Monday, August 17, 2009

Do Your Children Have Goals?

A friend of mine sent me an email describing what she has been up to and I thought it very useful to pass the content on.

She has been delivering a series of workshops to school kids for several years. One of the questions she asks them to to is to write down their goals in life.

Sadly, more than once, she found herself surprised when a child said he has no goal. They come to school because that's what kids do or because their parents will be angry with them if they don't. They go through the day suffering because they are forced to do things without any understanding, and without having any idea as to how it will really contribute to their lives.

After working with thousands of children, adults and businessmen, she observed that when a boy/girl, teenager, or an adult has no goals in life - they get bored easily. From this point on, the person's interest declines and the individual begins to look for games and "interesting" things to occupy themself.

With the lack of goals and without encouragement and guidance in their life about how to set worthwhile goals, the person - feeling emptiness - goes hunting for excitement. And this is the shortest road to violence. It starts with teasing others, using dirty words and cursing and moves on to strikes, alcohol, drugs, stabbing and worse.

Children and youths passively stare at TV and assimilate violence or play violent digital fights on their computer games. These are the values our environment gives them. Finally, an undesired goal is reached, a cemetery, or life without interest, full of boredom, hopelessness and despair.

She saw all this with her own eyes and also saw how it gets cured. There is a solution. You don't have to believe in it, just try it for yourself. Here it is below:

When youths are encouraged to observe and clearly write down their goals, they suddenly start to create a future. This is how it gets started.

Afterwards they, themselves, will explain to you why they need to study English and they will demand to be taught properly. They will explain to you why it is important for you to interpret things for them. If you will let them express themselves while observing that, they will see what is good for them and what won't contribute to longevity and a happy life.

She wanted me to share with you the goals Ortal wrote. She is an eight grader:

"My goals: I want to succeed in school until the 12th grade. I want to join the army - to be in the air force. After the army, I want to travel through South America and Mexico. I want to study photography, painting and sculpture, acting, fashion design, to be a writer with a column in a newspaper, and more things I would like to deal with.

I want to get married at the age of 24 and to have a house and a car of my own. I want to have 3 children. A girl, a boy and a girl with 5 year age differences. I want to succeed in educating my children in the best way possible.

I want to know 10 languages: English, Russian, Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, and Japanese.

I want to travel all over Europe and the USA. I want to continue swimming and succeed in it.

I want to publish at least two books."

So who said kids don't have great goals to work for? Can you imagine this girl, knowing now so clearly what she wants from life, to easily give all that up?

If you, dear reader, doubt this, I recommend you do a little exercise and ask yourself, "what personal goal did I fail to reach?" I'm sure you will find at least one. Maybe you weren't encouraged to reach it too?

As a parent or an educator, your faith in their goals is what brings children to be true leaders for themselves, their environment, their family and country.

Believe in them, and they will grow to be capable people who will carry out their goals. And as a society, we will all benefit from that.

~ From an email from a lecturer of The Way to Happiness: A Common Sense Guide to a Happier, More Successful Life

For a free DVD and copy of The Way to Happiness go to"

The Way to Happiness Foundation International
201 E. Broadway, Glendale, CA 91205
Phone: (800) 255-7906 or (818) 254-0600 Fax: (818) 254-0555
Main Web site:

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As always, comments are welcome!