Stop Making Your Kids The Excuse
Pursuing your own dreams is the best way to help your kids achieve their own.
My fellow parents, let's get real for a few minutes. We've all heard phrases like these. Hell -- we've all said phrases like these:
I'll do [insert goal] once my kids go off to college.
I've always wanted to try [insert activity] but I just don't have the time with little Johnny's schedule.
I wish I would have done/tried [insert thing] before my kids were born. There's no time now.
So many of us are guilty of using our roles as parents to rationalize away our failure to pursue our goals and dreams, or even our failure to simply maintain a consistent hobby. We're making our kids the excuse instead of the fuel.
When I'm a guest on other podcasts and start talking about the podcasts that I host, the book I'm working on, the TEDx Talk coming up, my coaching clients, and the other things I have on my horizon, I'm often asked how I manage to have such diverse pursuits while maintaining a family.
Here are my 3 tips for juggling it all
Pick the right partner. First, and foremost, my wife is amazing. She 100% supports what I'm working to build and knows that I'm doing it for the long term benefit of our family. If you and your partner are not aligned in your thinking and in what your goals are, it won't matter how many things you juggle or success you enjoy -- the balance with your family just won't be there.
Take Back Your Time. I get up at 5:00 a.m. everyday. Before my wife and son are up I am answering emails, engaging with listeners on social media, sending coaching proposals and listening to audio books. At night, after my wife and son go to bed, I often work from 9:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. recording and editing podcasts, writing posts like this one, leading coaching sessions, etc. The morale of the story here: while other people are sleeping, I am working. While my family is awake, I'm with the family. When my family is asleep, I'm with the business.
Commit to the long game. All of the things I'm enjoying now took more than three years to cultivate. I had time to slowly add to my plate and adjust to a new way to life. It's important to be realistic with what's physically and mentally possible for you. Entrepreneurship is not just a marathon -- it's an ultra-marathon. It's certainly not a sprint.
Change Your Mindset
Instead of the three questions initiated at the beginning of this piece, imagine if we instead said things like:
I'm doing [insert goal] to help send my kids to college.
I've always wanted to try [insert activity], so I'll give it a shot around little Johnny's schedule.
I wish I would have done/tried [insert thing] before my kids were born. But, there's no time like the present, so I'll start now.
Instead of saying that we cannot do things because we have children, we need to be saying that, because we have children, we have to pursue our goals.
Think about it, do you want your kids grow up and watch you forget who you are, lose interest in your passions, and become passive aggressive towards those around you who didn't fall into that trap?
Or, would you rather have your kids grow up with parents who didn't just tell them to pursue their dreams, they actively pursued stretch-goals themselves?
We owe it to our kids to be the best versions of ourselves!
So, this week, if you catch yourself saying that you can't do something because of kids. Flip your mindset to say that you have to do it -- because of your kids.