What you lack isn’t the problem — it’s what you have
“Dad, we want to earn money to buy a Chromebook. What do you think we can do?”
I’m sitting on the couch on Sunday afternoon, reading a book. I look up at my nine-year-old daughter, Libby, and my seven-year-old, Avery. “How much do you need?”
“Well, let’s brainstorm some ideas. Go grab a paper and a pen.”
We write down a bunch of ideas for the next half hour. One that I suggest is for them to sell my Life Manifestos posters door-to-door in our neighborhood.
The next day they come into my office. “Dad,” Libby says, “we want to sell posters. What do we need?”
I outfit them with posters in tubes, which go into Avery’s backpack, as well as posters for Avery to hold in her hand to show to people. I give Libby a stack of flyers and write her a script.
“Okay, Avery, when people answer the door you’re going to hold up your two posters while Lib reads her script.”
I have Libby read her script to me a few times and coach her on the delivery.
Without the slightest fear or hesitation, they march out the door and start knocking on doors as I watch them.
They last a half hour before coming back to the house.
“How many did you sell?” I ask.
“Two,” Libby says.
“That’s awesome! Great job!” I congratulate and high-five them. “Are you going to go out again?”
“No,” Libby says, “I’m tired.”
“Libby,” I say, “you’re young and you have a long time to learn this. It’s okay if you don’t want to go out again. But if you just trust me, I want to teach you something that you’ll never forget if you do it: If you’ll commit to selling just one more poster and don’t come home until you do it, you’ll be so proud of yourself. You’ll be a lot more excited to come back to it tomorrow. If you learn that habit to always end your day on a sale, you’ll be forever glad that you did. And if you sell three posters per day, you’ll have enough to buy a Chromebook in just seven days!”
But she had made up her mind that she was done. While we’re talking she sees our neighbor across the street come home.
“I’ll go and talk to her,” Libby says, “but that’s it.”
Avery, on the other hand, is totally motivated. Never one to mince words, on their way out the door she tells Libby, “I believe dad. You wanna know what I don’t like about you? You don’t believe dad.”
I’m giggling inside. Then, I’m ecstatic when they return and tell me they sold a poster to the neighbor.
I share this story with you for a reason: you and I have a lot to learn from these two fearless, enterprising salesgirls.
Getting what we want is really that simple. But as adults, we complicate everything.
How many adults would be willing and eager to sell door-to-door to make their dreams come true? Why are we so willing to sell out on our dreams for security?
What do my young daughters have that we as adults don’t have?
Actually, it’s what they don’t have that we do have.
What they don’t have is distorted and limiting perceptions about themselves and their abilities. What they don’t have is fear of what people will think of them. What they don’t have is deeply-harbored emotional wounds.
What they don’t have is all the baggage that keeps us adults from living a life of passion and adventure.
Success is less about learning than it is about unlearning. Happiness is less about gaining than it is about letting go. Love is not a skill to learn; it is our essence to remember.
We don’t come to earth with social fears; those are learned. We don’t come to earth with wounds; those are collected.
We don’t come to earth thinking that we’re nobodies who will never amount to anything; we come to earth knowing that we are amazing and that we can accomplish anything.
We don’t come to earth with any conception of impossible; we see nothing but limitless possibility.
We’d all be a lot more happy and successful if we could unlearn the false lessons we’ve learned, rewrite the limiting stories we tell ourselves, release the baggage we’ve accumulated, and be more like little children.
My Avery said it best: We’d all like ourselves a whole lot more if we could just let go of our fears, doubts, wounds, and insecurities and believe and trust in Father.