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Pivoting, The New Essential Life Skill

Posted: September 30, 2020

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Pivoting is an essential skill needed in the wake of this new normal, here’s how you can help your kids learn this!

A software engineer is now selling vegetables, a teacher is making and selling papads, a corporate executive has become a home baker; the stories of people pivoting and taking up new livelihoods for financial reasons are lessons in disguise.

These are lessons for us to learn, as well as to inculcate in our children. These are lessons that teach us that life can throw a curveball anytime and we need to deal with it. And so, failure is sometimes not because of us but because of circumstances. We, therefore, cannot, give undue importance to winning and scoring cent per cent results.

This situation is giving us a chance to explain to the kids that while knowing what they want to do in future is important, being able to rise to challenges is meritorious as well. Pushing our kids to succeed all the time is equal to not preparing them for failure in the future.

How will it help your kids

It also teaches us the importance of humility and dignity of labour. I remember being told by a fellow parent that a Montessori school which encourages kids to be responsible for cleanliness, was not happy when the kid refused to clean up after his mess. The kid’s response was that it was the job of the maid and not his. The school called all parents for a meeting and elucidated this example to show them how subconsciously, by refusing to allow kids to touch the broom and the mop, we were instilling biases in them. How would such a kid learn to pivot in the future, in the face of a crisis like Covid-19?

Adaptability is another major lesson being learnt through pivoting. As kids, we are never told about the struggles that our parents went through to make lives better for us. Due to a personal crisis, my parents had to start from scratch. But they never took loans as they believed in making do with what they had. Strangely enough, I do not remember life being tough then either. It is because happiness was not made of what house we lived in or what car we drove. My parents taught us that adaptability is the key to happiness. It is another lesson, worth passing on to our kids, in the garb of pivoting.

Finally, pivoting also teaches us balance. When all our eggs are in one basket, that basket becomes the sole contributor of our well-being. Losing it makes us believe it is the end. However, spreading out our sources of happiness into little nuggets of family, friends, work, hobbies and social work makes us realize that even if one fails, there is so much to fall back on. The only way to teach kids about balance, is by living life in this pattern.

Picture Credits: Pexels

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I am a freelance writer based out of Bangalore.

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