How to Fix Lack of Action

Do you have a son who does not take as much action as you would like? Here are one of three possible things that you can try as a parent to get him to start moving on his talent:

Option 1: Tie a minimum expectation of daily action he has to accomplish first every day for his talent before he can access his favorite privileges

Option 2: Change the focus of the talent to something more granular and accessible to his current skills so that he experiences easy wins in the beginning

Option 3: Do more hand-holding or be more of a physical presence so that he senses more of your immediate approval and encouragement

Of the above, I have had to exercise one or the other of those options to help keep them focused and motivated. Depending on age or personality, some need more negative encouragement (no computer time until…) and others need more supportive encouragement (I will sit next to you with my laptop and catch up on my emails, while you get started on…). I am not afraid in the beginning of the whole process to remove privileges if they are not at least trying to act on their talent on a consistent basis.

For example, if the expectation is that there is at least one blog post by every Tuesday on the documentation of their talent progress, then he can say goodbye to Minecraft or any other fun activities until that blog post is done. This is assuming of course that the underlying reason for delaying his blog post is that he is enjoying too many of the good things in life without first putting in the effort to be productive. Basically, it’s a variation of not letting your child eat his dessert until has eaten his vegetables first.

I was listening to an interview recently of very wealthy and successful businessman who was reminiscing that part of the secret of his success was due to the upbringing his parents gave him. He said he grew up in a very well-to-do family and enjoyed the comforts of such an environment…but that his father was very strict about not allowing him to enjoy those daily privileges without also demanding that he be daily productive in learning and practicing the tools of his father’s trade (in this case as a sales person). His father enforced that rule consistently in such a way that he grew very comfortable at a young age associating hard work as a condition to enjoying the fruits of it.

You can be the father or mother that gets the credit later in your child’s adult life for having laid the foundation of their good habits.