When you teach your son, you teach your son's son. ~The Talmud
Since Fathers' Day, I've been thinking a good bit about my fatherhood and my relationship with my 12-year-old son. He and I usually run jog together in the mornings, but he has been unable to join me the last couple of days. As a result, I've had some thinking time during my solo workouts.
What are the life lessons I would like for my son to learn from me? What can I teach him to truly help him get a running start towards maximizing his amazing potential?
- Take responsibility for your actions. Don't shift blame. Be truthful. Don't give excuses. In the end, effort matters somewhat but performance is what really counts. Be a stand-up guy on which others can depend.
- Be a creator. The world is full of takers with a sense of entitlement. Don't wait to be told what needs to be done. Search out opportunities to fill needs and create value.
- Be a positive thinker. The world is full of naysayers. Complaining is pointless. Worrying solves nothing. Your attitude shapes your reality. Don't let you be the limiting factor on realizing your potential. Dream big and know that your dreams are possible.
- As a corollary to positive thinking, push your envelope. Make it a habit to go outside your comfort zone. The person that lifts the same weight for the same number of repetitions every day, never grows stronger. Make sure you're straining a bit. Don't be afraid to fail. Increase your capabilities.
- Be true to yourself. Don't fall prey to peer pressure. Don't be a sheep. Think for yourself. Don't be afraid to be different and to stand out from the crowd. And always follow your moral compass.
- Have fun. Life is indeed short. Don't make it all seriousness and no fun -- that makes Jack a dull boy. Notice the absurdities and relish the ironies. Laugh often. Play hard. Love a lot.
Now if only I could learn these lessons.
...Physician, heal thyself... --Luke 4:23