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Raising successful individuals is a challenge that every parent grapples with. How do we instill independence, resilience, and success in our children?

Esther Wojcicki’s How to Raise Successful People offers a set of principles that have not only been proven by her experiences as a seasoned educator but also as the mother of three exceptionally successful women. 

In this podcast, I’m sharing my top 10 insights from the book.

“Can you recommend a book for…?”

“What are you reading right now?”

“What are your favorite books?”

I get asked those types of questions a lot and, as an avid reader and all-around bibliophile, I’m always happy to oblige.

I also like to encourage people to read as much as possible because knowledge benefits you much like compound interest. The more you learn, the more you know; the more you know, the more you can do; the more you can do, the more opportunities you have to succeed.

On the flip side, I also believe there’s little hope for people who aren’t perpetual learners. Life is overwhelmingly complex and chaotic, and it slowly suffocates and devours the lazy and ignorant.

So, if you’re a bookworm on the lookout for good reads, or if you’d like to get into the habit of reading, this book club for you.

The idea here is simple: Every month, I’ll share a book that I’ve particularly liked, why I liked it, and several of my key takeaways from it.

I’ll also keep things short and sweet so you can quickly decide whether the book is likely to be up your alley or not.

Alright, let’s get to the takeaways.


0:00 – Please leave a review of the show wherever you listen to podcasts and make sure to subscribe and leave a comment!

3:40 Why is Overprotecting Our Children Detrimental to Their Growth? The fatal flaw of helicopter parenting

4:05 – How Does Respecting a Child’s Development Foster Their True Self?

4:40 – How Do Our Reactions to Mistakes Influence Our Children’s Learning?

4:48 – Why Should Educators Answer the “Why” Question in Classrooms?

5:07 – How Does the Education System Impact Creative Thinking from Childhood to Adulthood?

5:34 – What Role Do Positive Family Experiences Play in a Child’s Development?

5:47 – Why are Functional Relationships Crucial in Modeling Behavior for Our Children?

6:07 – What Does Research Say About the Effects of Maintaining Marriage on Children’s Well-being?

6:44 – How Can We Teach Children About the Importance of Purpose and Meaning in Life?

7:29 – Why Does Parenting Shape the Future of Our World?

7:40 – Try Pulse today! Go to and use coupon code MUSCLE to save 20% or get double reward points!

Mentioned on the Show:

Try Pulse today! Go to and use coupon code MUSCLE to save 20% or get double reward points!

How to Raise Successful People


What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!


Hello and welcome to Muscle for Life. I am Mike Matthews. Thank you for joining me today for another book club episode where I share my thoughts on a book that I’ve read recently, or not so recently. It can be one I’ve read some time ago, but haven’t recorded an episode on. And I explain what I liked about this book, why I’m recommending it, and then I share my top 10 takeaways from the book because chances are, if you like, most of the takeaways that I share, at least half of them, let’s say if you like, At least five or more, you probably are going to like the book.

And so in today’s episode, I am talking about the book, how to Raise Successful People by Educator and Journalist Esther Waki. And in this book, she shares a thoughtful and holistic philosophy of parenting with five pillars, trust, respect, independence, collaboration, and kindness, which makes the acronym trick, which doesn’t really fit thematically to me at least.

Implicitly or explicitly, but it does help you remember the individual components. So trick it is, and in the book, WSI argues that our ability to embrace these qualities as a parent will greatly help our children become independent, resilient, caring, and successful adults who are capable of living a meaningful.

Life, and I think she’s onto something. But before I explain why a couple of caveats. One, this book is heavy on personal anecdotes to the point of maybe seeming a little bit self-aggrandizing. I didn’t take it that way, but if you look at the negative reviews of this book on Amazon, you will see a number of.

People saying this. And so you may be one of those people when you read the book, so just giving you a heads up. Also, the book is light on implementation ideas. And so that means that it’s going to be on you to figure out how to take these principles and put them into action. And some people don’t like that because it adds work and it takes time and it’s more difficult than just reading.

Somebody else’s ideas, and I understand that. However, you can come up with your own ideas for implementation with some rumination, or you can turn to chat G P t, for example, and it can provide you with all kinds of ideas. It’s quite good at that actually. If you feed it source material and then explain your specific circumstances, it can come up with all types of ways that you can apply what you’ve learned to your life with your kids.

And so despite those two shortcomings, I still enjoyed how to raise successful people. I’m still recommending it because Weiss’s formula identifies what seemed to me as several of the first principles of productive parenting, part of the 20% of parental attitudes and actions that produce 80% of. The outcomes.

Now, that isn’t to say that following her formula is easy. It’s not. But if you are willing to treat the teachings in this book as a compass, because they won’t serve as a map. If you’re looking for a map, this book is not going to give it to you, but it can give you. A compass. And if you’re willing to look at it that way, and if you’re willing to try fail and try again in implementing its teachings, you will inevitably become a better parent.

One final note is this book is not a Bible of parenting. It’s not the only book. That you should read if you want to become a better parent. But it’s an easy read. There are some valuable insights in it, and even if you only take away a few good ideas and put them to good use, I think that that’s a good r o i on the time.

Okay, so let’s get to my top 10 takeaways from this book. The first one quote, our goal is not to create a stress-free and hardship free environment for our children. The painful and difficult experiences are often how we grow. Our goal is not to take these challenges and the growth that results from them away from our children, the fatal flaw of helicopter parenting, but to help our children face these challenges and learn from them.

Two, respect is a complicated topic. First, there is respect for your child as an autonomous person, respecting the timeline of a child’s development isn’t only about walking and talking patience. Sometimes lots of it is needed Here. Development is also about turning into the person we’re meant to be, and this process requires a deeper layer of respect, accepting a child for who he is and letting his life unfold accordingly.

Kids need to be allowed to take the lead. That means you follow them. Children know who they are. Your job is to honor and respect that. Three, your children will see you make mistakes. They will learn more from how you respond to your own mistakes than from the mistake itself. Four. Students often don’t know why they’re learning something.

Asking why is so important to kids and they deserve a better answer then because it will be on the test. By the time kids reach middle school, they give up asking and focus on getting a good grade to increase curiosity. It is important to address the why. Questions five. In one study, a test based on NASA’s recruiting process for engineers and rocket scientists was used to measure creativity and innovative thinking.

In small children. At age five, 98% of the kids had genius level imaginative abilities. By age 10, only 30% of the children fell into that category. I wanna guess how many adults maintain their creative thinking skills after making it through our educational system? Just 2%. Six quote. The best way to teach the importance of family is to have fun together.

The more positive experiences, the more support the child feels. It can be just playing a board game or going to the park, or jumping on a trampoline. Seven quote, if you ask me, the single most important life skill we model for our children is our ability to have functional relationships with other people.

The happiness we experience in life is determined by the quality of our relationships. This perhaps more than anything else, sets our children up for success or failure as adults, eight. In a 2014 analysis of three decades of research on family structure and the wellbeing of children, Dr. Jane Anderson concludes that with the exception of abusive relationships, children fare better when parents work at maintaining the marriage.

Dozens of studies point to the adverse effects of divorce, including reduced time with each parent, loss of economic and emotional security, decreased social and psychological development. Impaired cognitive and academic development and a decrease in physical health. Interestingly, additional research has found many of these same effects in the parents.

Nine. One, give your child a vivid sense of how empty and non gratifying a life without purposes. If you have nothing to believe in, you don’t attach yourself to anything. You don’t develop a purpose and follow it. You aren’t serving others. Even though hedonism is fun for a little while, it gets old fast and you get bitter.

Two, you must vividly portray the joy of living a meaningful life, whether it’s through stories, theater, religion, or modeling purposeful behavior yourself. We have to teach our kids what meaning looks like, and it doesn’t look like a new Mercedes and a vacation home on Cape Cod, meaning is connection, relationships, contribution and service.

That’s what our children should understand about a life well lived. Finally we have number 10, quote. Parenting may start small, but it has profound implications. We all share the future and the way we treat our children is the way they’ll treat the world. Do you sometimes lack the energy and the motivation to get into the gym?

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I hope you found it helpful, and if you did, Subscribe to the show because it makes sure that you don’t miss new episodes. And it also helps me because it increases the rankings of the show a little bit, which of course then makes it a little bit more easily found by other people who may like it just as much as you.

And if you didn’t like something about this episode or about the show in general, or if you have. Uh, ideas or suggestions or just feedback to share? Shoot me an email, [email protected], muscle f o r and let me know what I could do better or just, uh, what your thoughts are about maybe what you’d like to see me do in the future.

I read everything myself. I’m always looking for new ideas and constructive feedback. So thanks again for listening to this episode, and I hope to hear from you soon.

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