I sat with my son recently as we worked through some math homework. He’d been told that once he’d done that be could go and play with the children next door. With little resistance he sat down, clearly motivated by the ‘carrot’ of playtime at the neighbours. Success
Having explained what he needed to do, I watched as he promptly went about putting ticks against each answer box. I stalled myself from intervening because in that action I noticed something quite wonderful. Success
Before starting on the question, he set the intention that he’d got them all correct.
Rather than admonish him for not working through each question, I sat and watched
something else happen. I watched as he set his intention for the exercise. Before starting on the question, he set the intention that he’d got them all correct. He saw it as done already. However intentional or unintentional it was, I like to think it was more the former than the later.
Nevertheless it reminded me of how important it is to set the best mental tone we can, and by seeing success in advance of it happening is a great way to do that. And then work towards achieving it. As Jim Carrey said, you can’t set the intention and “just go eat a sandwich”. Your effort has to match your intent.
What, for instance, would your day trip out be like if you spent a little time imagining how successful it went? Just filling those events with how you wanted to feel and how you’d hope everyone else felt. And see the day as already done. What day might you have then?
Set your intention for the day. See it as already done. Breathe and hold those feelings. Begin the day with no expectations but just curiosity to see how the day unfolds.
These are collection of ad hoc thoughts, moments and reflections that randomly occur in my parenting life. A place to release, share and perhaps laugh at those unique parenting moments that are worth sharing and on occassion enlighten.
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Ben Jackson is a registered counsellor, coach, and lecturer with nearly 10 years of professional experience. He helps clients with stress and anxiety, anger management, self esteem, confidence, and depression.