Updated: May 29, 2021
Last week we discussed the small things parents could do for their children early in life which could lead to incredible results down the road. Many of you asked for examples of what we meant by this, so we decided to focus this article on a small story we came across recently.
While traveling, we came across a story which really struck a chord with us. It was a simple story, but a powerful one, which shows the effect and transformative power of small habits when stretched over a long enough period of time.
It was the story of Jocko Willink, a retired navy seal officer, podcaster, and author. He went over his morning routine and how he operates as it relates to enforcing discipline and habits in his life to make them very easy.
For instance, after waking up around 4 AM, he goes to workout. But, unlike most of us who mental gymnastics do trying to convince ourselves to go and workout, he’s already one step ahead and makes it almost inevitable that he goes and works out.
The night before, he lays out all his workout clothes on the ground by his bed. His gym bag is right by the door and the coffee machine has already been set up. Once the alarm goes off, he can simply “walk” into the workout and do it. There’s no need to think about the action. He just does it.
This is the power of “priming” your environment for success
For instance, every time I headed to the store I would buy some fruit. I would get home and throw them in the bottom of the refrigerator and then 3 weeks later I would find them and they had spoiled. I would get mad at myself for not eating them and the cycle would repeat 3 weeks later
Now, after this happened a couple times, my wife bought a fruit bowl and put it on the kitchen table. This made it much easier to start the habit of eating fruit because the fruit was easily accessible and the environment “primed” me to pick up this good habit.
Many parents have asked what the easiest thing they could do to set their children up for future success later in life. The best thing any parent could do is “prime” their children for success by putting things in their environment that will help them grow.
For example, Jaqueline (Jacky) Bezos, the mother of Jeff Bezos, would always buy books and place it around the house for the young Jeff Bezos to find and read. She would also do things like place instruments in his room, or little gadgets he coil fiddle with around him. Naturally, what happened is that a young Jeff developed the habit of being curious, reading, engineering, and the exploration of the world around him. All of course culminating in him creating the largest store on Earth, Amazon. But, it all started with his mother's small habit of surrounding him with things he could enjoy which would intellectually stimulate him.
How does this apply to you?
Small habits you introduce to your child early in life can have exponential and monumental effects later in life.
Something as small as going to the library with your son or daughter and checking out a few books they like a week, or placing a basketball in their room, or maybe putting a guitar on their bed could be the spark which results in them developing a strong habit they could keep for a lifetime. And while small at first, these habits build over time to create a monumental effect down the line.
Kobe Bryant becoming one of the greatest basketball players in the history of the NBA after his father introducing to a basketball at the age of 5.
Jeff Bezos creating one of the largest internet stores on the planet after his mother introduced him to some new books when he was an infant.
J.K. Rowling publishing one of the most successful books of all time after reading when she was little.
Beyoncé becoming one of the most recognized and popular singers in the world after singing in the church choir from the age of 4.
All these monumental results came from a really small action taken a long time ago by a parent who primed their child for success. In the moment it didn’t seem like much, but it developed into something phenomenal. And now, you have the opportunity to do the same for your child and give them an incredible future starting today.
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