Resourcefulness – A Perennial Characteristic of Success

Resourcefulness – A Perennial Characteristic of Success


The defining factor is never resources, it’s resourcefulness” – Tony Robbins

This quote says it all in terms of how we need to be raising our kids today.  The focus has been  on the external pursuits of grades, trophies, awards, which would ‘hopefully’ lead to that prestigious college, big job in a ‘big’ company, working big hours to make the big bucks.  It’s a treadmill leading to nowhere.  Well yes, it does lead to somewhere – to the material world of resources.   We chase our tails towards what’s become the end-all; and end up with big holes in our cheese into which we fall through a bottomless pit of emptiness.

Because we’re missing something.  We’re missing the inner ability to deal and cope when the resources run dry.  When we lose that job and therefore that income or we don’t land the job to begin with because the other guy won it over us.  We’re missing the internal attributes to carry us through when the external pieces give way.

Just as the tide brings in the big waves and then recedes, so the resources can swallow us up into glory and then spit us out onto dry land; and then what.  We’re left hanging out like a beached whale dying for water devoid of any inner strength to get us back on our feet.

If resources are the transient, as they come and go with the times and circumstances and are great hooks on which to hang our hats of excuses as to why we’re not doing something – not enough money, time, people to give to us- then resourcefulness is the perennial thread that is woven throughout the tapestry, pulling us through the knots, blockages, mistaken stitches. 

We pride ourselves on being able to give our kids all the resources at our disposal- the newest and best technology of all sorts at an increasingly younger age – and then some.  Wherever possible we’re stepping in to prevent them at all costs from experiencing any pain, discomfort, failure, consequences or the likes of which that would begin to build and shape those internal muscles of resourcefulness.

Are we letting our kids figure out how to get back up on their feet after a mishap?  We did it for them when they were babies.  As they were learning to walk they would fall down over and over again, and then get back up on their own.  And that’s how they got to the next phase of development called walking.  Rarely do you see a baby sitting on the ground just waiting for a rescuer to come and pull him back up onto his feet.  He wimpers and gets back up.  And we seem to be able to watch and tolerate that.

But something happens as they get older.  We cannot allow them to suffer the natural consequences (the obviously safe ones).  Parents will fight the teachers over a poor grade and say it’s their fault that they didn’t spend enough time doing the homework with their child.

And so kids have nothing inside themselves to resort to.  It all comes from  outside sources – let’s call mom to bring my forgotten lunch, after all it’s her fault she didn’t remind me to take it; I didn’t wake up in time for my bus because dad didn’t wake me enough times and now Dad has to drive me to school.

Parents are creating these scenarios by fostering this total lack of self-responsibility and ownership of a situation.  The saving and rescuing is crippling our children and stripping them of the wonderful qualities that go into resourcefulness: problem-solving, trust in one’s own ability to make something happen, competency and feelings of self-pride, creativity and thinking out of the box. 

Let’s put the resource of resourcefulness back into our children so when their outer circumstances crumble, they have themselves to turn back to and can pull themselves up by the bootstraps with renewed hope and fervor.


What does your resourcefulness look like;  or your child’s or your parenting towards that characteristic?  

Any food for thought here that you’d like to comment on?  Please do.  Differences of opinion are welcome.  And please share on facebook, twitter,linked….

3 thoughts on “Resourcefulness – A Perennial Characteristic of Success

  1. Mary says:

    This is exactly what drove me out of teaching. I could not convince these “helicopter” parents that they were hurting, not helping their child. I would get constant pleas — Can he do it over? Can she turn it in late? They didn’t seem to understand that there are consequences for being late – you get fired from your job, your electricity gets turned off, you get a ticket for an expired sticker on your car, etc. A zero on an assignment is NOTHING compared to some of these other consequences. Why not learn this lesson now? They would always say “Just this one time.” Of course, that only lasted until the next time the child didn’t turn something in. Suddenly I’m the bad guy because I’m holding the child accountable. If I said no, they would just go to my principal. I never got any support from administration. I had one principal who had a school rule that any child could turn in any assignment up until the last day of the quarter with no grade penalty. I couldn’t take it anymore. I’m out. I just fear for our country in the future. Someday the parents aren’t going to be around and then what will happen?

    1. Hi Mary,
      Thank you for sharing your professional perspective. Scary isn’t it??!! Principals are caving in to parental pressure. Here’s one guy who doesn’t: Dominic Randolp. Read this article:

      Also, have you read Madeline Levine’s books? She’s the parenting guru on this topic. We have the hightest rates of teenage and young adult depression, anxiety, entitlement, dependency and kids just not having or knowing their own interests. Their internal mechanisms have not developed because it’s all being done to them, for them; but certainly not by them. So what eventually fills the voids, the holes – darkness, addictions, outside sources of toxic momentary pleasures.

      Here’s a fabulous article written by a teacher, you will so relate to it:

  2. Truth Teller says:

    You are the reason for all of this because you had your daughter Kaitlyn and Amber as little bitty girls making your drug deliveries in you daddy’s mexican trailor park before you got busted for selling drugs and went to prison. You didn’t even raise your kids Your precious Mother did. and You use to beat them down in the floor because what? they got on your nerves after just being with them for 15 minutes! And lets not forget the Day that Kaitlyn. Our beautiful Sweet Kaitlyn the last time she went off to rehab, she had been home just a day or 2 and She came home from work upset and handed You Shannon Ruiz a Hotel room Key that some Businessman had given Her at Andy’s that evenings while She was at work and offered Kaitlyn $100 to come to His room and have Sex with Him and Shannon, You Shannon Her Mother Looked that child in the face and said what did you tell Him? and Kaitlyn said I told HIm NO! and You Her Mother called Her a STUPID BITCH! for not doing it! and just 2 days later Kaitlyn was dead! and now You want people to think that You knew so much about how to be a mother? LOL! You use to make up things about Kaitlyn and tell lies on her just to get Her into the system because you didn’t want to deal with Her anymore, so You yourself even supplied Her with Prescription drugs so that she would test positive and get thrown into rehab so that you could have your party time down at the river with your live-in boyfriend and not have to worry about dealing with Kaitlyn’s true problems. You have all these people so snowed. But there is One that You don’t have Snowed! The one who is taking care of Your Child now. God! You’ll never fool Him You Evil Lier! and How about the people that you hired at the Peace Boutique and have long ago quit because you never paid them like you promised. Because You and You Boyfriend are Stealing from the Peace Foundation instead of paying the employees you hire, You are pocketing there pay! How do You live with Yourself??????????????????????????????

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