Being a dad isn’t always fun or easy. It can be a lot of work and has already brought me many sleepless nights. It’s also been – by far – the greatest investment of time, money or energy I’ve ever made. As I watch you run around and play in the pool today, here are ten things that come to mind that I’d want you to know:
- Watching you grow up is hard, but exciting.I’d give anything to freeze you at this age, but wouldn’t trade anything for the joy of watching you grow into the man you’re becoming. I hold onto every memory as precious, but I know there are so many more to come!
- Failure is an inevitable part of life – even for the great ones – quitting doesn’t have to be. It’s not how many times you fall (because you will,) it’s how many times you get up.
- Don’t be afraid to try because you’re afraid to fail. Good decisions come from experience and experience comes from bad decisions.
- Be a lifetime learner; living is the best teacher. Find as many mentors as you can. Read books – some of best mentors I’ve never met.
- When receiving advice, always take note of who’s giving it. There’ll always be people who tell you what “they would’ve done if they were you.” Take note what they did “while they were them.” Listen to wise people who are where you want or who you want to be.
- Some of your wounds will be self-inflicted – at least mine have been. It sucks, I know. You’ll learn from them (or repeat them until you do) and be better for it – trust me!
- Some people don’t belong or deserve to be in your life. It doesn’t mean they’re bad people, it just might mean they’re bad for you (or you for them.) Be kind to them, but also be kind to you. You don’t have to think of yourself first, but it’s ok to think of yourself too.
- Don’t focus on being kind, be honest. Being honest is being kind. I stole this one, but it’s true. You shouldn’t be mean or rude, but in all things it’s ok to be (gently) honest with others and yourself.
- Be glad that you don’t get to choose EVERYTHING. Someday you’ll hear the saying “you can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family.” In a way this is true – and there’ll be times (and probably already have been) when you’d prefer your friends to your family – even me, as hard as that is for me to believe. It’s important to have a few close friends, but they can NEVER replace your family.
- No matter where you go or what you do – whether a teacher, a preacher, an entrepreneur or an astronaut – I will always be your biggest fan and I WILL ALWAYS HAVE YOUR BACK. I can’t promise I’ll always love what you do, but I can promise for certain that I will always love who you are – my sons!