How to inculcate the can-do spirit in young people and children

There are many success stories where the parents had instilled a good deal of "can-do" spirit in their children at a very young age. The chemistry of doing this has some basic steps. This article is an attempt to discuss some aspects of this process, in some detail.


Tiruchirapalli is the fourth largest city in Tamil Nadu. Apart from a huge manufacturing unit of a PSU, namely, BHEL, there is not much of an industrial base. Of course, the big educational base is perfect, and the large number of villages that surround this city have aspirational students who join these colleges to do engineering, arts, and science courses. Yet, there is always a big problem of "exposure", as the students are not exposed to the dynamics of industrial culture and the highly competitive climate of survival in the metropolis of Chennai, a full 350 kilometers away.

Consider this- Asked about his ambition in life, one college student who was studying in a famous city college in Tiruchirapalli proudly claimed that he wanted to become a film director. There was a few laughs in the crowd and many mocked him. Today, decades later, the director called A.R. Murugadoss is a big name in Indian cinema. This is what we call a "can-do" spirit. A few people might have influenced him. Yet, his goal was specific and he put in several years of hard work, spread over almost two decades before he could make a big impact and impression.

It turns out that the "can-do" spirit can be inculcated through a) Constant career guidance in line with innate potential b) Providing moral support c) Ensuring small successes d) Providing constant encouragement and guidance and e) Enabling the rubbing of shoulders with highly successful people.

Constant career guidance in line with innate potential

One of the biggest mistakes parents make is to impose their views on careers on their children. A child who may not really like to study engineering becomes an engineer. His actual potential is something related to media, and the creative arts. We have several examples of engineers, who have gone on to make a career in films, even as film directors.

Every human being has some innate potential, that is perfectly personal and is also related to the basic "this is me" aspect of one's personality. This is the one significant talent that needs to be unearthed by parents or teachers or by relatives. Sometimes, the advice of friends also helps to identify some dominant patterns of thinking in some people.

Career planning should start right from the seventh standard and should be given every six months. In the eighth standard, the child will start understanding some basics of various careers. Exposing them to the success stories of various professionals can also open up the "can do" spirit and if that is kindled at a very young age, the rest will follow.

Providing moral support

Many wise parents, particularly in the urban areas, are always providing encouragement through positive reinforcement. Parents give some small organizing work to their children, and this often concerns reorganizing their bookshelves. Since this activity leads to the elimination of search time, over a period of time, the children start enjoying it. Since they always get a pat on their back, they are always active. This is the sort of moral support needed for making the "can do" spirit in people at all levels. The teachers can also make a big difference.

Ensuring small successes

If a person is good in debates, he is encouraged to become a good debater, by making him or her take part in an inter-collegiate competition. Today, many teachers have found a better route to encouraging this small success. For example, they create a small group and make the participants exchange their views and ideas. This opens up new vistas of knowledge and when people appreciate each other, the natural formation of positive vibes leads to more positive consequences, and one of these is the "can do" spirit.

Providing constant encouragement and guidance

This is related to encouragement of the finer aspects. For example, the person may have read a particular book on positive thinking. He or she may be wondering what to do next. It is obvious that he or she should be exposed and be able to experience a good number of positive experiences. When this happens, the correct encouragement would have taken place, at the right time. This is exactly the kind of encouragement that is needed for every young person and children in particular. As already mentioned, everything should start rather early, and in the seventh standard itself.

Enabling the rubbing of shoulders with highly successful people

This is extremely important. Today, the online medium has exploded. There are many webinars floating around. These webinars can also teach the fundamentals. There is plenty of positive thinking stuff floating around through such webinars. It is up to every young person to identify such sources and take full advantage of such facilities.

The exact chemistry of doing this can vary from person to person. For example, there are cases where the maternal uncle is so well placed that the sister's son or daughter becomes highly motivated by the success of the person concerned. This does not happen in every case, of course, and there are numerous instances when the rubbing of shoulders with successful people needs to happen in subtle ways. For example, those who are members of a professional association get to meet really successful professionals and when this happens, the spin-off in terms of positivity is all too evident. This becomes a routine and the "can-do" spirit becomes so quickly formed. In Mumbai, for example, in each profession of management, it is so easy to identify a Vice-President at the age of 32. This is the sort of learning curve that happens to be the norm in the highly competitive world.


All that needs to be done is to go on instilling confidence in people. When we do this to young people, we are making a big difference. The "can do" spirit is all about positivity and this can and should happen at all times. Certain dimensions of this process, as observed from practice, have been discussed in the aforesaid paragraphs. When we start the process, we can always innovate to make it far better at any point in time. Learn some tips to manifest the life of your dreams.


Author: Umesh Chandra Bhatt27 Apr 2023 Member Level: Gold   Points : 4

Inculcating 'can do' spirit in the children or young people is not an easy task. The parents or mentors have to take a lot of care and considerations before trying to motivate the young people for a particular task or activity. Why I am telling this is because it is a psychological fact that people only do what interest them, what they like and generally resist what they are ordered to do or asked to do. So one thing which can be done is first we have to find out what is the interest of that child or young person and if we can provide him circumstances and surroundings in which he can develop his interests and make a career out of it then that is the best thing possible.

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