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7 step self discovery process for your child

  • 3m guru
  • Jun 22, 2022
  • 0 comment(s)

The moment you become a parent, you enter a new world of responsibilities.

Everyday since, there is a new life to think about and take care of.

Parenting responsibilities also bring you a lots of anxieties.

Am I giving my child good education, good health, good values? and the list goes on…

Future…future…future… of your child is what take up your mind’s space.

Why do you do all this?

For your child to lead a HAPPY life, isn't it?

Happy is rather a vague word. Because one can chase the wrong path towards happiness and end up being a loser.

Shall we call it a FULFILLING life instead?

Because fulfillment comes with inner satisfaction of having achieved something.

Something like reaching a goal, realizing a dream or actualizing a potential.

But often times in today’s world, in spite of all that we give our children, they end up living an unhappy and stressful life.

After sometime, there dawns a realization that despite a good degree, a sparkling career and a jazzy lifestyle, most of them reach a mid-life crisis.

For the society, they wear smiley masks, whereas the real self is suffering inside.

NO. We are not making this up. According to a study conducted by a preventive healthcare platform, currently 43% of the Indian population are undergoing mild to severe forms of depression.

Why is this so?

Children believe in what parents believe.

A doctor dreams about his child becoming a world class surgeon. An IT professional wants her child to grow up into a high earning data scientist.

What’s wrong in that?’ you may ask. Aren’t these great career choices?

We as parents, have been fairly successful in what we do. A parent’s professional experience can guide a child to become even more successful.

So what’s wrong in us choosing what’s right for our child?

The answer is, ‘There’s nothing wrong. But there could be something better!’

There is an often quoted view,

‘If you judge a fish by the ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid’.

Let us dive a little deep into this…

Stick with this till the end. You may realize a new paradigm. You may come up with new answers to your parenting problems.

Life’s three parts

The first twenty years of a human life is driven by goals. The second twenty years is driven by commitments. The third twenty years is driven by reflections.

During the first part we live a life of exciting possibilities. During early childhood we set ambitions. As we grow, we seek possible directions to get there. Basically in this part we live a dream!

During the second part, we step from the dreamworld to reality. Though it feels different than what we expected, we have commitments to take care of. A checklist of graduation, job, marriage, house, children etc; all needs to be ticked. We run behind milestones.

The third part is where we really have the time to take stock. We settle down a little from life’s hustle and bustle to look behind. We reflect on the meaning of all this.

After proving to your parents, friends, and society, you face the ultimate test of proving you to yourself.

This is where most people face difficult questions. If the right answers don’t come from within, you are in real trouble!

The mid life crisis

The mid life crisis is a real thing, there are no two ways about it. People around you will attest. And no, a top management job, a seven figure salary and  enviable assets would  save you from it.

This is not to suggest that every human being becomes a depression patient after forty. But as we progress as a developed race, it is becoming evident that more and more people are failing the self-test.

If that happens, all the things you as a parent fed your child to lead a fulfilling life doesn’t come to his aid.

Then what helps?

Setting goals early

Money is not evil. We are not suggesting that one should not work hard to earn a living.

But is the process of making a living touching your soul after meeting all the external commitments?

If we do the math, we would know that an average person spends one lakh hours of a lifetime in office or work. What a waste it would be if you do something that you do not enjoy, for all those hours?

This feeling starts striking in mid life for most. Some look for new careers. Some rekindle their lost passion. Some look inwards towards spirituality.

But still, for most of their waking time in a day, they have to return to work, to something that doesn’t touch their soul.

So what is the solution for this?

Self discovery as an inner process

The problem starts with the wrong goals, shall we say?

The solution is simple. Find every child’s nature early through a process of self discovery. And then, mould them into a path that suits their nature.

Self discovery is a process of uncovering your purpose and developing the attitudes, values and skills that would take you there.

Unfortunately today, a child who is not good mathematically is branded as a dull head, and worse autistic.

This brings us back to the adage of the fish…

‘If you judge a fish by the ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid’

The fish is in a natural state of equilibrium in water. It has inborn ability to swim rather than climb a tree. It will be physically and mentally healthy inside water. Water is its home.

What’s your child’s home?

Human beings come with different abilities and are naturally wired to succeed in a certain field. Half of the parenting puzzle is solved when you identify your child’s natural talent early. The rest is solved when you nurture your child’s attitude, skills and values aligned to his natural talent.

But how to find out your child’s nature? Ideally, we would be having a magic box, that labels each child. Some psychometric tests even claim to do that.

But a human psyche is complexly layered, that a simple questionnaire claiming to identify a child’s nature is preposterous.

Then what is the real way to do that?

The seven step self-discovery process

Self discovery is a long process of experimentation and introspection. It is an internal journey of realization embarked by the individual. It has seven actionable steps

1. Imbibe a spirit of self enquiry: Children are naturally curious. A small nudge on the part of a parent is required to push them to learn more about themselves. It can be done by a simple question or conversation with them.

2. Expose them to real world skills: A child has to be exposed to a variety of skills that different careers require. For example a machine learning expert needs pattern recognition skills whereas an architect requires spatial recognition skills. Children have to learn these basic skills first.

3. Build their foundational skills: Foundational skills are those that are required for all types of careers. Concentration, attention, focus, memory are some of the skills that are required to create any successful career.

4. Map their emotional skills: Some people are introverted, and prefer silence over debate. They are suited for careers that involve a lot of research, than an extrovert who always want people around. Children should learn about their emotional type and shortcomings that come with it.

5. Self analysis of strengths and weaknesses: Once they exposed to different skills and emotional areas, they have to learn their areas of strength and keep building upon them. They have to also address their weaknesses.

6. Develop attitudes and values: They should also start developing attitudes and a value system that is in sync with their goals.

7. Put them through a benchmarking loop: This is the most important step, and has to be elaborated further.Understanding one’s own self is not an event. It is a journey. It is a cycle of understanding. At every cycle there dawns a new realization. Children need a transparent ranking system which could show them where they stand in each skill with respect to their competition. Something like a live leaderboard of different skillsets will help.

In this they have to learn, understand and then assess themselves with respect to their peers. They have to go through this loop several times and self validate their strengths and interests at every cycle. Over a period of time, children would be in a better position to pin point the area that is the intersection of their natural talents and passions. By the time a child comes out of school, he should have an excellent idea about himself and choose his path confidently.

A case study:

Rahul is a nine year old child. He is talkative and easy going. He is friendly with people, but would also love to play alone. He engages in endless conversations with his parents and teachers. He doesn’t like listening to lectures, but tries to learn things by himself. He has an opinion on everything, and is always there to help. He is good at regulating his desires and can postpone his needs to tomorrow if required.

Nirmal is fourteen years old. He speaks when needed and keeps his secrets to himself. He has a couple of friends and always prefers their company. He talks in a matter of fact tone in conversations but also has a funny side. He likes to be taught concepts rather than learning by himself. He restrains his thoughts, until other wise asked for opinions. He tends to his needs, plans his actions, engages people to get what he wants.


Here, there is no way to tell whether either child is an introvert or extrovert, just by observing their behaviour. Not all people can fit into different boxes.

Many people are multi layered characters like this.  It is impossible for an observer to judge them. They have to be put on a process of self analysis by themselves for years together to find out what they are made up of.

After a couple of years of putting them through a systematic process of self discovery, they made these analysis about themselves.

Rahul realized that he can learn many concepts, but does not have the inquisitiveness to go deep and research. He is a leader of people, and good at getting things done though them. He has interest in fields that deal with abstract concepts like the study of human mind and its behaviors. He can set the right example and demonstrate self-control and discipline. That drives him more to stick to them. He loves learning about theory and write in volumes.

Basically, he understood he is more inclined to a career in humanities or management.

Nirmal on the other hand learnt that he enjoys going to the root of an exciting phenomenon. He was a problem solver and had an analytical bent of mind. He was good at fields like physical sciences that had predictable and concrete theories. He can co-operate with people in solving problems and arriving at solutions.

Basically he understood that a technical career like nanotechnology, that involves research, would be a suitable career choice for him.

Lets conclude…

If this process of planting a seed, nurturing it and watch it blossom is not exciting, what is? This is the real joy of parenting.

At the point of life when a child starts reflecting on his life journey, he has to realize that he is doing the most soul touching activity he can ever do, to make a living.

When work becomes play, the colours of a joyful childhood can be rekindled even after forty.

This article is presented by 3mguru, a self discovery platform for kids to learn foundational skills, emotional skills, develop relevant values and map their skills with a live global ranking system.

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