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By Jill Hope

Last week we talked about the first key to helping your kids achieve what they want in their lives: having a clear vision of their desire and knowing why they want it. This week we are going to look at the second key to help your kids achieve what they want in their lives:

Help your child strive for what they want, not just what they (or you) think they can get.

There are three primary reasons a desire comes up: a) You notice something that seems to be missing or lacking in your life b) There is something you want to change or improve in your life c) Or, there is something that you are excited or passionate about and you want to bring it into your life.

However, when we turn this desire into a goal, we often bring it down into something that seems doable. For example, my son wants to be a major league baseball player. Not even just a major league player, but specifically a pitcher.

Now, I know that there are so many more people who have this desire than there are available spots in the major league. Plus, the level of skill you need to achieve a goal such as this takes an extreme amount of focus and dedication.

Given the challenges in even reaching a goal such as this, I could easily steer my son toward something that seems easier to achieve. My main motivation for doing so would be to prevent a big disappointment in his life. The thing is, when we do this with our children and their goals, we do them a great disservice. The truth of the matter is this (as the old saying goes):

“If you can conceive it and believe it, you can achieve it.”

The desire we have in our hearts doesn’t come from out of the blue. It comes from a higher intelligence. It is a gentle nudging from our source to step into something that is greater than us. It is an urging to strive for all that we are meant to be. In fact, one derivation of the word “desire” is “of the father”, meaning our desires come from a higher source within us.

One of my mentors taught me that you can’t have a desire without the way also there for that desire to be achieved. When you talk your child down from a big goal, you are basically telling her that she can’t achieve it. But that couldn’t be further from the truth!

Does it mean it will be easy, or that she won’t have challenges in getting from where she is to where she wants to be? Of course not. But, if we truly want our kids to reach for their dreams, we can support their desires and help them find the opportunities they need to achieve their greatest goals.

I am helping my son to achieve his goal of becoming a major league pitcher by having enrolled him in what is considered the best baseball league in the city (two of the Chicago Cubs players have their sons in this league) and getting him into skill development classes during the off season. He is also trying out for the travel leagues.

This means we have to rearrange our schedules to better fit our son’s activities, and save money and reprioritize our spending to meet the financial needs related to development classes and travel team costs.

Only time will tell if my son will continue to have this desire. And if his desire changes, as desires do (because if it is not a strong desire, he will not have the motivation to carry on toward the goal), we will shift our focus with his. But in the meantime, I am doing whatever I can to support his dreams.

So, this week, think about what your child’s true desire is, and ask yourself if you are truly supporting their desire, or trying to talk them down into something you feel is more realistic. And remember, there isn’t a goal out there that our kids could have a desire for that hasn’t been achieved by someone else. If someone else can do it, your child can too, if they truly have the desire, know what it means to them and why they want it, and are supported in the achievement of their goal.