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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Childhood counts!

Written by hlpe

Ever wondered why some people are a natural talent at almost everything? Whether its playing the piano or striking a business deal? And as many management/leadership conferences you attend you can't seem to attain their level of efficacy, leaving you in a downright frustrated state.

The answer or at least part of the answer lies in the fact that they started learning these stuff from young! Yes! Just in case you haven't realize, who and what you are today is a sum of your wealth of experiences. Rest assured i am not talking about parents who freakily teach their 3 year old child how to mind map or negotiate business deals, but allow me to dazzle you with how trivial experiences of childhood can give you a cutting edge today!

1. Time management & Teamwork
How? Dividing household chores between siblings. Though this might sound rather insignificant then. You learned how to
prioritize (gaging what task need to be accomplish first, lest the curse of the cane), manage time (make sure you allocate your time for study, play, leisure and chores), teamwork (cooperate with your siblings so that the end goal (i.e. a clean house) is achieved; this might mean covering for each other when the other is sick/busy)

2. Creativity & Innovation
How? Coming from a middle/lower socioeconomic strata, you wouldn't have Fisher Price toys (which are supposed to be educational in nature) or Fancy colouring books to colour in. But this is where imagination runs wild! You used cushions from sofas (double them up) and ride them as someone born with a silver spoon in the mouth would ride a wooden rocking horse, you draw in the sand on your back yard and to add colour you scatter flower petals of different flowers you pinch from the garden. Enough said (You definitely will have tons of ideas when asked to carry out a project with limited resources!)

3. Awareness of individual rights and the Confidence to express it
How? In my house at least, we use to have "meetings" to discuss the our parents' level of satisfaction with our household chore performance (if you really think about it, its like KPIs-Key Performance Indicators of the corporate world today), it was also an opportunity for us to voice our dislike on certain task we were assigned to and allowed to swapped with siblings (skill of negotation at play) if you are able to support your point with valid reasoning. You will learn to fight for you individual rights (if you are experiencing task overload) and certainly developed the confidence to voice it (because you don't want to do the task!

Unfortunate for your HR department, they will certainly have a run for it if they try to rip you of your employee rights in any way.

4. Organization & the power of "Black & White"
How? Continuing from above, these "meetings" are minuted...so yes! I learnt how to take minutes of meeting from the tender age of 8 or was it 9? And you learned a dose of abidance to rules and regulations as well, and how important listing things in 'Black & White' is! (Which you will learnt later in life, be it in tenancy agreements, employee contract, or god forbids you get involve in a lawsuit)

5. Value of money and the power of savings
How? Pocket money. I used to have a friend whose parent had a stack of RM50 notes in a particular drawer in the house for refill. In other words, pocket money wasn't capped. Needless to say, such a system teaches you almost nothing about money. But if you have a fixed pocket money and the total amount is derived from the amount you would need to have a single meal during recess (e.g. RM 2 per day x 5 = You get RM10 a week). You definitely learned to save! Whether you used the money to buy candy or toycars (you need to mentally if not on paper work out how much you need to save per day in order to afford your gift!)

Even the richer kids in society learn some important lessons of money (if they get sent off to boarding schools). Alot of boarding schools for the elite, implement pocket money system as well. One would need to fill up a form to request for allowances. NOTE: and if anything was written wrongly in the request form = NO ALLOWANCE (I'm sure this definitely helped them learnt to be meticulous when writing out cheques 10-15 years down the road)

I could go on forever, but i think you get my point. So if you are a parent, never underestimate the value of trivial stuff; and if you are already all grown up (don't blame your parents for not teaching you stuff), start learning now! Experience is wealth, unfortunately time = money too, and money can't buy time!

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