An Open Letter to the Younger Me - A Father's Note to Self
Dear younger me,
In my first letter to the younger me I reminded myself of three very simple principles of life; I am here for a purpose, life is complex find the simple, and I can direct my destiny. With Father’s Day approaching I felt compelled to provide some additional wisdom to the younger father version of me.
The foundation of all you will learn is this, when you lead with love life is more enjoyable. There is countless wisdom I could share with the younger me on the topic of being a dad. But I wrote in my last letter, life is complex, so find the simple. Here are a few simple yet important insights to help you navigate fatherhood.
1. Life will go sideways… give the benefit of the doubt
We have learned the hard way when we rush to judgment frequently we get it wrong. Yes, it is true, little brother is not always to blame. It is easy to write but difficult to do yet important to try…assuming good intent and giving the benefit of the doubt when life presents the crazy side has yielded the greatest return.
2. Balance your counsel…. think compassionate and constructive
The key is balance. Our first thought when something doesn’t go as we think it should is to correct and point out what is wrong. In doing so there can be a belief create nothing can be done right. Look for what is going well and point it out. To accomplish this we have learned (and are still learning) when we are compassionate towards our children we see the good more often. It is a rhythm I wish we had learned earlier.
3. It’s okay to not be perfect…vulnerability builds character
If I had one mulligan in fatherhood it would be this one. In our drive to be the super hero to our kids we created a false sense of life. It is okay to not be perfect. Our kids need to see us skin our knee. Trust me, we will skin our knee plenty. Use it as a way to demonstrate vulnerability and transparency.
The further away from the younger me I become the more I realize the importance of today’s wisdom for tomorrow’s journey. While my open letter is written with the hope some day a DeLorean equipped with a fully charged flux-capacitor would pull into my driveway I understand the need more than ever for these insights.
Happy Father’s Day
The Future Me