A year earlier I wrote about how my new born son has taught me simple learnings that could be applied in my adult life. As I look back, Mr. CEO — as we call him — continues to be wise beyond his years. Naturally a lot has happened in the past 12 months: from learning how to brush his teeth to opening doors on his own, his development never ceases to amaze me. While he still speaks in his own language, there are many occasions when he surprises his parents with intelligible words. Just recently, he has been able to say yes or no with ease. And while he still has yet to be potty trained, he commands a presence when he walks into any room. It is easy to attribute this to his boyish charm that many toddlers have but I would also like to say the below characteristics also play a role.
Lesson #5: Stay Inquisitive
This is one thing that I love to see about Mr. CEO. It’s natural for kids to grab and touch anything and everything that comes to them but I’ve noticed recently that my son has become more careful about what he latches on to. The curiosity is still there but has been balanced with a certain calculated tendency that gives me a little calm as a parent. And when he sees something that looks interesting, he always points and asks in his own way what it is or why it is. I look forward to nurturing his curiosity and responding to his inquisitiveness with answers as he gets order. This is just another reminder to me to always stay inquisitive in my professional day-to-day because the moment I stop is the moment I stop learning.
Lesson # 6: Learn Something New and Be Patient
When Mr. CEO started music class, he was unenthusiastic about singing in a group with other kids he did not know. Fast forward 3 months, he has become the life of the group lesson. He sings songs all day long long after class and is equally excited about playing instruments, especially drums. If we had given up early, he (nor his parents) would have been unable to discover his passion in music. This was definitely a key learning as a parent: to be persistent. Mr. CEO once again reminded me to never stop learning something new and to be patient during the process as you might discover a new passion.
Lesson #7: Keep Smiling and Smile Some More
Mr. CEO has taught me that it is more than acceptable to smile or laugh for no apparent reason. When he’s running, Mr. CEO is smiling. When he wakes up in the morning, he smiles. When he says “bye bye,” he smilies. When he drops something, more often than not, he is smiling. No matter what he’s doing, he always has a grin that is contagious to the people around him. It makes me marvel a world if everyone chose to do things with a smile in their day-to-day more often. I hope he keeps his charming smile as he gets older even as life takes form.
It is amazing how sometimes the most simple things can be so hard as we get older but he has reminded me that these 3 tendencies should never be compromised. He has re-taught me to never relinquish that desire to be curious and ask inquisitive questions. By doing so shows an undying willingness to be interesting or to be interested. His passion for music has encouraged me to pick up the guitar again as a hobby and be disciplined about it. And his never ending smiles have underscored that it is more than acceptable to laugh at myself even when I make mistakes. Smiling more will certainly help to lower my own stress and hopefully contribute to a healthier working environment. These three tendencies — or lessons from Mr CEO — are ways we can all keep ourselves interesting, balanced, and engaging regardless of the environment we are in. Thank you son.
Michael Campbell is the Founder and CEO of FullEffect International, Inc. and Managing Director of FullEffecting Marketing, a boutique consulting firm that provides small and medium size businesses advising services focused on product marketing, and global business development.