06/09/2012 11:50 EDT | Updated 08/09/2012 05:12 EDT

Sharing Your Old-Fashioned Passions With Your New-Aged Kids



What if you could future-proof your child? Get him or her ready for a time when everything we know will have changed. Where practically all the jobs we now know of will be gone and will be replaced with jobs in fields we cannot even conceive of in today's world. And what if I told you that this scenario may come to pass in the next 10 years?

Ever heard of nanotechnology? How about molecular manufacturing, singularity in the 21st century or tipping points in the biosphere? They are real ideas right now. Some will become what they promise to become and others will fade away. You can be sure that something from left field will change the course of everything we know again... and again with regularity and greater frequency.

How do we inspire our children in such an ever changing, unknown world?

By sharing our passions with them. I have seen first hand that the chances we take, the times we challenge ourselves and the things we incorporate into our lives, that make our lives richer as much as having kids, are our greatest weapons against an unknown future. These passions that we choose to bring into our lives can have the most lasting and powerful effect on our children.

But if we are juggling work, daycare, carpooling/chauffeuring, after-school projects, shopping and upkeep on our living quarters, how can we afford the time or the inclination to do anything for ourselves that is enjoyable, let alone inspiring?

Let's take a trip down memory lane for a moment...

Welcome to Neverland. A place where lost kids never grew up and bad guys were oft defeated. Where magic was possible and you could soar. Do you remember such a place from your childhood? How much fun was that? Now tell me, are you already saying: "Well, that's fine for kids, but..."?

What if I told you that Neverland is the place that a great deal of the world's creative ideas come from. It is exactly from that child-self kind of discovery -- the willingness to try new things out, being OK with setbacks and being ready to try and try again with wonder -- that we can harness anything that comes our way.

Was this imagination a helpful tool in schools or at work in the 1900s, when Peter Pan was written? Well, it was for the likes of Henry Ford, the Wright Brothers, Milton Hershey, Thomas Edison and scores of other visionaries. But for most, they were told to let go of their fanciful ideas and "be practical." Will being mechanical and practical work in the world of molecular manufacturing, robotic servants and a tipping point in the world's ecosystem? I think not.

Back to Neverland. The mythologist Joseph Campbell once asked: "What did you do as a child that made your forget time, that created timelessness? Therein lies the myth to live by."

You must find in yourself something that resonates deeply in you. It could be sculpture, painting, racing cars, horseback riding or just about anything. I recommend something impractical that you just love. If you haven't been doing it because you haven't had time, tell yourself that you must do it for your children's sake! That might make it easier. It doesn't take a lot of time. Even 15 minutes a few times a week can be a great start. I should mention you will also feel much better, and nothing helps children more then showing them by example.

How can this help your children be future-proofed? Because all the old models of success in the business world are falling away. The one thing that will always be appreciated is someone who is genuine, someone who is passionate and someone who follows their bliss. When you teach that by example, everybody wins.

Now take a moment. Think about your passions.

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