Aim For The Stars, But Sometimes, It Is Ok To Land On The Moon

Aim For The Stars, But Sometimes, It Is Ok To Land On The Moon

Aim for the stars, but sometimes, it is ok to land on the moon.

2 weeks into 2018, and I am sure many of us have our personal new year resolutions and professional KPIs all setup or are finalizing the details. So, this is the perfect time to share about aiming for the stars, i.e. being the best … top scores, best results, full marks, rank #1, etc …

My elder child is very into stars and makes it a point to count all the stars on the worksheets that we do together. In fact, she adds up all the stars across worksheets and will proudly proclaim to every family member that she had 5 stars or 10 stars. She also questions why sometimes it is 5 stars and at other times it is 3 stars. (5 vs 3 is based on the scale of correct answers, but that’s irrelevant for this particular message)

When she gets 5 stars, her face beams with pride, but when she gets anything lesser, i.e. 2 or 3, her becomes very stern and looks concern at the “grading” I had bestowed on her.

While it is definitely important to inculcate the value of going all out and doing your best (i.e. aiming for the stars), I believe that it is equally (if not more) important that we teach our children how to manage imperfection and, even, failure. Getting something wrong, or failing at something is not the end, in fact, it is a beginning. This is where we begin to learn, our brain muscles start to flex and think of alternative solutions, our heart muscles stiffen but also learn to develop elasticity to be resilient to emotional stress.

Same thing applies in the workplace, when working with direct reports. Give them the freedom to explore and space for them how to reach for the stars. Also let them know that it is ok to miss the stars sometimes (in fact, everyone misses sometimes) and land on the moon.

Of course, saying is easier that doing, but let me share some quotes which I picked up from Big Life Journal, all about developing a growth mindset in children, which is applicable not only to children, but to your team members.

Instead of “I failed”, we say “Mistakes are part of learning.”

Instead of “This is too hard”, we say “Learning takes time.”

Instead of “I give up”, we say “Let me try a different way.”

Instead of “I am not good at this”, we say “I am not good at this YET!”

Let’s make 2018 a wonderful year of reaching the stars, and also for moon landings!

#ParentingIsTheNewMBA #SucceedAtWork #CareerTips #ParentingSkills #Leadership

“Parenting is the new MBA: Succeed at work by applying parenting skills” is a column that combines 2 distinct areas of my life: my professional view on workplace management & my personal experience as a parent.