Lessons from my 11yr old…

Thought I would share another piece from my upcoming book (hopefully due out sometime in 2019)… I learn a lot from my kids, not just in regards to the increasingly complex realm of parenting, but also the life lessons that they can teach me as I try to teach them. I honestly think that there are some days where they teach me more then I could ever teach them…

Let me know your thoughts on the unedited portion on coachability, dependability and being consistent…

Bill Belichick, one of the National Football Leagues most prestigious and decorated coaches has said:

“It is not all about talent. It’s about dependability, consistency, being coachable, and understanding what you need to do to improve”.

Bill Belichick – New England Patriots Head Coach

 Like him as a coach or not, that’s not the point of his mention in this book.  This quote sticks out to me as I think about life and business, and also a recent interaction with my eleven-year-old son.

Keegan is my first-born son and the second oldest of five kids.  He has taught me so much recently about the attitude of dependability, consistency and being coachable.  Recently Keegan decided he wanted to try out for our local U-12 rep basketball team; Peterborough Power.  Unfortunately, he didn’t make the A-team, but has cracked the roster of the B-Team!  Super proud dad moment!! 

Now, please don’t misunderstand my intention when I write this, as my kids mean the world to me and Keegan holds a special place in my heart.  He is a lot like me, in a lot of ways.   He wants the best for everyone and can get a little too emotional at times which effects our overall cognitive function and decision making.  We wear our emotions like our axe body spray… a little too much and all over the place!  Another striking comparison that I’ve come to realize lately is our lack of pure God-given talent in the athletic department.  When I was a kid, my dream was to play sports.  I played everything from football, soccer, volleyball, baseball (funny enough, no lacrosse), but I wasn’t all that good.  I was never the most athletic kid on the field, a little heavier set, a little slow, a little shy and a lot passive.  Minus the physical stature, (Keegan is a thin, high metabolite young man), we share many of the other qualities listed.  Yet he doesn’t quit, and neither did I, until of course a shoulder injury took me out of athletics and into the world of music. 

His basketball coach recently sent an email expressing his delight in Keegan’s effort on the court during practice.  I will admit I cried a little (those emotions that leak from my eyes), my boy is not the most talented and coordinated kid on the floor, but his effort completely out-matches that of most of his teammates.  His consistency and dedication to the sport and team is incredibly inspiring to me. 

In recent weeks, he injured his elbow in a non-basketball related, floor-is-lava, superman stunt involving a couch and some metal springs.  Don’t worry, he’s all good, just a deep bruise that limited his range of motion for about a week.  In my experiences growing up and being involved in many teams, this would make for a great excuse to not go to practice and take some time off.  Not for Keegan, he decided to go to practice regardless of the pain in his elbow, so he would not let his team down, so he wouldn’t miss any coaching moments that could possibly improve his game.  It was this attitude and dedication that spoke volumes to me and to his coaches. “It is not all about [your] talent. It’s about dependability, consistency, being coachable, and understanding what you need to do to improve”.  My son has no clue who Bill Belichick is, but Keegan exemplifies this quote and proves that we need to be coachable and dedicated to our craft in order to move towards success.  I truly believe that this quality is what will make Keegan incredibly successful in whatever he chooses to do when he gets older.  If he remains coachable and like a sponge, he will continue to learn, grow and be unstoppable. 

Michael Jordan, arguably the greatest basketball player of all time was quoted saying,

“My best skill was that I was coachable. I was a sponge and aggressive to learn.” 

This is imperative in our journey through life and business. 

Our ability to continue to learn and to strive for more knowledge is what will make our journey a little easier.  It is in fact humbling to remain coachable.  The moment we believe we know it all, have all the talent and do not need to continue to learn, is the moment that we become selfish, self absorbed, and honestly, nobody likes that guy!

Certainly, there will be rough roads throughout, we may be injured by a series of events involving a couch, metal frames, a small trampoline, a cat and a failed attempt at a backflip, and that may or may not relate to our current path, but should that keep us from learning and still being involved in the process of being coached?  The power of a good, understanding and experienced mentor is key to our journey as they may be able to continually guide us through a path that may be difficult at times, but it is also equally important to trust and remain coachable, accepting their advice, criticism and foresight.     

As we come to the Christmas season, and I understand that this time of year may be difficult for some, and to be honest, it will be different and hard for me too. I hope you can take some time and choose to be dependable and consistent with those you will come in contact with over the holidays. We never truly know the depth of some of the pain that is present around us during this season. Being able to show a sensitivity, generosity and kindness to those who need it most speaks volumes to our lives and also proves that there are still good, caring people in the world. We can certainly learn from others and be there to build up one another through times that may be hard and may carry a weight that is hard to bear on its own.

Merry Christmas friends and I look forward to more in 2019!

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