If you don’t fill your day or life with challenges that inspire you, it will fill up with challenges that don’t. Challenges that inspire you can be the source of eustress, achievement, and wellness; whereas challenges that don’t can be the source of distress, aging, and illness. Leaders with great wisdom pursue challenging, inspiring, meaningful, and contributive endeavors.
Video games are often seen as mindless dalliances, rotting our kids brains. But when your 12 year-old boy, whose highest values revolve around conquering the most popular multiplayer video game, does so, he immediately innately yearns to expand his dexterity and creative skills once again and tackle the next challenging game. He does not require any extrinsic motivation, reminders, or incentives from you to arise each morning and work intently and enthusiastically on this primary aim; he simply naturally yearns to become the video game master he envisions. He may have to be reminded to do his uninspiring school homework, or chores, and thereby feel momentarily impeded, but he remains inspired from within to do what he loves most. He has a built-in desire to master what he focuses on most with enthusiasm and tackle the seemingly ever-greater challenges that accompany his inspiring pursuit along the way.
And as that boy matures and as his highest values evolve, his most inspiring pursuits naturally evolve along with them. If he has become used to pursuing his video game dreams and tackling those virtual challenges, he will have a greater probability of growing in confidence in conquering other areas of life to become master of his fate. He is more likely to become master of his destiny more than victim of his history. His growth naturally becomes accelerated with every new game, problem, or challenge that he conquers. He repeatedly excels in what his is inspired by most. The executive center in his developing forebrain becomes more and more awake with increased blood, glucose, and oxygen as he discovers his next inspired vision and strategically plans, executes, and masterfully self-governs his highly-prioritized actions.
Of course, you as his parent — and a member of a previous generation — may tend to project your more conventional set of values and well-meaning intentions onto your son in an attempt to moderate (or in some cases impede) your child’s natural desire for tackling ever greater challenges or problems. But you are not realizing that those new games that seem meaningless to you are but temporary sources of meaning and empowerment along the way for your son and act as a catalyst for future leadership development in his later, more socially contributive endeavors.
As new values evolve and emerge within your child — as he eventually becomes an independent young man — his new (yet similar) natural yearnings can fulfill the same outcomes of developing his inner governance and self-mastery with new and more expanded objectives. If he discovers what is truly most important to him and learns the vital skill of seeing how whatever comes along his way can be perceived as on the way more than in the way, he will embrace the many challenges that emerge as catalysts for accelerated and hormonally-driven growth, development, and achievement. When he learns to ask himself: “How specifically is whatever I am experiencing at present helping me fulfill my highest values and chief aim?” he will then awaken his executive center and empower his natural innate and emerging leader from within.
As with biology in general, whatever is not “negentropically” ordered and directed by life physics becomes “entropically” disordered and scattered death physics. When your developing young man brings order into his life by strategically pursuing what truly inspires him, he is less vulnerable to the outer forces of disordering entropy that result from the scattering influences of others. When his voice and vision on the inside become greater and more profound than all opinions on his outside, he naturally begins to master his life.
As with your son, whether or not you are still a young man at heart, if you do not fill your day with high priority actions that inspire you, it will automatically fill up with low priority actions that won’t. And, as I have said before, if you do not fill your day with meaningful challenges that inspire you and that serve others, it will fill up with challenges that create distress and desperation to warn you. These less-fulfilling feelings are nothing more than essential feedback mechanisms to assure that you eventually return to pursuing what is truly inspiring and meaningful in your life. Nature has a way of honing you in over time to be authentic with who you truly are. You and your son are leaders deep within waiting to emerge.
You are not here to live in the shadows of anyone. You are here to live upon the shoulders of giants through tackling ever greater challenges that inspire you. With every new challenge that you conquer, you will be provided the next opportunity to make an ever greater difference within society and in your life. May your son’s video games remind you of your own inner vision games.