The Seeds of Greatness: Roots & Wings (10 courses)
Welcome to our gift to you and your loved ones: The Seeds of Greatness: Roots and Wings set of courses. Congratulations on investing in the most precious natural resources on earth: the lives of your children and those who look to you for guidance. We are excited to share with you time-tested principles, and timely tips on how to plant the seeds of greatness at home and raise winning children, regardless of their ages.
This system is designed to reinforce the best practices of a nurturing leader that you already know and utilize. It will also give you many fresh ideas on making your home a place your kids will want to come back to, rather than get away from. You’re about to experience the result of 40 years of education, training, and field-testing. A value-based learning system and format that will give you maximum benefits and long-term results. This is not a quick-fix, Band-Aid program. It is based on scientific studies and practical applications. Rather than a fad program, it is a fact program you can try and trust with your own family.
Parenting is perhaps the only full-time, lifelong profession for which there is no formal education. Parenthood comes naturally. Parenting, however, most often is experienced by trial and error; many trials and an abundance of errors, many handed down to us by our own parents. This comprehensive, value-based family enrichment program is dedicated to give you the self-management traits that every leader needs to teach, and every child needs to learn. It has been called, “The instruction manual that should have been delivered with each child.”
One of our primary goals is to give you guidelines, so you won’t have to learn from your own mistakes as often as we did in raising our own families. We have deliberately focused on you as the key role models and leaders of your family, and the specific action steps that you and your kids need to take for success in and away from your home. We are convinced that this is the right program for our society at the right time with the right message, and have designed it to be delivered as a self-study program you can experience in your own home at your own pace, consisting of video and audio lessons, supported by printed materials and suggested activities.
Rots and Wings
It is far better to give your children your time and nurturing in the form of Roots and Wings instead of trying to buy their affection with Loot and Things. What do we mean by Roots and Wings? We must have roots in order to grow strong and weather the buffeting winds of unforeseen storms and the challenges of weeds and droughts. These are character traits fundamental to long-term success, regardless of future environmental conditions. By wings, we mean the motivation, goal orientation and optimism to soar and fly, becoming independent, high achieving adults who make a positive difference in life.
With solid roots, children are prepared to leave their parents’ gardens. The planting of the seeds of greatness in kids takes patience and persistence. Character growth is not always immediate or obvious. If, for example, you were to plant the seed of a Chinese bamboo tree, and water and nurture the seed consistently, you could become frustrated and even discouraged, unless you knew the growth cycle of the tree. There is no visible growth the first, second, third, or fourth year. But during the fifth year, the tree will grow about ninety feet in six weeks! Did the tree really wait five years to begin growing? Of course not. The nurturing of the first four years allowed the tree to develop a strong root system which could accommodate the tremendous, visible growth that fifth year.
It is often the same in raising children. Values and character traits are not instilled overnight or by preaching. They are formed over time through modeling and repetition. Values are more often caught, than taught. Although we don’t often see the immediate consequences or rewards of the thoughts planted in our children’s minds, in due time, they will reap what has been sown.
We have identified what we feel are the five most important, underlying roots of healthy family growth, including Positive Self- Awareness, knowing yourself and your children’s potential; Positive Self-Esteem, the core values inherent in all enduring winners; and, perhaps, most important, Positive Self-Discipline, which is the development of healthy habits through training and taking positive action to correct behavior, rather than use coercive punishment to stop behavior. Positive Self-Determination, the ability to be responsible for outcomes and to make effective choices in life; and Positive Self-Honesty, the moral compass and integrity that is the cornerstone of authentic leadership, which most often is learned in the home environment.
By learning these critical roots, our kids not only believe they are as good as the best, not necessarily better than the rest, they respect every individual as having the equal right to feel worthy of success regardless of status, ethnicity, background, profession or beliefs. Instead of the labels of material success, they will have core values that endure.
In addition to giving our children roots, we parents have the additional responsibility of providing the wind beneath our children’s wings so they can fly from our nests as confident, optimistic young adults. The majestic eagle is the symbol of freedom and determination in America. We can learn much from the lifestyle of the eagle family. The eagle parents know the day is coming when their children must make their own way. They know the real challenge for the eaglet is learning how to fly! Like the eagles, we parents have as our primary role to provide the love and early roots, and then the skills to create the wind beneath our children’s wings. We must take care that our homes are not so all-providing and over-indulging that there is no motivation or challenge for self-determination. By keeping our children as dependents, too long, or not providing the leadership skills to help them navigate the currents and storms in life, we are clipping their wings and removing the wind.
The five courses that comprise the Wings’ character traits include Positive Self-Motivation, or the inner fire of desire; Positive Self-Expectancy, so kids can handle setbacks and problems with resiliency and optimism; Positive Self-Imagination so they tap into their creative imaginations and design their futures; Positive Self-Direction, the focus and stair-step ability of turning dreams into reachable goals, and Positive Self-Dimension, which is living with spiritual depth, joy and harmony.
If you will give this program a chance, we know that it will give you a positive change in the way you view your role as the primary coach and mentor for your own children. Always remember that what you leave in your children as values and memories is much more important than what you leave to your children as valuables and money in your estate. Rather than overindulging your kids with material gifts in an attempt to compensate for the guilt you feel in not spending enough time with them, make this moment in time your moment of truth. When they leave the nest, your children will rarely, if ever, speak of the money you spent. But at every family reunion throughout your life, they and your grandchildren will laugh, and cry, and reminisce about the precious times you spent together. Be a parent who spends quality and quantity time with your children. Nothing speaks of love so dramatically as being there up close and personal. Give them your love, and your time.
An ancient Chinese proverb tells us, “A child’s life is like a piece of paper on which every passerby leaves a mark.” We cannot teach our children the seeds of greatness. We can only help them discover these seeds within themselves by adding positive marks and strokes on their slates. Being a parent is a 24 and 7 assignment. Every day, in every way, we want to help you plant the seeds of greatness in every family member.
Our children are in our care, but are not our clones. Kahlil Gibran is our favorite on the subject:
“Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. You may give them your love, but not your thoughts. For they have their own thoughts. You may house their bodies, but not their souls. For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams. You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them be like you. For life goes not backward, nor tarries with yesterday.”
We hope you gain from and enjoy this journey into self-discovery with us for the most noble of all causes in human development: that of preparing your children to fulfill their highest aspirations in their own lives.
The seeds of greatness are not dependent upon the gifted birth, the inherited bank account, the intellect, the skin-deep beauty, ethnicity, or status. The seeds of greatness are attitudes and beliefs that begin in children as baby talk, as do’s and don’ts, as casual family chatter, bedtime stories, and observations – like flimsy cobwebs, at first – then with years of practice, become like unbreakable roots or cables to shackle or strengthen our characters throughout the rest of our adult lives. We are planting shade trees for future generations under which, we ourselves, can never sit.
As you and your children experience this program, keep in mind that parenting is like gardening. You plant, and you wait. Some seeds take a long time to sprout and develop.
Be patient, be persistent, be there in person, and be proud of the legacy you are creating for your family. Our only mission in this gift to you is to demonstrate that loot and things will never be as valuable to you and your children as roots and wings, and a fulfilled life as the harvest from planting the seeds of greatness.
With faith and optimism,
Denis Waitley, Ph.D. Maryann Rosenthal, Ph.D.
A Child’s Bedtime Song:
ROOTS AND WINGS
If I had two wishes, I know what they would be
I’d wish for roots to cling to, and wings to set me free; Roots of inner values, like rings within a tree,
And wings of independence to seek my destiny.
Roots to hold forever, to keep me safe and strong
To let me know you love me, when I’ve done something wrong; To show me by example, and help me learn to choose
To take those actions every day to win instead of lose.
Just be there when I need you, to tell me it’s all right To face my fear of falling when I test my wings in flight; Don’t make my life too easy, it’s better if I try
And fail and get back up myself, so I can learn to fly.
If I had two wishes, and two were all I had
And they could just be granted by my mom and dad; I wouldn’t wish for money or any store-bought things
The greatest gifts I’d ask for are simply roots and wings.