WHAT IF YOU WERE THE MOTHER OF ONE OF TOP 100 MOST INFLUENTIAL PEOPLE OF THE WORLD?
Richard Branson is one of the most visionary entrepreneurs of the last century. He is the CEO of Virgin, one of the most powerful companies in the world. He is a philanthropic billionaire who cares for the environment. He is the owner of space ship Galactic that will taking tourists to space in the coming months. In 2007 he was listed among the top 100 most influential people of the world by TIME magazine.
I guess every parent would want their child to be very happy and successful in life, a la Branson. So what is his secret?
Several factors play a role in such gigantic achievement, however Branson also agrees that the family environment where he grew up is among the most important.
What values did his family teach Branson?
Branson was in Istanbul for the Inspired2016 event that brings together world-renowned entrepreneurs. Here are some of his messages that may be valuable for parents:
Forget about TV, help with the housework
“When I was a child, we were not allowed to watch TV at home. Instead, mom asked me to help with the housework. That taught me responsibility. I spent my childhood climbing to trees and rescuing cats. It was much more fun this way.”
Love is superior to money
“We didn’t have much money, but we always had food on our table. I grew up in the rural area. We were not reach, but it was a loving family environment. We had very strong ties.”
Branson, told that he was very happy with his wife and children for very long years, and that the time spent with them was his main source of motivation in life. This was the kind of family environment where he grew up.
Never criticize people!
“When I wanted to criticize someone as a child, my mom used to tell me to go and look at myself in the mirror. She told me that every bad word I say about someone else was a reflection of who I am. This affected me a lot. I always try to see the good in people and praise them, rather than focusing on their weaknesses. In fact, when my wife attempts at initiating gossip about someone, I just leave the room.”
The problem is your perspective, not dyslexia
Branson was ridiculed in his classroom because of his dyslexia. Yet, his self-confident perspective that he developed as a result of his mother’s influence during early childhood, made him ask the following question: “If I fail at the classical school system, what I can I be successful at?” He started questioning that at a very early point in life.
If a child fails in the classical school system, that does not mean that he is not talented. It does not translated into failing in life either. Branson serves as a great example. His mom’s message on seeing the good in people rather that criticizing them may have led him to focus on his strengths rather than his weaknesses.
Find the way home on your own
Richard Branson had visited Turkey before. He had told a story about how learned to stand on his ow feet thanks to his mother. His mother dropped him off the car a few kilometers away from home and asked him to find the way home.
How many mothers would dare do that? Would you?
I hope this helps change the perspective of the modern “helicopter parents” who assume the responsibility of their children, act as their spokespeople, prevent them from making any mistakes, and deprive their children from the capability to be strong in the face of failure in the early days of life…