Thursday, February 20, 2014


Thursday's Thought Provoker:

Imagine if more people were raised in an environment where their life experiences instilled an ability to trust.

I recently identified a correlation between how coachable people are to the type of home environment in which they were raised.  Now this might be old news as I see a few studies on the issue, but I felt the need to pontificate on the matter.

As a coach and educator, I can quickly assess the environment at home, with about a 90% accuracy, based on how the child seeks and accepts coaching.  You see, when I child seeks out, accepts, and implements coaching you can tell that they have been raised in an environment where they learned how to trust.  In this environment, the child has had real life experiences where promises, advice, and direction have been honored and produced positive results or feelings.  Most of the time, the kids that are the most coachable, have been let down the least in life.

On the other side of the equation are the kids that avoid, deny, and reject coaching.  Typically, these kids have been raised in an environment where there has been little if any support.  Instead of reinforcing our natural desire to trust, these children's life experiences have been full of broken promises and bad advice.  These kids have been forced, through experience, to only trust themselves and their inability to trust acts as a steel blockade to coaching.

As a father I hope to create and maintain an environment where my children learn not only how to trust but also how to discern who is deserving of their trust.  I can string together a bunch of cliches to sound smart, or I can simply say that I want my children to understand that they can always get better.  Even when they believe they know everything or are performing at their highest level I want them to know there will always be room for improvement and in order to improve they have to seek out, accept and implement coaching.  They have to know who and how to trust so that they can be their best!


Thursday, February 6, 2014

Motivate or Hate?

Thursday Thought Provoker:

Imagine if more people found motivation in others success rather than hating on them.

I am a firm believer in focusing on what you control.  I believe that living in a world where multiple constraints on resources will always exist, it is important to focus on how you appropriate these limited resources.  With that being said, I don't see the need to spend my most valuable resource, time, hating on the success of others.  Even if I don't care for the person or organization, I don't feel my time is well invested if I spend it hating on them.  I much rather use their success and all success around me as motivation.

My wife blogged about something along these lines a few weeks ago in Types of People.  It's amazing to think that people would want to hate on us and disturbing how many women spend time wishing ill on women they have never even met.  These same people probably spend the rest of their time wondering why they don't have or haven't accomplished things in their own lives.  Here's a tip...... Stop spending so much time worried about things you can't control.

90% of the time, you have little to no impact or control over the success or failure of others.  Therefore, if you are spending 90% of your time, energy, or mental effort trying to influence the success or failure of others you will not only fail in your hating! but you will also fail in your own life because you spent too much of your limited time on something you didn't control, other people, instead of what you do control, yourself!

Instead of hating, you should find motivation in the success of others.  As a father, I plan to model and teach my children how to wish well for all while finding motivation in their success.  I want my children to know and understand that their time and energy are valuable and should not be wasted focusing on others instead of improving themselves.  The steadily increasing number of haters in society is alarming and detrimental to the overall growth and development of a people or country.  If more people found motivation in the success of others to also do great things and succeed, there would be a continuous self sustaining growth.  Instead, we have too many people that look at what others possess or have accomplished with disdain and a dark envy that has shown to cause stagnation in their own lives.  SMH!

Imagine if more people spent less time hating and more time congratulating.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

What I Wanna Do

Thursday Thought Provoker:

Imagine if more people did more of what they had to do than what they wanna do.

I mentioned this in a brief post on my crackbook account recently and it really made me ponder further on this thought.  It seems more and more these days that people are quick to tell you they haven't done or will not do something because they didn't or don't want to do it.  It is almost as if it is acceptable to not accomplish a task simply because you did not feel like it.  For real?  It is no surprise that most of these people have very little accomplished in terms of professional growth and success.  As a parent of young children and educator of teenagers, I expect these excuses from adolescents because they have yet to learn but it's alarming the number of adults that feel this way.

As a father I hope to teach my children the difference between 'have to do's' and 'wanna do's'.  I believe this is already being instilled in my 5 year old based on some conversations we have had about her gymnastic career.  We enrolled our children early in gymnastic classes partially because of my belief in how beneficial the sport is to physical development but mainly because at around 13 or 14 months my daughter walked across the back of our sofa.  We have pledged to not become the pushing overbearing parents so we often check with our daughter as the demands of the sport increase.

On our way home from the gym one night recently, we talked about her upcoming transition from development to team.  We informed her that she would soon 'have to' go to practice 3 days a week for 4 hours a day which meant she would also 'have to' give up other activities like dance at her school.  We then asked her if she 'wanted to' still move on to team.  After a few minutes of thought she responded, "Well I don't 'want to' give up dance but I don 'want to' do the floor routine and I 'have to' do it all if I 'wanna do' the floor."  Needless to say I was very proud.

At a very young age she is beginning to realize the correlation between the 'have to do's' and the 'wanna do's'.  Life, mature life that is, tends to be filled with more 'have to do's' than 'wanna do's' and typically the only way to be able to do the things you 'wanna do' is by taking care of the things you 'have to do'.  This simple truth crosses multiple facets of life from business, to sports and even academia.  It really comes down to honestly assessing your priorities to determine what you really 'wanna do' and what you 'have to do' to accomplish what you 'wanna do'.  While my daughter 'wants to do' dance at her school, she 'wants to do' the floor routine competitively more and she realizes what she 'has to do' in order to make that happen.

Imagine if more people did what they 'have to do' in order to do what they 'wanna do'.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Who's Your Daddy????

Thursday's Thought

It's crazy how so many seem to believe and accept this idea that a child and family doesn't need a father/daddy in the home.  How sad and delusional.  It's sad because every child raised without that father/daddy in the home statistically faces a more difficult road to success.  It's delusional because most times, government agencies, family and friends are used to replace what was claimed to not be needed.

I coach high school sports and have come across so many young men lacking a father in the home and had mothers pretty much look to the coaching staff to 'teach their sons to be men'.  Many have been in financial situations where they are dependent on the government to feed, house, educate and raise their children.  Then you hear them talk about their decision to have another child out of wedlock because the first child deserved a sibling or they always wanted to have their kids close together.  WTF?  How about wanting your child to have an active and engaged father?  What about your child or children being raised in a home not dependent on government?  What about providing your child the best possible opportunity to be successful by providing them with a stable loving home environment.

It becomes a matter of what came first, the chicken or the egg, when examining if society has lead our dysfunctional policies or if dysfunctional policies have created our current society.  Regardless of the order, I believe that too many of our current policies have long lasting and negative impacts on the idea of families and raising children.  The government has supplanted the father in the home by jailing, killing, and branding men unnecessary.  I mean who needs a man when the government will send me a check?  Who needs a daddy when I got sisters and girlfriends?  Who needs a father when the government will tell me right from wrong and the police will protect us?

Now I am not saying any of these things are not welcomed and needed in society and in the realm of child rearing.  What I am saying is that while they are used to fill the void left by the lack of a man being around, nothing listed above can truly replace a FATHER!


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

What's Best

Wednesday's Wise Words

It's crazy to me how natural it is for people to make their reality the standard.  In a world where we are increasingly dwelling in 'right and wrong' and not appreciated differences, so much of our division comes from people wanting to insist that how they were raised and what they believe is what's best and what's right.  I understand completely that I am an opinionated individual myself but one of the things I strive to do is always search for what is best.  Not so much right or wrong nor what I am used to or accustomed to, but instead what is the best way to do something.  I wish more people approached their decisions the same way.

I say this in the realm of DIFGTBAF because I have witnessed and identified that one of the systemic causes to this epidemic of Baby Daddy and Baby Mommas is this belief that they, as children of single parent households, turned out just fine so it is okay to raise their children in the same situation.  That is an idiotic line of reason in my opinion!  This is not some inditement on how anyone turned out coming from a single parent home.  This is about what is the best for your child!

There are a number of individuals that have gone on to become great people and do great things that come from single parent homes.  There are also terrible people that have done terrible things that come from two parent homes.  Neither of those facts should make us ignore the numbers, and study after study shows children raised in homes with engaged mothers and fathers have far greater chances of becoming successful members of society across multiple facets of life.  So now matter how great of a single mom or dad you are, there is just no replacing an engaged and loving mother and father in the home.  PERIOD!

I have a high school classmate that is currently a single father.  I don't know the particulars of his situation as far as if he is full custody or what, but he appears to do a great job being a father.  He would often comment on posts I would make about the importance of marriage and children having a mother and father in a defensive manner as if I was putting his effort and work down.  I tried explaining to him that I believed he was doing a great job as a father but I pointed out something to him that I am not sure he ever thought about.  He is raising a daughter.  He is raising a future mother of children.  I asked him how will she ever learn and now how a man should treat her as a husband if she never sees it at home?  How will she know what unconditional love between a man and woman is if it is never modeled in front of her on a consistent basis to allow the level of learning gained through emersion?  You see, his focus isn't on what's best for his daughter.  His focus is on his ability to do HIS best for his daughter and because it is HIS best, that it is the best.

We should all strive to do what IS best in all facets of life.  True we must make the best of circumstances and situations but that should never stop of from searching out for what's best.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Home Skooling

Monday's Meaningful Minute

DIFGTBAF!  So for today's home schooling activity we are working on fine motor skills with my 3 year old.  I print pages from offline at least 2-3 days a week with him in addition to his art class he takes and gymnastics.

The wife and I decided to homeschool our son since the pre-school our daughter attended decided he was too young for the older group (they do a morning and afternoon split) class because of his birthday falling in February.  With the class being a co-op program, we were able to see first hand that he was more than capable of being with the 'older' kids and didn't want to slow his development so we decided to home school.  It's great because it's no stress, no forced work and it is great bonding time.  Most children want to make their parents happy and tend to excel in whatever you show interest in.  So far, both of our children have a joy for learning that we sincerely hope to kindle and watch grow.

Back to the fine motor skills.  So I printed out the sheets from kids learning station which is my site of preference.  One of the things that I do to get more out of sheets like these are to have him use different color crayons to trace multiple lines to get more practice per sheet.  It also helps to reinforce his colors and afterwards we can count how many lines.  We completed two worksheets and he ran to go show his mommy his work and take a break before completing the other two.

Times like these are priceless to me!  After we worked on the first two sheets he came a gave me a big hug and told me he loved me before running off to show his mommy.  So for a meaningful minute today, take some time with your children.  Each minute that passes is another one you will never get back.


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A Tribe Without Soldiers is a Tribe of Slaves

Tuesday's Take

Somewhere along the way, their has been a drastic increase in the number of people that believe strength is bad and weakness is good.  Okay, maybe that's a bit far but we have definitely crossed a line where we are trying to limit and punish toughness and success while pushing and rewarding softness and mediocrity.

 I understand completely that a need exists for a certain level compassion and meekness in people and society.  I just wish others would realize there is also a need for toughness and strength.  Not just in the physical sense but in the mental and spiritual realm as well.  For some reason people fail to make this correlation between the physical, mental and spiritual when it comes to strength.  If you don't allow people to grow from the tough lessons learned in loss and pain, how can you expect them to not quit during really tough times.

The unfortunate truth is that everyone can't be rich but everyone can achieve success, depending on their definition of success.  The number one determining factor to achieve success, or to be one of the few rich people, is one's willingness to work and their unwillingness to quit!  Like everything in life, the only way to get better at something is through practice.  From a very young age, your resiliency begins to form.  Children will continually work and strive to achieve small goals like reaching a cookie on the counter and retrieving a favorite toy by themselves until a parent tells them they can't or they continue to do it for the child.  The more and more you allow your child to work things out and develop solutions, the better they become at it and the more confidence and resiliency they develop.

As a father I intend to allow my children to feel the results of their actions and or in action.  While I want and hope and pray no serious harm or pain come to them, I want them to learn how to get up after falling down.  I want them to know a loss or setback is never the end but a new beginning.  There is a quote from Thomas Edison regarding his creative journey in inventing the light bulb where when asked how he maintained his desire after so many failed attempts.  Mr. Edison replied, "I've not failed.  I just found 10,000 ways that didn't work."  That is the resiliency I hope to instill in my children.  I don't want them to accept false ceilings or fragile boundaries set up by fear and stereotypes.

I want my children to be the soldiers of their generation.  I want them mentally, spiritually and physically prepared to fight whatever battles may lie ahead.  I want to make sure they never know the shackles of mental slavery.