My friend Amy Scott reminded me about a discipline championed by James Altucher, a fellow whose writings we both follow. The discipline Is to come up with ten new ideas each day, and you’ll find a good explanation of it here. I’ve encountered this suggestion many times in Altucher’s writings many times, been intrigued each time, and then proceeded to forget about it. But now that Amy has endorsed it, I am ready to give it a try. I started Friday. It isn’t easy. Amy agrees.
But the reason I mention it here is because it led Amy to share a story, which I love:
So my 10-year-old starts her first list, “Things I’m going to do today” and then filled out 10 things. I’m like, “No! You have to write ideas.” So I wrote down my 10 ideas. She wrote down her to-do list.
It’s 9 o’clock at night and she is writing in her idea notebook. I ask her what she is doing and take a look.
She is crossing off the 10th item on her list that she had completed. Done.
Aside from the delightful punchline, what I love about the story is that Amy didn’t hesitate to take a discipline she thought would be good for her and impose it on her children. I am all for that, and do it in various ways with my own kids. Sometimes it sticks, sometimes not, and sometimes it is transformed into something different, occasionally better.
It’s not that I insist my kids be Just Like Me. But I want them to have the benefit of the best of what I know, and I am willing to impose things like that by fiat when they’re still young enough for that to be appropriate. I don’t get bent out of shape if they reject it or adapt it, or say in essence, “That’s interesting, but I’d rather explore my own ideas on the topic.” But if they are at a loss for ideas in an area, I want to be first in line supplying ideas that have passed the test for me.