If you haven't seen Neil Gaiman's commencement speech made to the University of the Arts, it is worth it when you have about 20 minutes to spare. He talks about how to keep your goal in sight. How to make decisions based on what will take you closer to your goal and what will take you further away.
Another article by BELEN ARANDA-ALVARADO that has me thinking about how to give my children an anchor. It talks about taking a child's natural interest and developing it over a long enough time for them to become proficient in an area. These "anchors" help the children define themselves and give them a sense of self worth.
An anchor is an activity or pastime that they do deeply and consistently over a long period. Anchors help them define them and their evolving identities. Anchors teach them valuable lessons that they can apply to other aspects of their lives — especially school. Most important, anchors help them to be different.This is something we were already trying to do to some extent, but this article has brought the idea into better focus. I would never force my child into an activity that the child didn't love, but I will make sure that the child remains consistent in their practice, even on the days when it has lost its spark. I discussed this article with my family tonight at the diner table to see what the kids thought about "anchors." Their enthusiasm was surprising. My daughter has already begun to develop her two anchors. Her main anchor is violin but kendo is another she is working to develop. My son wants to focus on robotics and engineering. When I asked if he would like it if he had to work on it daily and consistently in order to really excell in it, he responded with "PLEASE!" My youngest is still too little to know where to focus, but I am sure she will find her anchor just as the others have.
Here's a short video of my daughter with her violin. The fiddle tune is Bonaparte's Retreat. Enjoy.