Staying focused on goals and commitments

by Mary Ann on October 21, 2010

magician with a rabbit

You cannot cross over into the world of magic until you put everything else aside and behind you-including your own desires and needs-and focus on bringing an experience to the audience. This is magic. Tribes: We Need You To Lead Us by Seth Godin p. 121

I loved this quote when I read it in a book on leadership. Although the author is talking about leading groups of people, I think it has perfect application to families and the use of the Closet.

The Shumway's

You cannot create a magical learning space where your children will love to learn until you put everything else aside and behind you-including your own desires and needs-and focus on bringing an experience to your children.

I am NOT saying that we can just clear out our lives and only think about our kid’s education. What I am saying is that setting aside a committed structured time for learning can really create magic for your children.

lady writingI had a friend named Paula. She really wanted to be a writer. She had skill and she had done her homework. She knew what publishers were looking for.

Paula had seven children. She was a busy mom with many leadership roles in the community and her church. She tried to find time to write but it was hard. Over the years she submitted a number of manuscripts but only had a few published.

One day she made a commitment to herself. She decided that she was going to write for a certain amount of time every day of the week. It wasn’t easy. People would call and ask her to attend this meeting or that or help in some other way. She would respond, “I am working at that time.” She would then hear, “Gee I didn’t know you were working. When did you get a job?” “Well I actually write at home.” Then she would hear the inevitable, “Oh I know you write at home but couldn’t you just take a bit of time and do this, you can write later. It’s just this one time.”

Paula had to say no over an over again. Sometimes she had to say no to her children or her husband.

When her focus changed, when she saw herself as a writer, when she made a commitment and structured time to write, magicthe Friend magazine happened. Paula has had many articles published over the last 20 years in a number of magazines including the Friend. What changed was her focus. I love this principle, “what we focus on we get more of!”

That’s why the first rule of the Five Rules of Engagement is so powerful. It reminds us that when we have something of great import that we want to accomplish we are going to have to structure time for it, be consistent, and focus.

When you make a commitment and structure time to inspire your children, when you make time to listen for sparks and then open doors to learning, when you see yourself enjoying learning with your children, when you leave your own needs, desires and distractions behind for a period of time, then you will be able to bring an experience to your family that will be magic!

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Kimberly October 21, 2010 at 6:30 pm

Fabulous posts Mary Ann! This reminds me of me for the last five years working on Arithmetic Village. I had to tell myself I was a writer, before there was physical proof. Thanks for the encouragement and wisdom!


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