They say the apple does not fall far from the tree. If that is the case, my sons may be in trouble.
Luckily I am not the guy I used to be. It took a lot of work to get to this point; God, prayer, reading, talking, friends, family, age, pains, bumps, bruises and knocks – but I am here nonetheless.
Through all that, I figured out some things about myself that have changed how I live and most importantly – changed my heart.
As dads, we may think that we need to leave the love stuff to mom – or others. We often think that our role is limited to thinking we are the boss, the bill payer, the king of playtime, or maybe “just” a husband. But in all those actions we miss the most important thing that we may be passing down to our children – our hearts. We are teaching them how to respond, react and think with every action and interaction.
Your heart is your true legacy.
So here are 5 things that I have changed over the past few years, which I hope will become the legacy I pass down:
- Love other people more than yourself. Not the way most people do, so that they can get something out of them. Just love. Love simply and fully, more doors will open than close on you, if you just love.
- It’s okay if you’re not perfect. Make mistakes, and fail quickly – but always try and learn something.
- If you are hurt by someone, say so. To often we hide our feelings because we want to seem strong. That is just false, strength comes from honesty. Don’t hold back that someone hurt you, or let you down. You will just harden yourself and expect less from others – worse still, you will prevent their growth.
- Ask for help and advice. You will never go wrong to seek advice from many people. I am not saying to do what they all tell you to do, that will ultimately be up to you. But genuinely listen and consider the advice you hear before you move on.
- Connect. Put down the controller, the beer, the remote, the phone, tablet, touchscreen – or shut off the kinect – and actually connect with people. Ask about their day, dreams, passions, experiences and heartaches. You will make a friend for life and learn how to love them even more.
As a dad, I don’t want my sons to be like me, because that would just be limiting. My imagination will limit them to the world I know, but theirs is limitless. As dads, we need to create homes where these fundamentals are actually lived out daily so that we don’t create an apathetic generation. Instead we will leave a legacy that we can truly be proud of.
Thoughts? Please share below.