Starting / Building confidence

Coping with change: Lessons from a 12-year-old boy

Master Gerrish has just started high school and while Jane and I are in a spin, Wonder Boy is taking it in his stride. Here are a few lessons he’s brought home.

4 March 2013 by

Find the action and get stuck in

Whether it’s instinct or a symptom of being the only child of a Dad who’d rather slump on a deckchair at the beach than recreate the palace of Versailles on all fours, we’ll never know. But from an early age Jay has sussed that seeking out those already having fun gets results quicker than trying to cajole the reticent.

Befriend older, wiser people

Want to know where the table tennis balls are stashed? Or how to get into your locker when you’ve forgotten the code? The way to get ahead is to stalk those in the know. Hang around tall people in long trousers.

Ask lots of questions

Teachers love pupils who ask questions. I for one know Jay asks lots of them. And yes, sometimes they’re relevant. (Sorry, son.)

"Seeking out those already having fun gets results quicker than trying to cajole the reticent."

Asking questions is the speediest way to learn and as we see daily in the forums, people love to help – so ask away.

Maintain your energy

Eating well, sleeping well and the avoidance of mind-and-body junk food are key to starting and getting through the day.

Try it and you’ll see. Try again, and soon it’ll become second nature. It’s astonishing how habits shift when the difference is felt fast and fully.

Regularly do something you love

When days are dominated by new and challenging tasks, spending pockets of time doing joyous things is the quickest way to lift the spirits and recharge the mind. Might explain Jay’s mean table-tennis forehand.

Plan ahead

You only have to walk uphill in the heavy rain a couple of times to realise that planning ahead (and packing an umbrella) is a good move. No matter how fast things are moving, never lose sight of where you are, where you want to go and how you’re going to get there.

What lessons for coping with change have you learnt from the young? 

Robert Gerrish

is the founder of Flying Solo, host of the Flying Solo Podcast and writer/presenter of Work your way our extensive online course at soloism.com. Alongside his role as Head Honcho, he presents at conferences & events and pops up in the media. With Sam Leader and Peter Crocker, he's the author of Flying Solo - How to go it alone in business.

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