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The Kid isn’t really a Kid anymore. He’s over 30. How many of us know where this is headed? Have this in our own lives, or have clients or friends living with this weight on their shoulders?
The Kid in my story is real. He’s a smart, good-looking, boy, who had everything going for him. (He still does.) He wasn’t ready for college. Something went “wrong”. He partied too much, flamed out of a couple colleges, worked at basic jobs, and watched more than a decade slip away.
None of that matters.
Forward progress now!
Your son, call him Charlie, is full-grown and utterly stuck. Disappointment is not your most acute emotion. It’s more than that. You’re worried. You’ve carried this pain in different ways, at varying levels, for years. You are afraid your son will never get his act together. You question him, and yourselves. All you really care about is for him to have the life you’ve dreamed of for him. You just don’t understand why nothing is happening. Notwithstanding that you can see it before your very eyes. You would do anything to help.
Finding His Own Way
Charlie, you know your parents love you. You know they want to help. They don’t understand you very well. How could they? You don’t understand yourself. Things were complicated enough being a teenager. They got a lot harder as a few years passed by. Now, you don’t really know what to do. You feel you’ve let your parents down. And, you’ve let yourself down. You really do want to find a clear direction. Yet, you have no idea what that is or how to find it. Every bit of energy coming from your mom and dad says you’re broken. That things must be really bad. That’s true no matter how carefully they choose their words or battles.
Family business owners and other high-net-worth families invariably have the decks stacked against them. Expectations seem out of reach for their kids. Not because parents have set the bar too high intentionally. But, look at what they have achieved! The kid wonders how he could ever match up. To be sure, he does not want to experience everything his dad gave up when he was charging the hill. Dad may still be charging the hill. The kid does not see himself as the same sort of hill charger.
Charlie has to find his way, not that of his parents. The past is nothing more than the path to now. I’d like to have a conversation with you, Charlie. It might be the first conversation you’ve had with someone who doesn’t believe anything is wrong. I’d like to clear away the judgment and the looking back at the past. I’d like to help you look at the future and the possibilities in front of you.
There is so much reason for hope. For excitement. The past, whatever has worked or not worked, does not need to define anything. Below are the before and after scores for someone perhaps a bit like you. He had been stuck for a long time. A good kid. Depressed.
In his true story, I had worked with dad for a full year. A really good year of massive change and forward progress in dad’s life. During that year, he tried three or four times to get his Charlie to have a conversation with me. To no avail. The kid wasn’t ready. Circumstances changed. Opportunity presented itself. Exactly one conversation between Charlie and me was all it took to change his life forever. The “new Charlie” is in full process now. It began with a conversation. That’s all it takes.
To see how quickly things can begin to shift, consider the change in Charlie’s “Authentic Happiness” scores. His beginning happiness was completely bottomed out. This colossal increase was after only three coaching conversations. About six weeks. And, this is just the beginning! Feel the hope. Real forward progress. This we will build on!
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