Monday, August 19, 2013

Reboot your relationship with your kids

All of us have goals even if they are only vague dreams.  If you set those goals without family life in mind then your career and dreams are probably causing some cognitive dissonance.  This is not uncommon for men when we are young and in college we do not typically dream of 4 kids and a mini-van.  No when we dream we dream big, we want to be "Elite: , the best of the best of the best.  ( no that was not a mistake it's from MIB.) 

Once you have kids though it is time to reflect back on your dreams and include fatherhood as an integral part of your dreams.   Don't misunderstand,  if you have the skills, charisma, and drive to be the next Steve Jobs  then by all means go for it but make sure to be successful as a father first. All the success in the world might make you a rich and powerful man, but if you do so at the expense of your spouse and kids are you really successful?

Nobody on their deathbed has ever said "I wish I had spent more time at the office"
-Rabbi Harold Kushner
Think through the quote and think what you to say on your death bed and also think about what you want your kids to say about you.   Personally I want to say "I'm ready to go I was a great husband and great father."  I want my son to truly be able to say I was a great father and not have to struggle to create a Eulogy.  

Grim I know, but get used to it I get a little dark sometimes.

If you are a new dad, old dad, step-dad, or grandfather, you need to understand that those closest to you know who you really are, and they will not measure your success as a father, husband or grandfather the way the rest of the world does.  No those closest to you will remember how much time you spent with them, how important you made them feel and if they felt loved.  You need to decide what's important to you.  

Once you have thought it through and reworked your real goals in life it's time to reboot your life.

  1. Take some time for introspection (think a lot about your life but don't get stuck)
  2. Write your own Eulogy - Write it how you want to be remembered.
  3. Rewrite your eulogy you got it wrong the first time.   This time rewrite it from each of your kids perspectives and again from your wife's perspective..
  4. Take all of those eulogies and create read through them and turn them into long and short term goals.
  5. Post these new goals on your office or somewhere visible.  
  6. Review your new goals periodically to see how you are measuring up.

PS. I'd really like your feedback. Let me know what you think.