Several years ago I was actively involved with the Boy Scouts of America. One evening I was talking to a young man trying to motivate him to finish the requirements for his Eagle Scout Award. He was approaching 18 and needed to hustle if he wanted to earn it.
Richard asked a question I had heard many times, “What will earning an Eagle do for me?”
I responded, “You can put it on your resume when applying for a job or on your college application or it can help you if you join the military, etc., etc.” I was confident that would be the end of it, but Richard was not impressed. “I have heard all this before,” he said, “but I am involved in other activities that will help me achieve all that. So why do I want to become an Eagle?”
This young man had me. He was an above average student, full of confidence, an athlete, and a student leader.
At this point I had an epiphany. I had not been like this young man in the slightest way. I had not been a good student, I hadn’t had much self-confidence, I hadn’t been an athlete, and being a student leader had never been on my radar screen. I could not answer him.
I pondered this question for the next few days. It bothered me. I wondered what value did earning this award have for me?
After much thought I realized that earning my Eagle was the first time in my life that I set a big, long-term goal, worked hard, and accomplished it. That was the first time I really tasted the sweet taste of accomplishment and knew that it was worth all the effort!
The resiliency concept in this example is helping our children understand the value of achievement through goal setting. The goals should be their goals and not our goals. After deciding what they want then we, as parents, should help them reach these goals. Self-confidence and personal strength will be the results of their efforts.
I realized that this is the benefit I received by working hard to earn my Eagle Scout Award.
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