Thomas Troward was an English author who published several works in the early 20th century that started the “New Thought” movement. His writings, to this day, are still instrumental in sparking human behavioral changes. His quotes show up today in the popular movie “The Secret” and Alcoholics Anonymous still relies on his ideas for inspiration.

Troward is likely most know for stating: “The law of floatation was not discovered by contemplating the sinking of things – but by contemplating the floating of things… and then intelligently asking why they did so.”

In other words, the world, God, the universe, karma, whatever words you use to describe the unseen forces around us all, will ultimately offer you experiences that match what you’re contemplating. Sorry science class, but you will never learn about buoyancy if you are focused on how to sink. Thought works the same way, in that for every experience in your life, where the mind wanders, life goes.

To take this concept even further is that a belief is actually formed ONLY when a thought is repeated over and over and over again. Well that’s all well and good, but what’s this got to do with parenting? 

Are you contemplating sinking? 

If you are consistently thinking about life’s challenges and how difficult being a parent is, well you are contemplating sinking. There are challenges in life, this fact is indisputable.

A great analogy is how your body physically works. Muscles will not grow without being stretched. Like it or not, after “Chest day” or after 100 meter sprints – soreness is inevitable. Would you want it any other way?

Life’s challenges are on the way, not in the way.

No human ever expected to go for a walk in the forest or climb a mountain without having to take a turn or four. Likely a couple hundred turns is more accurate. That’s because there are trees, scree, boulders and sometimes creatures we pass on our hike. Yet nobody expects to NOT see these things.

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That is the reason for the walk in the woods, is it not? The guy who decides he does not want challenge is likely rambling through the forest with dynamite and Paul Bunyan style chainsaws. No fun. And the bears tend to startle that way.

Don’t Focus on What Sinks…

Now go back to beliefs and the root of belief: human thought.

For decades the good Dad was the one who worked hard, relaxed on the weekends and only parented when little Johnnie needed a spanking. “Just wait until your father gets home” has been a terrifying threat issued by mothers since time eternal. Yet these thoughts have slowly waned as society finally woke-up and welcomed women to all aspects of the workplace. It’s true that the world is moving towards a place where both Mom and Dad parent equally.

Congratulations New-Era-Dads, you now have more responsibility than ever before!

You will indeed be integral towards helping mold your daughter’s future choice in boyfriends. Yeah that sweet little girl you helped bring into the world will one day bring to dinner a testosterone pumped guy who is looking to get past first base just as much, if not more, than you used to back in the day. With that terrifying thought, where do you start with giving her ideas for how to love and respect herself first and foremost?

Don’t focus on what sinks, instead focus on what floats.

Focus on What Floats!

You want your children to float; to be happy, healthy and authentic right? Focus on that instead of getting your shotgun ready for the future hormone laden prom date. Opt for supporting creative thoughts that will help your daughter make decisions that always align with her value system. For our sons, the sentiment is the same. Look to raise a respectful and considerate young man looking to be of service to his lady friend.

Values and thought go hand-in-hand. A child that is asking you “why Daddy? Why, why, why?” is one that is thinking and looking for answers, which is awesome. Perhaps a bit annoying, but instead of giving answers, and perhaps pulling your hair plugs out in the process, flip the script. Encourage thought. Encourage buoyancy. In giving an answer, ask back “what do you think?”

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“Why are the trees green, Daddy?”

“I dunno pumpkin, I really don’t, what do you think?”

The ensuing conversation could inspire a future artist as you talk about God’s favorite color being green. You could inspire an avid outdoors explorer when you ask your son to look it up on Google and he sees plants of all different colors. Perhaps you have a future space cadet who wants to see what the trees look like from a thousand miles away. Encourage the uncommon. Encourage unique thoughts.

Even if you DO know why trees are green or why the sky is blue, giving answers does not encourage exploring the recesses of the brain. Growing up isn’t easy, but shouldn’t it at least be curious? Really and truly look at what you want for yourself and your family. If you desire the curious son, the exploratory daughter, you must change the meaning behind YOUR words – you must be constantly thinking and exploring your thought processes as well.

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Beliefs are thoughts repeated. When it’s the same thoughts repeated over and over, not just with respect to our children, but for parents as well – well, frankly life becomes rigid and hard. Life becomes one tip-toe dance around one touchy subject to another. The flexible and supple family is one that is not adverse to new and exciting conversations.

Fall is a time of harvest, what you reap now is what you had sown in prior months or even years. No way around the universal law. Likewise the thoughts you plant TODAY grow into beautiful future vegetables with abundance – or weeds with thorns.

Irrespective of where you are at today with your career or with your family or how old your children are there is always time to start anew in your life’s evolution. Yes Dad’s, there always has been and always will be a time to plant new and exciting seeds of thought. You may not exactly know what will pop out of those seeds, but isn’t it exciting to know you have at least consciously planted something?

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Perhaps you are considering uprooting where you are and planting a new life abroad – or you just want to expand your children’s educational horizons. It may be easier than you think to start planting the seeds of a second language. Get started today with one of these 7 easy ways to incorporate a second language into your child’s day.

Photo Credits: Jay Breitlow – Happy Dads Inc.Colin Bowdery  

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