Today’s guest post from Dr.Anthony Raimondo offers advice on how to help your children create and live the lives of their dreams. Dr. Raimondo’s message goes right along with my Writing Your Own Story series, and I’m honored to have such an enlightened man as my guest on In Pursuit of Fulfillment today.
I’m also pleased to announce that Dr. Raimondo will be giving free copies of his new book, email@example.com instead., to three lucky In Pursuit of Fulfillment readers! If you’d like a copy of Return to Eden, please leave a comment below. Three random winners will be chosen to receive the book. Be sure to leave an email address if you’d like to win. If you’re not comfortable leaving your email address in the comments section, please email me at
In Return to Eden, Dr. Raimondo encourages people to see their life purpose by writing their autobiography ahead of time. Raimondo is a special education teacher with over 17 years experience, and his ‘if you write it, you will live it’ technique is producing amazing results: one of his seventh graders is now working for a veterinary clinic after discovering that the theme of her life story was healing animals. Another decided upon becoming a chef and is now working in a restaurant part-time while most twelve-year-olds are not doing anything close to that.
Please enjoy Dr. Raimondo’s guest post, below. And don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of Dr. Raimondo’s book, Return to Eden!
Write it, live it: Six tips to help kids live out their story
By Dr. Anthony Raimondo
We all aim to have well-rounded kids who possess vision and purpose. While all children have varying levels of strengths, talents and interests, what’s most important is that they discover what their passion is. The most effective way we can help them with this is by having them write their own life story—ahead of time. By considering interests to be the same as a theme in a book, children are able to construct a plot that will allow them to achieve their dreams.
Here is an exercise that can be done with children eight-years-old and above:
- Have them sit comfortably with their eyes closed, and take several deep breaths. Continue until they are completely relaxed.
- Tell them to just listen to the sound of your voice.
- Guide them through a visualization exercise by using the script below. However, they will create their own image: in no way should you describe the event.
- Say, “Imagine that you are sitting in a room, watching TV. On the screen you see yourself doing something that you love to do; something that makes you very happy. You notice that what you are doing is also making people happy. Now feel how excited this makes you.”
- When they are able to ‘see’ this image (and it make take more than one round of this exercise), have them explain in detail what he or she visualized. This is their theme.
- Encourage them to write this down, or help them take notes.
The next part entails working backwards—from adulthood to present day. For example, a child who envisions helping animals as veterinarian might visualize the following: performing surgery on a dog as an adult, graduating from medical school, graduating from college, graduating from high school, graduating from elementary school, and finally, currently attending elementary classes.
With help from you or a trusted family friend or teacher, working backwards allows your child to construct the plot or story line and iron out all of the details necessary to complete each stage successfully. Through discussion and gentle prompting, they will realize that everything is a process; that many things they want will take several years and/or steps to achieve. For example, the grade point average needed, certain test score requirements, class rank goals and how to create a financial plan to attend school.
When my own students discovered their theme, they became self-reliant, self-sufficient and their self-esteem improved greatly. They were in possession of their own destiny. One of my seventh graders discovered his passion for cooking. I said to him, “Eliot, I am going to tell you something that no teacher ever will.
You don’t even need to go to high school to be a chef— but if you want to be a great chef, then you need to attend a culinary school.” I then told him how my son Antony got a job washing dishes a few hours a week when he was 12. A couple of days later, Eliot informed me that he had a part-time job, with his parents’ permission, washing dishes in a restaurant. He was already on his path to becoming a chef.
Another one of my students, Destiny, had a learning disability and was in a wheelchair. She discovered her theme of loving animals, and decided to explore the idea of becoming a veterinarian. On a Friday, I encouraged Destiny, with the support of her parents, to find a job working in a pet grooming salon.
Destiny reported on Monday that she found employment working for a veterinarian who owned an animal hospital, animal rescue and grooming salon. Working for this veterinarian had a wonderful impact on Destiny: it raised her self-esteem and her grades improved immensely. She was earning money in her field at 12-years-old when most other kids her age weren’t doing anything remotely close.
Simply by writing down the desired life story, your child’s dreams will come true.
Dr. Anthony Raimondo is the author of Return to Eden. For more information, please visit