Leadership lessons from kids; own your dream, be it pink nail polish or something else!
To ensure that you make your career dreams a reality, it’s important that you have your heart set on them.
“I want pink nail polish and lipstick,” said my daughter.
“No, you are too young for make-up” I told her. I squirmed inside as pink is not my color, and I rarely wear nail paint. “Also, it is not good for your skin” I added.
“But I love pink color. It is my favorite and it looks so good” she reasoned. Pursuing her case with child-like innocence and a new found resolve in her voice.
“Make-up is such a waste of time” I told her. “You might as well play, draw, read or do something more fun,” I added and walked away.
I knew that this would not end here. And she knew she would not get it easy.
A few days went by, and she never missed an opportunity to put in her request to me. I must have heard the words pink nail polish and lipstick a zillion times daily. I continued to ignore.
One evening, I happened to listen to hear her talking to herself. Curious to see what she was up to, I checked on her. She had my iPhone and was talking to Siri.
“Siri, can you show me pictures of pink nail polish,” she asked.
Siri flashed so many pictures of bright pink nail polish.
Next, she asked “Siri, can you show me pictures of pink lipstick.”
Again, Siri did her job. And there was a screen full of pink lipsticks.
My daughter was thrilled. I could see it in her eyes. The joy of a screen full of pink lipsticks and nail paints made her ecstatic.
Another day, when I caught her watching videos on YouTube I realised that she was watching DIY videos on how to apply nail paint! To be honest, I did not even know so many tutorials existed on how to apply makeup, and the numerous creative ways in which you can apply them. It was amazing to see what all you can do with pink lipstick and nail polish. If you’re curious, be sure to check in YouTube next time.
A few weeks back we were at the airport and happened to pass by a high end makeup studio which had on display more than a hundred nail paints. My daughter was overjoyed to see it. She could not believe her eyes that there could be so many shades! She again put in her request. She begged, reasoned and pleaded. But I refused!
She persisted with her requests at every opportunity. I continued to ignore.
And then a few days back when we were at the mall, she held my hand and said stop. She looked at me and said “Mama, I want a pink nail polish and lipstick. I have also saved up money for it, so please can you buy it for me. I will be a good girl and listen to all that you say. I don’t want you to buy anything else for me. Please, please, please, buy pink nail polish and lipstick for me.”
There was something in the earnestness of her request and longing in her voice. I can’t explain in words or put my finger on it.
Anyways what happened next was that I did buy them for her. Interestingly (thanks to Siri), she was clear on the shade she wanted and selected from the available options based on her personal preference. When I paid the bill and handed them over to her, the joy and happiness on her face was clear.
“Thank you Mama,” she said, satisfied.
We came home and the first thing she did was to ask me to apply her nail paint. That done, she did the honours with her pink lipstick. That done, she stood in front of a full-length mirror and admired herself for several minutes. The joyous look in her eyes, the happy expression on her face, the spring in her step and the warmth in the hugs that followed was priceless. It was her dream come true! And it was her moment of glory, pride and victory. I let her savour it.
Secretly, I was pleased too! While the mother in me had concerns that she had a taste of makeup so early in life – there were so many positives from the whole episode. What stood out for me was her clarity on her dream (to wear pink lipstick and nail polish) and her laser-sharp focus to work on it to make it a reality. I realise that most of what she did was way beyond kiddish requests and demands.
Once she knew what she wanted, she did a market study to explore options (thanks to technology). Then she had to convince me, which she was successful in! (Those who know me personally know how easy this is :), but then I am her mother, so obviously she knew what buttons to press!). Then, she saved money to buy it. And lastly, she knew exactly the right moment to close the deal!
At the workplace, it is no different. As a leader, entrepreneur or a working professional, you should OWN your DREAM.
It has to be yours – not your bosses, colleagues, spouses or kids! You should really desire it with all your mind and heart. That done, you should work to make it a reality! In every possible way. You have to take big steps which take you closer to your dream, or small baby steps which pave the way to the end.
Your journey to achieve your dream has to be conscious, planned and well thought out. Agreed, elements of luck and divine grace play their part. However, your game plan to achieve your dream has to be holistic, including learning and skill development, investing in networks and relationships and of course working smartly to achieve interim milestones. The journey will not be easy. There will be roadblocks. There will be setbacks. There will be people who don't support. There will be people who ignore, critique, question and even pull you down. There will be times when the sound of music is not pleasant. To survive the long haul only two things will matter - One, the dream has to be YOURS! Two, you have to PERSIST!
So, what’s your dream? Go, live it!
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)