Excellence is a Habit

Repetition creates the habit loop, then why not repeat the traits which are needed to live a good life. Stimulate children to build these traits. To know how, read on.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act but a habit.


A parent came to Geniekids and said, “I have only few requirements: I want my child to be confident, to concentrate, to be responsible and be smart in talking to others”.

I heartily congratulated the parent. I told her that you have definitely zeroed on the best objectives for your child. Many of us are too caught up with academic excellence. However, it is characteristics, like the ones she has mentioned, that make a child successful in life. After all which is better: 99 in math, but lacking confidence in doing things; or 70 in math but full of confidence.

But will wishing alone help? Would you like to ensure that your child is confident, persevering, has leadership qualities, is independent and responsible, is good at problem solving and decision making, is sensitive and understanding towards others, is a consummate thinker and a strong communicator, and has high integrity and moral values. Phew! Definitely if this is a wish list, wishing alone will not help.

You need to do something about ensuring that these success characteristics are being developed in your child.

Here is a five point guideline:

1.Give your child as much experience of these characteristics as possible. Really there is no other way. No amount of lecturing, examples or stories will make me develop these unless I experience them.

2.Build these into day to day activities, for example let the child prepare her own tiffin box makes the child responsible and independent (even if that means she keeps only chocolates for her snacks. How long and how much chocolates can she eat!)

3.Create special occasions for child to experience these success characteristics – for example, let your four year old personally call all her (and your) friends for her birthday. Maybe she will need more calls, more of your time, may goof up at some place – but what better way to learn people and communication skills.

4.Make your child set big goals. Extremely pertinent for children above 7-8 years, big dreams ensure that child starts developing skills that are required to fulfill the dream. And who knows where dream child’s dream might land finally!

5.Keep setting examples. While this in itself may not result in development of any success characteristics, it will at least give the right message (for e.g. Just because father is persevering need not mean the child will turn out to be persevering).