#goals #takeaction #thoughtsarethings #inspiring #kidsareamazing

The first couple of weeks of school are always brimming with activities, excitement and new discoveries. Last week, she comes home all excited and shows no signs of napping post lunch. Oblivious to her activity, I am possessed by my daily mundane chores. I fail to notice a shop being set up in my study. The piano serves as a perfect shelf structure desired by the owner. In an hour, she pulls me by my hand, thrilled to show her newly started venture.

“This is my shop Mummy. And this is not a game. We are not playing. If you like something, you can buy it. You will have to pay me real money.”

Before I can react, she beckons me to look around, and sure the shop has useful articles. There are folders and keychains and lanterns and some handmade paintings and a couple of household articles. It’s slightly overpriced though. But let’s factor in the cost of taking public transport and some walking in the hot Singapore sun – and bam, the prices suddenly make sense. It’s even better than online shopping. I smile a little trying to gauge what the little musketeer is up to but play along anyway. I finally select two items while the shopkeeper is hell bent over up-selling. After a bit, she realises a bird in hand is worth two in the bush and happily hands me over the receipt.

I am still trying to figure what has gotten into her this afternoon. I let her know I am out of cash and will pay her in the evening. She quickly confiscates all my purchases and informs me I need to pay first. I am sure she still hasn’t come across signboards blaring, “In God we trust, everyone else pays cash!” But she is there.

She knows who she can trust with money. And so, the next customer is offered bait – her sister. She is happy the sister uses some pocket money to make real purchases. The drama continues all afternoon and by evening I see her skating around the house. It’s her newly acquired skill from Christmas vacations. Make a wild guess who her instructor is? Need I say, the younger child receives most parenting from the older sibling saving parents from getting insane?

Now, it’s almost dinnertime. It’s that time of the day when my 7-year-old is usually reminded of homework. And that’s when I see this worksheet make it’s way to the study table. So, this is what all the hush hush was about. The sheet reads, ‘Goal Setting’. Okay, I am blown away that 7-year-olds are setting goals. At an age when the only things I knew about the word ‘goal’ were the football goal and the same word in Hindi meaning, ‘round’. But setting goals was introduced much later in life. Should I be ashamed to mention, around age 15?

Back to her worksheet. It carried 2 questions.
1. What are your goals for this year?
2. How do you plan to achieve them?

Her first answer
Goals for the year –
1. Save more money
2. Learn to skate

Her second answer
1. I will start my own shop and earn money. I will waste (then she cancels the word ‘waste’ and replaces it with ‘spend’) some and save more.
2. I will practice skating to get perfect.

All of us are all smiles at this little rabbit. Dinnertime is spent discussing the possibility of running her shop outside the house so it isn’t just her family pitching in to support her goals. This is the era of crowdfunding after all. Did my munchkin need stories to be told before bed that night? Not at all. After all the work she put in, she may have been dreaming of riches with money flying around her while she zipped past in her inlines.

It reminds me of a similar venture my older one undertook at pretty much the same age. Only hers was a specialised business – making and selling paintings. She made plenty of them, put up a signboards on the main door as well as the balcony grill to garner attention. In addition, she would carry a bagful of her articles to the playground and catch hold of parents who would happily support her cause with a dollar. I must confess, the playground has seen fewer parents step out for obvious fears of getting mugged. And I wonder why money making never came to me naturally. But it is never too late to learn something new.

P.S. Is it mere coincidence that I start reading, ‘Thoughts Are Things’ and my daughter perfectly manifests the title? Her actions give me the gist of the book. When you have a thought or goal, take immediate action. There are chances you may fail. But there are chances you may succeed too. Could any mentor do a better job?