, friends and you made yourself out to be.” And it is then and only then they get exposed to the pain, the grind and suffering that their parents went through, that the ‘old-timers’ and the ‘outdated’ folks go through. And when they go through this reality — that is when the real journey begins. The journey when a youngster becomes a grown ass man.
You want to tell me how talented your son, your daughter or you are….. Don’t show me with theory. Don’t show me with your Mummy & Daddy blaring out compliments about you. Don’t show me with your facebook likes, social media comments or instagram followers.
Show me the real deal — through actions, through survival….through hard, hard, hard, hard, hard, hard work. And then and only then, I will say “Wow…that’s….seriously…amazing.”
So the next time you want to tell me how Special your child is….I will remind you the infallible, incredible and unforgettable words of my man…Jerry Maguire…. Come on sing with me as I say this……
“Show me the Money”….
Personal Branding Strategist
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