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11 Reasons Why You Should Admire Naughty Kids

11 Reasons Why You Should Admire Naughty Kids

They can be loud, obnoxious and insistent on getting their own way. Or they are sly, devious and untrustworthy. Naughty kids are worth avoiding.

Or are they?

While exhausted parents may dream of the day their kids become beautifully behaved, would you really want Stepford Kids?  Would you not miss out on some of the most determined, entrepreneurial and sensitive people you’ll have the opportunity to meet.

And think about it. Were you always perfectly behaved when you were a kid? Or even now? Do you sometimes still get angry, have a tantrum or dig your heels in? Do you ever give up when the going gets tough or refuse to eat food that you think looks disgusting? Are you ever rude or impatient?

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These kids are normal human beings, just like you. And some of those “naughty” traits might just turn out to be early signs of leadership when they are older. Here’s how:

1. They are independent

All too often, ‘naughty’ is a word we use for kids who think for themselves. While conformity is admired at school, our greatest entrepreneurs, scientists and artists do things their own way. Often, the qualities of these kids is not appreciated until much later in life, when their ability to think for themselves and make things happen drives their success. Think of Richard Branson, Albert Einsten and Lady Gaga, all of whom ‘failed’ at school.

2. They are creative

Naughty kids don’t just think for themselves, they often think differently from others. Their creativity cannot be curbed. While adults get told to ‘think out of the box’ these kids have never been in the box in the first place.

3. They are sensitive

Often the most sensitive kids are the ones who are written off as naughty. They can’t stand pain or injustice, and so kick off into a tantrum when they see it. In little children, this is often on their own behalf. As they grow up, and their ability to empathize develops, their sensitivity can lead to deep acts of generosity towards others in need.

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4. They have conviction

Great world-changing leaders, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Aung Sang Suu Kyi, could not be described as easy people. Awkward and opinionated may be a fairer description. But they lived with conviction and determination, fighting injustice despite imprisonment and persecution, and toppled despotic regimes as a result. It’s not quite as inspiring when the ‘despotic regime’ is actually a parent wanting to get their child to eat their vegetables!

5. They are strong

Human beings are social animals. Having the willpower to stand up to social pressures is impressive. Kids who go against the grain, dressing differently, following their own interests and speaking their mind are demonstrating courage and strength. In their teen years, when separation from parental control is normal, being downright rude and obnoxious can be a way of subconsciously driving that separation, while proving to the kids that they still have the safety of their parents love.

6. They want to be understood

Kids often get loud or have a tantrum when they feel disrespected or unheard. Although this may not be the most constructive way to get their point across, these kids have found a way to communicate their wants, something many of us have subsumed to the demands of other people (including those same kids!). Often, children will calm down if they feel you’ve understood them, even if the answer is still “no.”

7. They say what is on their mind

We’ve all had those moments when a child has said exactly what they are thinking, probably at the top of their voices. They tell relatives when they don’t like the expensive present they’ve been given. They point and stare at people with visible disabilities.  Rude though these comments may be, your kid’s directness is often meant as honesty without malice. They don’t intend to hurt anyone’s feelings. They are curious, rather than judgmental, about people who are different. What is more, they will speak the truths that everyone else is thinking but no-one else has the honesty to voice.

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8. They have energy

Although they may seem far more angelic when they sleep, your kid’s energy is admirable. It is the energy of athletes, adventurers and leaders. Like puppies, your kids may need to be given opportunities (both physical and mental) to burn off their energy. That exercise will develop their capacity and their ability to control themselves.

9. They are ambitious

Have you ever had a picture in your head, but when you try to draw it, it looks nothing like your ideal? Your kids haven’t yet learned that this is normal. They haven’t yet learned to cope with the frustration. The resulting tantrum is an expression of the gap between the quality of their original vision and their inability to perfectly realize that vision. It demonstrates ambition and discernment.

10. They are scientists

Kids (like the rest of us) learn by doing. They are great problem solvers, full of cunning and resourcefulness. They learn by trying something and seeing what happens. Naughty kids are just trying stuff out. Loud, destructive, difficult stuff, perhaps. But that is how they learn what works and what doesn’t. And that is how they also discover that you, their parents, still love them, even if they are naughty. Because…

11. They are lovable

Your kids are a part of you, while also being completely themselves. One reason it feels tough when they are naughty is that you love them so much. You want them to succeed. You want them to be appreciated by others. You want them to be happy.

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So remember, being good all the time would only hold them back. And you wouldn’t want that, would you?

Featured photo credit: Philip Dean via flickr.com

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Last Updated on November 20, 2018

10 Reasons Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail

10 Reasons Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail

A new year beautifully symbolizes a new chapter opening in the book that is your life. But while so many people like you aspire to achieve ambitious goals, only 12% of you will ever experience the taste of victory. Sound bad? It is. 156 million people (that’s 156,000,000) will probably give up on their resolution before you can say “confetti.” Keep on reading to learn why New Year’s resolutions fail (and how to succeed).

Note: Since losing weight is the most common New Year’s resolution, I chose to focus on weight loss (but these principles can be applied to just about any goal you think of — make it work for you!).

1. You’re treating a marathon like a sprint.

Slow and steady habit change might not be sexy, but it’s a lot more effective than the “I want it ALL and I want it NOW!” mentality. Small changes stick better because they aren’t intimidating (if you do it right, you’ll barely even notice them!).

If you have a lot of bad habits today, the last thing you need to do is remodel your entire life overnight. Want to lose weight? Stop it with the crash diets and excessive exercise plans. Instead of following a super restrictive plan that bans anything fun, add one positive habit per week. For example, you could start with something easy like drinking more water during your first week. The following week, you could move on to eating 3 fruits and veggies every day. And the next week, you could aim to eat a fistful of protein at every meal.

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2. You put the cart before the horse.

“Supplementing” a crappy diet is stupid, so don’t even think about it. Focus on the actions that produce the overwhelming amount of results. If it’s not important, don’t worry about it.

3. You don’t believe in yourself.

A failure to act can cripple you before you leave the starting line. If you’ve tried (and failed) to set a New Year’s resolution (or several) in the past, I know it might be hard to believe in yourself. Doubt is a nagging voice in your head that will resist personal growth with every ounce of its being. The only way to defeat doubt is to believe in yourself. Who cares if you’ve failed a time or two? This year, you can try again (but better this time).

4. Too much thinking, not enough doing.

The best self-help book in the world can’t save you if you fail to take action. Yes, seek inspiration and knowledge, but only as much as you can realistically apply to your life. If you can put just one thing you learn from every book or article you read into practice, you’ll be on the fast track to success.

5. You’re in too much of a hurry.

If it was quick-and-easy, everybody would do it, so it’s in your best interest to exercise your patience muscles.

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6. You don’t enjoy the process.

Is it any wonder people struggle with their weight when they see eating as a chore and exercise as a dreadful bore? The best fitness plan is one that causes the least interruption to your daily life. The goal isn’t to add stress to your life, but rather to remove it.

The best of us couldn’t bring ourselves to do something we hate consistently, so make getting in shape fun, however you’ve gotta do it. That could be participating in a sport you love, exercising with a good friend or two, joining a group exercise class so you can meet new people, or giving yourself one “free day” per week where you forget about your training plan and exercise in any way you please.

7. You’re trying too hard.

Unless you want to experience some nasty cravings, don’t deprive your body of pleasure. The more you tell yourself you can’t have a food, the more you’re going to want it. As long as you’re making positive choices 80-90% of the time, don’t sweat the occasional indulgence.

8. You don’t track your progress.

Keeping a written record of your training progress will help you sustain an “I CAN do this” attitude. All you need is a notebook and a pen. For every workout, record what exercises you do, the number of repetitions performed, and how much weight you used if applicable. Your goal? Do better next time. Improving your best performance on a regular basis offers positive feedback that will encourage you to keep going.

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9. You have no social support.

It can be hard to stay motivated when you feel alone. The good news? You’re not alone: far from it. Post a status on Facebook asking your friends if anybody would like to be your gym or accountability buddy. If you know a co-worker who shares your goal, try to coordinate your lunch time and go out together so you’ll be more likely to make positive decisions. Join a support group of like-minded folks on Facebook, LinkedIn, or elsewhere on the internet. Strength in numbers is powerful, so use it to your advantage.

10. You know your what but not your why.

The biggest reason why most New Year’s resolutions fail: you know what you want but you not why you want it.

Yes: you want to get fit, lose weight, or be healthy… but why is your goal important to you? For example:

Do you want to be fit so you can be a positive example that your children can admire and look up to?

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Do you want to lose fat so you’ll feel more confident and sexy in your body than ever before?

Do you want to be healthy so you’ll have increased clarity, energy, and focus that would carry over into every single aspect of your life?

Whether you’re getting in shape because you want to live longer, be a good example, boost your energy, feel confident, have an excuse to buy hot new clothes, or increase your likelihood of getting laid (hey, I’m not here to judge) is up to you. Forget about any preconceived notions and be true to yourself.

  • The more specific you can make your goal,
  • The more vivid it will be in your imagination,
  • The more encouraged you’ll be,
  • The more likely it is you will succeed (because yes, you CAN do this!).

I hope this guide to why New Year’s resolutions fail helps you achieve your goals this year. If you found this helpful, please pass it along to some friends so they can be successful just like you. What do you hope to accomplish next year?

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