Really enjoyed this article. I’m raising a son but good advice for all.
This article originally appeared at lifehacker.org
When I read about or witness evil things taking place in this world, it makes me wonder if there is even hope for anyone in this evil place. Then I look at my wonderful daughter. She is the reason to keep trying, she is what is great about living in this world.
When I think about empowering my daughter and helping her to become a strong and positive woman, I think of Supergirl. Supergirl is an empowered woman who takes action, makes positive choices, and is a positive role model for girls across the world.
So how do you raise Supergirl? My response to this question is not your typical list of characteristics. My response and advice to raising Supergirl is based on my hope that my daughter truly lives her life to the fullest.
Here are 5 things my wife and I plan on asking or telling our daughter so she may grow to be our Supergirl:
1. What Do You Desire?
“If you do not expect the unexpected, you will not find it; for it is hard to be sought out, and difficult.” – Heraclitus
Ask yourself this simple question, “What do you desire?” Not, what do your family or community or friends desire of you, but, what do YOU desire?
Alan Watts provides sage advice to this question, “So I always ask the question…what would you do if money were no object? How would you really enjoy spending your life? When we finally got down to something, which the individual says he really wants to do, I will say to him, you do that and forget the money, because, if you say that getting the money is important, you will spend your life completely wasting your time.”
Don’t worry so much about how you will get to your desire, the important thing is to figure out where and what your desire is. Once the where and what are clear, the how will take care of itself.
2. Question Everything
“In order to reach the truth, it is necessary, once in one’s life, to put everything in doubt–so far as possible.” – Descartes
Learn to question everything from everyone, even your mother and I. Learn to ask the question, “What if we are wrong?” Our entire life, we are raised with specific beliefs. These beliefs are pounded into our head. I firmly believe that my beliefs are correct, however, what if they are not…what if I am wrong? Do not ever be afraid to ask this question.
3. Recognize That There Is Evil in This World
“Each day we are becoming a creature of splendid glory or one of unthinkable horror.” – C.S. Lewis
Life is full of great wonders and limitless possibilities. However, it is also full of evil. There are people in this world who will not hesitate to hurt you. These people live in a world where you are an object to be manipulated and exploited. These people will create illusions; illusions of love with intention of destruction.
Be cautious and vigilant with everyone you come into contact with, especially the internet community. Recognize that these are real people and there are places on the internet that are no different than walking down a dark alley in East Saint Louis.
“Just when I discovered the meaning of life, they changed it.” – George Carlin
You must learn to fight for yourself and your family. The world can be an extremely evil place and you must be prepared to defend yourself at all times. Learning how to fight will make you more confident. It will change the way you think about life and force you to keep your mind and body in peak physical condition.
Learning how to fight means that you train, not just your body, but your mind as well. Learn how to identify situations where evil things could exist. Learning how to fight will not fully prepare for every situation, but ask yourself what is better–to know how to defend yourself and give yourself those precious few seconds to call for help–or to not know how and just give up?
5. Transcend Limiting Beliefs
“The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.” – Michelangelo
Move through life knowing that the limits to your abilities simply do not exist. One way to do this is to find people who are smarter or those who have accomplished more than you. Trust me, there is always someone. If you are able to admit that there is always someone ahead of you, and you eliminate the need to compete with them, you will experience exponential growth. Then keep growing. Once you advance to their level of achievement, continue to find smarter people.
Use the following advice as you take the next step: 1) If you don’t go after your desire, you will never have it. 2) You have to ask, otherwise the answer will always be no. 3) If you don’t take the next step, you will always be in the same place.
Remember this last piece of advice, “It seems to me the most incomparable tragedy to live one’s life only to realize at the end of it that one never truly lived it at all.” – Alan Watts