Friday, April 18, 2014

Taking Time to Motivate Others

Giving Back

I was recently asked to speak on a panel at a Journalism conference at my college alma mater. The topic was "How to Deal with Failure and Re-invent Yourself." I was able to share some of the wisdom I've gained through my experiences as an Unemployed Provider, father, and career person with a group of about 50 college kids. I reminded them that  they will certainly face failures in this life. When they do, they have to decide whether it will be a motivator or an intimidator. I encouraged them to not be defined by the failure, but instead define what failure means to them. Here's the definition I suggested to them:

I told them that having people around them that can inspire you is vital to success in any area of their lives. Living in this world can be tough. Everybody at some point needs someone to help them get motivated. I used to speak to high school kids everyday as an admissions representative. That was one of the most fulfilling jobs I've held. So, who are you motivating this week? There is at least a couple of on your job or at your gym that are waiting for you to motivate them. Don't hold back...go hard and bring out the best in them!

Motivating My Kids
Being able to teach and inspire my kids is something I take seriously. One of the most nerve-racking parts about being a father is knowing that you've been entrusted with these little people that wholeheartedly trust everything you say and do. This can be pretty humbling when I look back on some of my "bad" days where I acted in ways that weren't the greatest in front my kids. Thankfully, children are really forgiving and most of the time they don't hold our mistakes against us. As my girls have gotten older, their intellect is something that motivates me to bring my "A" game everyday. There's no limit to the teachable moments that my wife and I find ourselves engaged in with our kids:

"Why won't little Johnny be my friend?"

"Why do you have to go to work everyday dad?"

"Where do people go when they die?"

These are just some of the questions that are thrown at us on a daily basis. The questions seem endless and the answers are not always easy but I know we're the best they've got. While my kids are blessed to have us fully engaged in their lives, I realize that many are not. So what happens to the kids that go through life without parents to answers to some of life's tough questions? They grow up to continue looking for answers...sometimes with dire consequences. Sometimes their mistakes can be avoided if some would spend a little extra time with them.

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