On my last visit to Jamaica, I happened to stay at a villa in Ocho Rios that was close to a soccer field. Most evenings on our walk down to the town we would pass these little boys ages 8 through 14 running track. I grew up on the island so it never meant anything to me, but over time it arrested my husband's attention (who by the way is not Jamaican) he was very surprised at the boys' dedication and commitment. I guess it was on his mind so much that one day he said to me, "why are they practicing track everyday by themselves"? My response was so nonchalant "that's just what Jamaican kids do babe". It wasn't until recently that that statement came back to me.
Many people around the world are mesmerized by Usain Bolts ability to win so effortlessly and so consistently. But honestly, Usain Bolt's ability never happened in a vacuum. Embedded in the Jamaican culture is an appetite for track and field. Not only do we love the sport, but we believe that it's our duty to create great athletes. Once a child gets into pre K, they are being groomed towards track and field through yearly sports days that have track competitions. As kids grow older in the Jamaican school system, those with unique track abilities are prepared for bigger competitions. So it's not strange to see young children passing time by running track. It's just what Jamaican children do, it's in our DNA.
Preparing our children for greatness should become part of our mental DNA. Preparing ourselves for greatness should also be apart of our DNA. It should dictate and determine the decisions that we make on a daily basis. Children who excel in life for the most part are groomed by parents who are bent on creating excellent kids. Which means that we cannot nonchalantly sit on our phones and ignore our kids when they ask us to read them a story, or choose not to take them to the library because we feel tired. One day we will wake up and see that not only have we lost time, we have lost our kids. We also cannot casually live our minutes, our hours our days aimlessly assuming that great things are within our reach. Every decision, we make should be carefully thought through. Don't allow your mind to carelessly wonder. Choose friends who stretch us instead of dragging us down.
Creating a winning culture in our homes, with our families, in our physical health, with our spiritual lives takes determination, dedication, but most importantly it's allowing ourselves to be principle centered. Over time, it will become embedded in our DNA.
I'm no guru on parenting, actually I'm not a guru at anything, but I want to encourage us to begin evaluating all aspects of our lives, and the lives of our children and begin creating a winning culture for ourselves and our families
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