Oct 22, 2010

Big Spy/Little Spy


agent 33 here with a personal story i recently shared.

i have seven nieces and nephews, one of whom has two babies of her own. i guess that makes me a great-aunt. (hey, i like the sound of that!) yet, i was recently humbled – as in an “i’m not worthy” kind of humbled – by the coolest auntie i have met in a while.

i recently got a call from this auntie (a woman named jill) who wanted to treat he r three nephews and one niece to a private  “spy training mission.” jill flew all the way from california for an action-packed day of surprise activities she had planned for these kids. i admire her for putting so much energy, creativity and love into keeping her niece and nephews on the right path.

the specifics of jill’s mission are top secret.  (one of the cool perks of having a custom mission!)  but i will tell you that one of the training components was samurai sword fighting.  it was a fabulous day, but the real “ah ha!” moment for me was during the wrap up.

at the end of each mission, we discuss what each student liked most about the training they experienced.  we then show them how to take those lessons and translate them to every day life goals and obstacles.

as i looked at these young faces, two of whom were contemplating college, i realized that the words i chose would be important.  i thought of what i would tell my own nieces and nephews:  to be able to do what we truly love in life is a gift and not one that comes without dedication.  you have the tremendous advantage of youth and the opportunity that comes with it.  the world is completely open.

just like in sword fighting, you must study your craft.  get an education as a solid foundation in life.  real sword fights only last a few seconds so you can’t afford to hesitate for even a moment.  choose your battles wisely but when you draw your sword, be prepared to use it.  don’t let anything stand in your way.  even if you fall short of your goal, you will never have regret over not having tried.
opportunities pass us by.  you must seize them, commit to your actions, and have full follow through to achieve your goals.

as i watched their faces react to my words, i knew the life lessons were registering.  and i received some inspiration of my own.

the next business day, i sat down with alana and we discussed what transpired at jill’s mission.  i told her how amazing it felt to work with teens and young adults.  we immediately started working on a big spy/little spy mission to give moms and aunties out there a unique activity that they can do with their daughters/nieces that is age appropriate and specifically geared toward this kind of motivation.  so far, it’s been a big hit.


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