Some say that real growth begins when you leave your comfort zone. So what does it look like when you take on a new challenge? Join Thomas the Tank Engine™ to explore the ups and downs of chasing a new goal in the book Thomas and the Freight Cars. It’s the third in Caribu’s series of Thomas & Friends™ 75th Anniversary Video Read Alouds featuring Kevin Jonas.
In this story, Thomas is bored of his regular job pushing train coaches around the station. “I want to see the world!” he says. When he is offered a chance to venture out and pull a set of freight cars, he goes for it! However, Thomas doesn’t realize how unruly the freight cars can be, and he struggles to finish the job.
It’s tricky to take on new responsibilities — particularly as we try to balance work and home life. But if you’re stuck in a grind, the chance to break out of everyday routines can be rewarding. Exploring a new hobby, building professional skills or setting a goal for fitness or family time creates an opportunity for growth and change.
Much of the challenge comes in getting started: carving out a time and space to practice; investing in needed tools; becoming familiar with new concepts, and working through technical difficulties. Some people might become frustrated from the outset and give up. As adults, we might forget that developing expertise requires practice, repetition, and guidance. It might mean letting go of our pride and leaving space to make mistakes. Kids too, need reminders that they will not necessarily succeed on the first try.
Thomas and the Freight Cars is an important reminder of this lesson: achievement is not instantaneous. Like Thomas, we will face struggles as we take on a heavier load. But if we truly would like to experience new successes, we must be willing to confront the difficulties along the way.
Some ideas to keep in mind that could help:
- Break down big goals into smaller tasks. Aim for SMART goals that are: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound. You might have to adjust these as you learn what it takes.
- Schedule your SMART goals using a calendar or planner. Set reminders to help keep you accountable.
- When obstacles come your way, try to tackle them step-by-step. Reach out to a mentor who can provide input and support.
- Celebrate weekly achievements with family and friends.
And just like Thomas, don’t give up! Forgive yourself for mistakes or distractions and get back on track! Think of every week as a fresh start. Repetition and practice will build skills and memory. Commitment and perseverance — in spite of frustrations — will sustain you until you achieve your goal.
Remember: You can’t reach your destination if you don’t jump aboard. It’s not easy to make a change. It means leaving a comfortable routine. It means being willing to start at zero. It means being willing to look silly, fall down and make mistakes. But once you set off on a new journey, new adventures will greet you, and whatever path you take, you will learn and grow along the way.
Thomas and the Freight Cars is just one of many Thomas and Friends™ stories that teach us about perseverance and hard work. Come aboard with Caribu as we celebrate the 75th anniversary of this timeless series with four Video Read Alouds featuring Kevin Jonas.