A Lesson from My 4 Year Old Son

As I close out my week today, I want to pass on a lesson learned from my 4-year-old son, Elijah.  But first, some background on my son. 

Elijah came to us with his sister two years ago, when he was age two.  In July of this year, we finalized our adoption of Elijah and his sister Leah.  I am amazed no matter how much I parent him and create an environment to influence certain behaviors, he is still very different from me and remains his own unique person.  I chalk this up to genetics.  Whereas, I brood over disappointments, setbacks and bad days, Elijah reacts very differently than I do and for that matter, differently from any other member in our family.  I can scold him, send him into a time out, or take away a toy and he will get frustrated or mad for about two minutes. Then he gets a smile back on his face and goes right back to life.  He has such a positive attitude and really bounces back.  (He will make a great sales candidate some day!)  Elijah also has a bit of a lisp, so can be hard to understand at times.

Now that you have the background to Elijah reacting very differently than I do, here is the lesson he gave me the other night.  At dinner he asked me about my day.  I am frank with my children and not afraid to tell them when I have bad days, because I want them to realize it is okay and normal to have bad and good days.  I said, “I had a bad day today.  It didn’t go well.”  I know Elijah not only heard what I said, but also could see it in my body language and face.  With his big brown eyes and a smile, he said, “That’s okay.  Tomorrow you have a good day.  You forget about it.”  Because of his lisp, I wanted to make sure I had heard him correctly and so asked him to repeat what he had said.  He answered, “You forget about it.”   Wanting to confirm, I asked him again, “Did you just tell me to forget about it?”  He said, “Yeah, you forget about it.”  I knew right then that  better days were ahead and forgetting about it was the key.  I also appreciated the difference in our genetics.

Elijah’s lesson:  You have a bad day, forget about it.  Tomorrow has the potential to be a great day.

I realize that this post is not specific to JMO career transition or interviewing.  I did want to pass it along as career management and a leadership lesson.

Have a great weekend.

Joel Junker

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