My one-year-old daughter seems to be evolving a lot more than I am these days. She assesses her abilities on a daily basis, takes several risks and is constantly willing to learn a new skill. I have experienced a lot in the year since we have had our first child, but above all else, I am astounded as she learns to walk.
First and foremost, why would she bother? She has a perfectly effective way of getting around, crawling, and she is extremely adept at it. Why hasn’t she given up yet? She is sporting her first bruised lip from falling flat on her face, yet she walked again this morning. There are many reasons not to try, so it took me a while to figure out what would compel my baby girl to want to walk.
Here is what I have realized so far. Every day my daughter is:
- Abandoning inefficient processes – While it is true she can get around, she is forced to crawl on all fours. Walking will free up her hands to learn a ton of new skills.
- Accepting that learning is a process – While it is hard to watch her struggle, it is a pleasure to watch her persevere. Resilience is an essential trait for growth and infants seem to be born with an endless supply.
- Overcoming obstacles – From her first balance check, to the first step, to the first time she walked across the room one thing remains the same: every success is followed by an enormous grin. Even at one year old she gets immense pleasure when all of her hard work pays off.
- Building on Success – It wasn’t as if she woke up one day and could walk. In fact, she is still figuring it out as I write this. She first had to pull herself up, then she had to learn how to balance on two feet and finally she had to have the courage to put one foot in front of the other regardless of the endless obstacles ahead of her.
I find myself thinking a lot about this as 2009 rapidly approaches and my daughter continues to get closer and closer to being fully functioning biped. When I go back to work in the New Year, my job is changing. I am being asked to shift from a sales support position to a more active role in sales. I am taking a good hard look at my current skill set and I am trying to figure out what I will need to learn. Most importantly, I am going to have to draw a lot of strength and inspiration from my daughter in order to overcome the learning gap I am about to fall into.