I’ve heard a few interviews with Jocko Willink, which I found interesting. I also listened to his podcast, which was not really my fare. My list of casts is too long anyway ;-). It was quite a while ago, so I might give it another shot. I also had people recommend me his books, especially Extreme Ownership.
I noted he also has written children’s books. I recently bought The Way of a Warrior Kid. I like it a lot! Right now when I am writing this, I note the book has a web site. Including that one can read the first 14 pages. Doh. But it was not one of my “bad buys”, so it does not really matter. 😀
The main message of the book is that one can accomplish a lot more than one thinks. It requires effort and persistance. Nothing really revolutionary, but I like the way it is put. It is not an extremely sophisticated message, but I think it is valid, and it always has been valid. It’s not a message of throwing the kid into deep water so it starts swimming, although I know persons who had that treatment, too. It is about pushing limits, but not in a reckless way.
When I was a kid … (hey!) we did not have those modern support wheels on children’s bicycles. Instead, an adult held the bicycle in the back and we tried. I have a clear memory of my father doing that, and at one point I turned my head and looked back and he was standing some distance back. So I had, unbeknownst to myself, accomplished bicycling without help! I of course fell over… Mind over matter? But soon I realised I could actually bicycle! But if you know about that method, The Warrior Kid is a bit in that vein.
I was also reminded about what at least in Swedish is the most quoted writing from Søren Kierkegaard, the poem Til Eftertanke, a sort of pedagogical good advice. Danish original:
Hvis det skal lykkes mig at føre et menneske mod et bestemt mål, må jeg først finde derhen, hvor han befinder sig og begynde lige der.
Den, som ikke kan det, snyder sig selv, når han tror, at han kan hjælpe andre. For at hjælpe nogen må jeg visselig forstå mere end han gør, men først og fremmest forstå, hvad han forstår. Hvis jeg ikke kan det, så hjælper det ikke, at jeg kan og ved mere. Vil jeg alligevel vise, hvor meget jeg kan, så skyldes det, at jeg er forfængelig og hovmodig, og at jeg egentlig gerne vil blive beundret af andre i stedet for at hjælpe ham.
Al ægte hjælpsomhed begynder med ydmyghed over for den, jeg vil hjælpe, og dermed må jeg forstå, at dette med at hjælpe ikke er at ville herske, men at ville tjene.
Kan jeg ikke dette, så kan jeg heller ikke hjælpe nogen.
The book it was published in was not translated to English about a hundred years later (1962), so it is still under copyright. I found an online English translation a while ago, but cannot locate it now. Bah!
The whole book can be borrowed from Internet Archive. (I did not know they had that service!)
Sorry for not having a good translation. I might make one myself. One day. Meanwhile, there are many good one-liners from Kierkegaard online. In English.