In our goal-oriented world, children can often find themselves under pressure, particularly in environments like schools that heavily emphasise goals and outcomes. This environment can become a source of stress, leading to struggles with motivation, diminished enthusiasm, and failure to thrive.
However, a more nurturing, holistic approach to guiding our children exists. We can shift the focus from purely goal and outcome-based to a life that aligns with our core values.
For example, two children can approach school in totally different ways.
The first child is goal-oriented and sets his sights on securing top grades. In his pursuit of the top grades, he keeps himself busy working, at the expense of fun and play. His mind is clouded by anxiety about his upcoming exams, and the relentless pursuit of his goal defines his existence.
When he achieves his target, he barely experiences any joy because he makes himself miserable in the process.
On the other hand, the second child is values-driven. He is also intent on passing his exams, but kindness, curiosity, and responsibility are his guiding principles.
He is curious to learn, enjoys being kind and having fun with friends and take responsibility; if he doesn't get the top grades, he won't wallow in depression or stress. That's because he has the peace of knowing that he tried his hardest, had fun and was a good person along the way.
You can see why leading a values-focused life over a purely goal-oriented one is more compelling.