The cool kids are the ones that have all the fun, the ones that everyone likes.
Everybody else is insignificant and irrelevant.
At least that’s how it feels to your child when they’re not one of the cool kids.
It’s a social instinct to want to be liked by others, to want to be popular. So, your child seeks out those who are already popular hoping to get their seal of approval – their “I pick you.”
Your child makes a few tweaks here and there, changing who they are to become more appealing to those who do the picking.
And some changes are not a big deal.
But others are, and those are the ones that tyrannize.
All of those adjustments and modifications that your child makes can, in fact, be profound transformations and even deformations that turn them into someone who they are not.
And no matter how much they permutate, the pickers will probably not even pick them because the pickers are looking for something specific, something that (hopefully) your child does not have.
Being popular means that you appeal to the greater number of people and that only happens when you don’t rock the boat, when you are just like everyone else. Being popular only happens when you are not uniquely yourself.
And so, it’s a good thing if your child is rejected because once they realize that no one else is going to pick them, then they can actually get to work on what truly matters.
You see, deep down, that social instinct is not actually about the number of fans and admirers that one has. It’s about the number of people who one can impact in a meaningful way.
Once your child understands that there are real problems to be solved, powerful ideas to be shared, and meaningful connections to be made… once they realize that they have the tools and resources they need to create real value, then your child becomes truly significant.
And being significant is far more important than being popular.
Your child doesn’t need to wait for anyone to pick them. They need to pick themselves.
* image courtesy of Kevin Conor Keller.
** This post was adapted from an excellent post by Seth Godin.
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