“Achieving your potential is serious business”- 12 May 2019


Q. Through the column of ‘Emotions’ I wish to seek an advice for my 16 yrs old brilliant daughter. She is highly ambitious but does not want to put in the required effort to achieve her dreams. No wonder has been doing exceptionally well in board/ school exams but has never cleared any all India level competitive exams, though she misses them by few marks. Whenever I advice her to just exert more she doesn’t pay attention and would stray in wrong-doings. I pull back her to the track, but precious time gets wasted. She will become very serious at the 11th hour, which results in undesirable outcome. Also, she has the habit of putting onus of the setback on us and everyone/everything else. She tries to cook up story and manipulate us, but  has never succeeded as we are devoted parents and put enough time and care in raising her. I let her read your columns in ‘ The Hitavada’, and even play the motivational videos by You, ‘Sadhguru’  and ‘ B.K.Shivani’, apart from talking and analysing the daily events of her life as well as ours.  Next year she will be in college and I fear that she may mess up her life. I wish her to be successful citizen with good values. Please help.

Thanks and regards.

Ans. I understand your concern for your daughter. Since she is a brilliant and gifted child you as a parent desire the best for her and wish her to utilise her potential to the fullest. This is a very important point of concern of parents who have children with higher intelligence. As per your observations, she has the talent to achieve the top but misses the mark with few points; she gets distracted by other things and she starts her serious preparations at the last minute. This actually indicates a lack of defining the goal, lack of total focus on the goal and of course a slight lowered motivation to achieve the target. We must find the reasons for the same. To begin with, start with a frank dialogue with her and explore her mind and her dreams and goals in life in the long run. She may have different ideas than yours and it would be good for you to know them. If you listen to your child with an open mind (and do not lecture at all), withhold your opinions and only listen to hers, you might find something new. Children have ideas which they may not communicate to parents if you don’t give them a chance. This is not to say that you are not a good parent but to suggest a few perspectives. Secondly ask her what type of help she would require from you and her mother. Give her only that and nothing more. Sometimes they need practical help and not motivational talk and examples. Sometimes they need to share their failures and cry about it on your shoulders and are not in a mood to listen to reprimands and ‘I told you so’ statements. A session of counselling may help to identify the reasons affecting your daughter and the reasons for her pulling punches as we call it or ‘missing the mark’ as you call it. Spend more time with her in a fun way and make friends with her. Set an example of a role model by avoiding /restricting your own hobbies and stay with her. Try these and let me know.


Q. I am in love with a girl from my tuition class. She is a very shy girl and speaks less to others. How should I talk to her? I tried some times and she never looked at me. She is living near to my house and sometimes I follow her to her house. I think she knows this and smiles a little. How to know what is going on in her mind? Please help.

Ans. Normally shy and introverted people never tell their mind or find it difficult to tell their thoughts and feelings. They keep it to themselves and are secretive. Sometimes hence it is better not to disturb them by forcing or pushing them to make friends. They take life very seriously and never lightly ad hence have the tendency to get hurt if things don’t go well in the long run. If she likes you and starts talking to you she may secretly commit herself to you and if you are a light hearted person and hurt her in some way even lightly she will be badly disturbed. Go slow and keep sending positive messages and not strong ones (I love you is a big NO). Only be friendly and funny and make her laugh and comfortable in your company. She should feel safe and secure with you that you will not hurt her. Don’t rush and don’t conclude anything. If you are lucky she will want your company and desire you.

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