Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A letter to my sons.

 
Boys,

A a quick note to let you know why I, (1/2 your parenting team) made the conscious decision to be ‘hard’ on you & raise you the way I have.

my responsibility

I’ve always viewed my responsibility as a parent as preparing you for the realities of life as quickly as possible.  Although we’re supposed to be more evolved than other species who bring their young into the world and let them sink or swim day 1, I think 18 years of ‘education by institution’ is too far on the other end of the spectrum. Regardless of the knowledge I wish / don’t wish others impart on you, the bulk of your habits will come from what you bear witness to on a day to day basis at home. As such, I’ve tried to share 10 important realities of life.


  1. life isn’t easy. Life is a series of small, consistent challenges that need to be tackled each day.  There are seldom ‘breaks’ arbitrarily doled out, so I want to prepare you for that.
  2. life is not all about you. Life is an ecosystem and at many levels, you need to understand your role / responsibilities and where you fit into that system.
  3. life isn’t fair. Despite what you’ve heard, we are not all equal and the work world is where you will see this in it’s complete honesty. (It's like the animal kingdom's survival of the fittest)  
  4. life has losers. Losers are people who refuse to take responsibility for their actions, don’t do what they say they are going to do & look to take short cuts at the expense of others.  
  5. life should be fun. If at any point in your life, you are not having fun doing what you’re doing – change it. You have control. If life is boring, It’s because you are boring.   
  6. life is incredibly simple. It’s those to try to re-invent the wheel that make it complicated. There are plenty of successful people. Read about them and then do what they do/did.  
  7. life has winners. Those people who do what they love and love what they do. Those who make the time to plan & prioritize and make lemon meringue pie from lemons
  8. life is hard / smart work. There is no work around. There is no easy way or easy out. And most short cuts take you all the way back to where you started. This is why you write contracts.  
  9. life is a privilege. It is not a right. This is why I am adamant about not letting you take things for granted or complain about what you may not have / can't do.  Stay focused on what you can do & do have. 
  10. your life is yours to live. I fought the majority of my own battles growing up and so should you. In an emergency, I’m there but you need to learn sooner than later to OWN YOUR STUFF.
my work

As an employer of 100’s of 20 something’s over the past decade, I’ve had 1st hand experience in seeing the results of youth who have yet to experience many of life’s realities, which means they have to do so on our time & dime. Unfortunately we don’t have the luxury of re-programming these people for the realities of life because their parents did not, so for every 20 that apply, only 3 make it to orientation and only 1 gets the opportunity to represent our business. The rest, continue on to waste someone else's time and energy or find a better fit elsewhere. 

I’d like to be confident in knowing, when you two show up for your 1st jobs, people are going to be as pleasantly surprised by the solid fundamentals you bring to the organization as we are with the 1 that gets the privilege of representing our business. These people are solution based, confident team players vs. problem laden, incompetent individuals 

my perspective

There are a few sayings you’ve heard me say a million times. Hopefully these 10 will remain engrained in your head as you continue through life.

  1. “work hard... get rewarded”. Never mind when - Just work hard – believe me, someone along the way will notice.  
  2. “whatever  you do - 100%”. you’re going to get out of it what you put into it. Really simple. Give 100% - get it back. Give 50 – get 50 and so on.
  3. “it all starts with your attitude”. You get to determine how you do - what you do, day in and day out.
  4. “give back”. Every chance you get, you’ve got to try and give back to others. If we just keep on taking, there will be noting left.
  5. “do what you say you are going to do”. Master this and you’ll be ahead of the MAJORITY of people in the world.
  6. “think solutions”. There are many who bring the problems, there are a select few who can bring the solutions.
  7. “don’t do what everyone else is doing”. That’s the best way to get lost in the sea of mediocrity.  Stand out – be unique.
  8. “confidence”. And this is why we create and allow you to work through your own adversity now. Speak loud, stand tall, shake a firm hand and look people in the eyes.  
  9. “give more than you take”. The success of our planet, long term will require guys like you paying it forward. And that’s where the magic happens.
  10. “be great”. You can be average, good or great and the question is – what would you rather have from others or anything. Avg friends? Good experience.... Or great?
my hope

My hope for both of you is that you are able to utilize the relevant tools in the toolbox that has been provided & modeled to build the lives you want for yourselves. I hope that when you get there, (where ever your there is), you can crack a cold one and realize your old man, although unconventional, had YOUR best interest in mind.

Love your Dad.
 

1 comment:

My name is Andrea said...

A friend posted this on Facebook and I just wanted to tell you what a breath of fresh air it is! I'm not a parent but can clearly see how the kids of today think the opposite of what you're trying to reach your children. Great job! You should give parenting classes!