What I like about the arena of personal growth and development is that it’s inclusive and equal-opportunity; it’s open to everyone and anyone can fulfill their potential...you don’t need to be rich, or beautiful, or talented, or lucky, you just need to apply the best ideas to your own situation. What makes me sad is that everyone isn’t aware of their own potential and how to fulfill it. Parents have a huge impact on their children’s future success, or failure, through what they expose their children to and how they treat their children. Why? The fundamental thing is...your child absolutely believes the things you say and has no defense against how you treat them.
Let’s assume you want your child to have a great life. A successful and happy life requires pursing and the success of that pursuit is determined not only by talent and strategic choices but absolutely by how persistent you can be. What fuels persistence? It’s simple but, true...believing in yourself and your ability to keep doing what needs to be done...what you could call, ‘heart’. I want to share with you a special and creative way one tough guy has instilled heart in his son through the nightly "heart-transplant".
Bo Eason is currently a popular speaker delivering keynotes and workshops on persuasive communication to large corporate clients. Prior to that, he wrote and starred in a Broadway play, acclaimed by critics, and toured to 50 cities. But, his most unique achievement is playing in the highly competitive American football league, the NFL. Bo played with and against some of the greatest players in the 1980’s. This was despite growing up a skinny little kid with a big and talented older brother. Bo showed his mindset early by drawing a picture of his sporting ambitions at age 9, telling everyone he was going to be the best in the world, and then working for the next decade to make it happen.
Despite the kind of success that can make some people plastic and distant, Bo retains the charm and warmth of his childhood in the Southern States of the US. And what he does ‘to’ his son each night is, from my perspective, truly powerful parenting.
Bo’s son has pictures on his wall of all his favorite people, his Father Bo is one of them, his Uncle is another, plus various other accomplished folk. Each night Bo and his son look at each photo, talk about the quality of ‘heart’ that each person possesses. Then Bo ‘fist-bumps’ the heart of each one and, as the boy lays back in bed with his arms pressed down by his sides in a posture of receptivity, Bo firmly fist-bumps his son’s chest, ‘transferring’ the heart of those special people into the heart of the boy.
Of course, there will come a time when Bo’s son will think it’s silly and won’t ‘need’ a heart-transplant any more but, think of the hundreds of times he was eager to be filled with the qualities of the people he admires. Think of the hundreds of times when his mind was so unguarded that he absolutely believed the ritual was having an effect. And think of the cumulative effect on his deep beliefs about himself - that he too is special and has what it takes to pursue his ambitions. I admire and appreciate Bo Eason’s active efforts to empower his son with the foundation to become the sort of adult who will create a great life and positively affect the lives of others. And I’m so glad he shares this story so others know they too can transplant heart into their own children.
So, over to you. If you have children in whom you want to instill drive and self-belief it's a simple 2 step process; (1) get 6 or 7 photos of people they admire or who have qualities you want your child to gain and stick them on the wall by the bed, (2) talk about the great quality of each person with your child and do the heart transplant ritual - CONSISTENTLY. Alternatively, you can do a grown-up version on yourself; think of the 5 or 6 people you admire and each day, as you stand in front of the mirror brushing your teeth, think about the ways in which you are similar to them, how you could share with them the heart they have displayed.