How to support a world-class achiever in your child

As any parent, I want my children to do their best in whatever life they choose for themselves.  But how do we recognise the talent of our children? I think as an inspiration we should look how it works for the real superstars such as world renown athletes/artists/inventors. As Norman Vincent Peale said, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars."

So how one lves the dream and fulfils their potential?

Step 1: Understand what it takes

It is important for a child to understand that it takes an effort to see the progress. As Thomas Edison famously said, genius is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration.

If you have not read it, have a look at Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell. He is trying to estimate how long it takes for a super achiever to perfect the skill. According to the author, it takes over 10,000 hours. So if you want to dedicate 3 hours to practising whatever skill you want to perfect, it should take you about 10 years.   

Step 2: Does your child love doing it?

Learn to separate your ambitions from your child’s passion. As I have never dedicated enough effort to learning piano as a child, I was very keen for my children to learn the instrument.  At the end my son prefers guitar and my daughter likes the violin. For a person to dedicate hours in perfecting a skill, she/he has to love what she/he is doing. Be in-tuned as a parent with what your child likes and dislikes.

Step 3: See if you have what it takes?

Family’s support is crucial in developing any child's passion.  Sacrificing time, money and your own interests may be a part of the deal.  I remember, one thing that stroked me reading Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua, how nurturing the child’s talent is a full-time commitment from a parent. The book is an extreme example of a helicopter parent, but it does demonstrate that a young talent's support requires 100% dedication.

Step 4:  Let you child get inspired by the world class achievers in the field they love.

Let your child study lives of people who achieved outstanding results in the field of his/her interest.  It is a great way to get an inside knowledge of the field and understand what it takes. There are a lot of movies (such as Queen of Katwe for playing chess) or good books (such as Who was …. series, Stories for boys who dare to be different or Goodnight stories rebel girls) to learn stories of real inspirational people.


Step 5: Practice, connect and get out there

Whatever the field of interest, get to know people who achieved what your child wants to achieve. Musician, dancers, inventors, singers, authors. Nothing can boost more the talent as meeting other talent.  London is a great place to be for that.  Encourage children to ask questions and get inspired.

To finish this week’s blog, have a look at this short interview we made with Matter Markus Bok. He is 15 years old rising pop-star in Germany and Italy. Hear directly from a teen how much dedication and hard work it requires to aim at the top.

See complete newsletter for this week here.