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  • Expert: Want Your Children To Be Successful? Let Them Break The Rules

    "Build your own life, and when other people’s rules aren’t working for you, make your own."
    by Dahl D. Bennett .
Expert: Want Your Children To Be Successful? Let Them Break The Rules
PHOTO BY Shutterstock/Tom Wang
  • Life after graduation is such an exciting time but it can also be filled with so much dilemma that sometimes, it seems easier to take the tried and tested route. Many Filipinos put a premium on education and new graduates in the family are considered one of life’s biggest milestones.

    Because expectations — from both parents and the graduates themselves — are high, there is a tendency to follow rules that ‘ensure’ the path to success. For example:

    • Be a doctor like your dad
    • Go to the same school as your mom
    • Choose a course that’s in demand and pays well
    • Apply in a multinational company
    • Kumuha ka ng degree kaysa vocational or certificate course

    Career and leadership expert Dr. Margie Warrel, however, thinks this is the right time to go against the grain and break the rules. In her Forbes article titled, Advice For Grads: Forge Your Own Path, Make Your Own Rules, she tells new graduates this: “As you look towards the rest of your life you have to be willing to challenge the rules that might otherwise limit what you do with it.”

    She adds that when someone breaks the rules, it doesn’t mean they are belittling the rules of others, instead “It’s simply deciding to live life on your own terms.”

    How to 'break the rules'

    Parents, while it can be tempting to give your children your two cents, always allow them space to consider your advice instead of ‘forcing’ it on them. It may have worked for you before, but it may not for your children this time. Here, Dr. Warrel suggests some helpful ideas on how new graduates can ‘break the rules’ and come out better person:


    1. Chart your own course.

    There is no problem in a child wanting to follow the same career path his or her parents took as long as that is what he or she wants. “There is no one right set of rules for everyone, there is no one right path that fits someone as unique as yourself,” advises Warrel.

    2. Trust your gut.

    It’s easy to doubt one’s decision especially if one is just starting out in the real world.  When it comes to big decisions, sometimes what matters is what feels right for you, Warrel says.

    While doing the groundwork such as researching, seeking advice, and talking to the wise, in the end it is best to go with your gut and trust your intuition — “it rarely lies and can be a valuable compass as you go through life,” writes Warrel.  

    3. There are no perfect decisions.

    What if my decision is wrong? Whether it’s choosing a course in college or that first job, it’s never wrong as long as the child learns and grows from it, says Warrel. One can labor her way through medicine school only to find out years later it’s photography she wants. And that’s okay.

    4. Learn from mistakes.

    “But don’t let them define you,” Warrel warns. She adds that to expect that a new graduate’s decision will always be right the first time is a recipe for disappointment. “Embrace a spirit of adventure as you set out… if it doesn’t work out, learn the lessons and move on.

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    5. Build bravery in increments.

    When one is young and naïve, it’s easy to bend to the pressure of what others expect from him or her. In building a career or a business, such attitude will only be a setback in the long run.

    “Make your own plans. Express your own style. Speak your own thoughts. Build your own life, and when other people’s rules aren’t working for you, make your own,” she advises.

    In the end, Warrel gives this important reminder — “Just know this: living the life you were born to live will sometimes require bending the rules.”

    Parents of successful kids have the same habits. Click here for their best practices.

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