A counter-intuitive question to build up our children (and ourselves)

Desert adventures

What do you talk about during dinner with your family?

Last week, I was chatting with a manager from Gemalto after I’d given a speech for them. He said that every dinnertime, he went round the table and each member of his family (including him) answered the following two questions:

“What one good thing happened today?”
“What one bad thing happened today?”

He said it gives them each a chance to process what’s happened, and for everyone else to encourage them.

I was also reading Dan & Chip Heath’s new book, The Power of Moments. They tell the story of Sara Blakely.

When she was a child, once a week, Sara’s dad would ask at dinner:

“How did you fail this week?”

Not how she succeeded, but how she failed. Because if she learned to fail often and fail well, she wouldn’t be afraid to try new things, and in the end, she would succeed.
Sara Blakley went on to become the world’s youngest female self-made billionaire (not that money is the measure of success).

My own child is still only 15 months, so we’re not quite ready for these conversations yet 😉 . But I do think these are great questions to ask of our kids and ourselves.

  • What good thing happened to you today?
  • What bad thing happened to you today?
  • How did you fail this week?