The 5 Best Life Lessons I Learned From My Dad

This week marks 4 years since my dad passed away. Though we have long accepted his passing and have moved on with our lives, I am reminded of the lessons the significant people in our lives share with us. So as my family and I specifically remember Dad this week, I share his remarkable wisdom – guidance that helped 6 kids in a big Italian family find their way, own their lives and make their impact in the world. May his wisdom inspire you to be the guides and coaches for your kids – and to come up with your life lessons that you pass on to help your kids find their way in our wild and wonderful world.

Dad’s Best Life Lessons

  1. Know who you are and be true to it – no matter what. You are each born with intrinsic greatness – gifts – that are unique to you. You should avidly discover and live these gifts – and be proud of what makes you, you. Learn to listen to and trust your own voice more than the voices of others. Stand for what you believe. Be courageous. And always allow others to be true to who they are.
  1. Find some way of doing what you do best everyday, and work to get better at it. Build your work and life around what you are good at and passionate about. Always keep learning, studying and improving. Stay connected to what is going on in your world so you can find your best place to have your greatest impact. The world needs you to be great, not average.
  1. Love each day. You don’t get this day back so treasure it. Love it. Share it. Respect it. Be really present. Live in each moment. Make memories. Accept what comes your way – don’t complain – just make the most of what you get.
  1. Think more of others than yourself. Be there for others – first. Service to others matters. See what you can do to help, inspire, inform, educate or support. Find someone who needs what you do best and share it – openly, gladly and selflessly. You do your best work when you help others do their best work.
  1. Make everything you touch better. Improve everything you touch; make every relationship you are part of better. Find the good everywhere; be the source of good everywhere. Be optimistic, encouraging and supportive. Don’t just talk about being better – do it.

Be someone’s hero

Dad was truly our hero. We found out he was also a hero to so many others as we heard comment after comment in the receiving line at his wake. He was a powerful force for good behind the scenes – no fanfare – no headlines – no spotlight. He didn’t (just) talk about these lessons – he lived them – openly, honestly, humbly and consistently. His life’s values were excellence, integrity, resilience and service. These are now our values.

There are people that come into our lives who share what they know – and our lives become better because of it. They are our heroes, mentors, coaches, teachers and philosophers. They are our leaders, motivators and confidence builders. Sometimes they even show up as our dad.

So how are you sharing great life wisdom with the people in your life? How are you helping your family show up each day – to be really present – to make life an event, and change things for the better in the process? Be your kid’s hero this week by what you say, how you live and what you inspire.

How To Help Your Kids Discover Their Inner Superhero, with Bolaji O – RFL024

How To Help Your Kids Discover Their Inner Superhero – Episode Overview

Each of us has amazing abilities – super abilities – our “inner-awesome.” So remember, a superhero has exceptional UNIQUE abilities that he or she uses to MAKE A DIFFERENCE in the world. You have that. Your kids have that. Do we see it in ourselves? Do we see it in our kids? How can we discover it and bring it into our everyday lives?

Attention and Intention

This week, my attention is on what is awesome, amazing and unique in each of us. And my intention is to share ways for us to discover and live this, and to guide support and coach our kids into discovering and living their inner-awesome. Imagine the lives they would have and the world we would create.

Meet our guest Bolaji Oyejide (Bolaji O)

Bolagi OBolaji O is a 7-time best selling author, podcaster, award-winning speaker, parent extraordinaire of 2 boys and an all around amazing person. He is committed to helping all of us discover our inner superhero, and challenges us to actively live our amazing abilities. He has been on almost every network and is author of the wonderful Brave Little Heroes books, helping kids find their inner-awesome and show up big to their lives. Learn more about this “super” person at the following links:

Episode’s Key TakeAWays

  1. We each have an origin story – a way to share who we are. When we share our stories with our kids, they see how to craft an origin story and to start to see what is possible for their own lives.
  2. We each have unique abilities that show up in the way we see the world. We tune in to the things we are both good at and passionate about. As our kids start to notice this in themselves, they are sharing this information with us. This is important to know as we guide, support and coach them to use what they discover and share to make great work and life decisions.
  3. Parents are not their children’s owners – they are their children’s life traveling partners – their role is to walk with their kids to help them decipher and discover their world and where their place in it can be.
  4. Use this quote by Buckminster Fuller to help your kids discover what is great in them and use it in life: “What is it on this planet that needs doing that I know something about that probably won’t happen unless I take responsibility for it?” What do we know of ourselves and of our world, and how do we have the courage (think superhero) to take responsibility for doing our thing in our world?
  5. The Brave Little Heroes books share stories to help today’s kids see themselves in hero roles – that they have unique abilities that they can us to do good things in life.

Some question for parents:

  1. What are your superhero abilities – something you are great at that adds value to your world?
  2. For each of your kids, what are you starting to see as their unique or superhero abilities and how are you helping connect them to applications in today’s world?
  3. How are you sharing stories with your kids about you and about life?
  4. How are you making intentional time each day to teach your kids through stories and conversation?

Here’s the link to the article mentioned in the podcast: Bedtime Stories – How To Never Lose Their Magic

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Stop and Notice Challenge

Each week we ask you to stop and notice – to develop your skill of tuning in to you and your world. This week’s stop and notice challenge is:

  • Stop and Notice what is great, awesome and unique about you. How are you using this in your days?
  • Stop and Notice what is great, awesome and unique about each of your kids. How are you helping them incorporate this in their days?
  • Stop and Notice the stories you tell yourself – about you and about your life. How can you update and improve your stories?
  • Stop and Notice how you walk through life with your kids. Do you push and pull them, or walk with them as their life’s traveling partner, helping them see, decipher and understand themselves and their world?

We are each born with superhero abilities. Said another way, we each have unique and great abilities that when realized can make a difference in our world. Know yours. Help your kids know theirs. Hold them and yourself accountable to show up this way, each day, and to add value and make a difference in your world.

Suggested Resource

Grit to Great: How Perseverance, Passion, and Pluck Take You from Ordinary to Extraordinary By Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval

Grit to Great - Inner Superhero ResourceIn Grit to Great, Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval tackle a topic that is close to their hearts, one that they feel is the real secret to their own success in their careers–and in the careers of so many people they know and have met. And that is the incredible power of grit, perseverance, perspiration, determination, and sheer stick-to-it-tiveness. We are all dazzled by the notion that there are some people who get ahead, who reach the corner office because they are simply gifted, or well-connected, or both. But research shows that we far overvalue talent and intellectual ability in our culture. The fact is, so many people get ahead–even the gifted ones–because they worked incredibly hard, put in the thousands of hours of practice and extra sweat equity, and made their own luck. And Linda and Robin should know–they are two girls from the Bronx who had no special advantages or privileges and rose up through their own hard work and relentless drive to succeed to the top of their highly competitive profession.

In a book illustrated with a cornucopia of stories and the latest research on success, the authors reveal the strategies that helped them, and countless others, succeed at the highest levels in their careers and professions, and in their personal lives. They talk about the guts–the courage–necessary to take on tough challenges and not give up at the first sign of difficulty. They discuss the essential quality of resiliency. Everyone suffers setbacks in their careers and in life. The key, however, is to pick yourself up and bounce back. Drawing on the latest research in positive psychology, they discuss why optimists do better in school, work, and on the playing field–and how to reset that optimistic set point. They talk about industriousness, the notion that Malcolm Gladwell popularized with the 10,000-hour rule in his book Outliers. Creativity theorist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi believes it takes a minimum of 10 years for one’s true creative potential to be realized. And the authors explore the concept of tenacity–the quality that allows us to remain focused and avoid distraction in order to get the job done–an increasingly difficult task in today’s fragmented, cluttered, high-tech, connected world.