What did Steve Jobs and Keith Richards have in common? After reading both biographies, something struck me. These very successful creative mavericks had something in common: their parents believed in them.
In Richards case, his mom simply said, as he strummed some of his first chords, “Is that you? I thought it was the radio.” To which Richards thought, “I’m in.”
Steve Jobs, raised by his adoptive parents, talked about how his parents treated him as special and how, eventually, it dawned on Jobs that he was smarter than the dad who had such a huge influence on him. It was OK with his parents. They realized it too, and biographer Walter Issacson points out, “they would go to great lengths to accommodate him.”
Parents have such profound influences on children. Those who were fortunate enough to have parents who believed in them recognize this. And those who have kids aspiring to be musicians or computer scientists or designers or whatever, should help their kids uncover their true talents and should encourage experimentation.
Keith Richards experimented, created, thrived and survived because his mom, Doris, planted a seed that, yes, he could be on the radio. Steve Jobs knew he was a “chosen one” because his parents told him they chose him when they adopted him. This theme seemed to come up often in his early life and, no doubt spawned his ability to freely create and break through boundaries.
So, in the words of another great musician, Graham Nash, teach your children well…..and give them all the confidence and faith you can, and watch them flourish.