As Dads, we are pulled in several different directions. We have work, family time, household responsibilities, homework, sporting events with our kids…our list is endless. Is it possible to take just a small amount of time (just 30 minutes) to attend to our own health? For some of us, taking 30 minutes per day would seem like a daunting task or maybe even selfish. Part of being the best versions of ourselves means having the healthiest body and mind possible. With out those two critical components, we can become over stressed, tired, and burnt out.

Fighting for My Life and the Love of the Game with Mark Herzlich

Mark Herzlich

In 2008, Mark Herzlich, was one of the best college linebackers in the country, an All-American, and the ACC Defensive Player of the Year. After his junior year, at the very top of his game, Mark was diagnosed with Ewings Sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. He was told by his doctors that he had as low as a 10% chance of survival and that his playing days were over, that he might not ever run again. He was just 21. 16 months after Mark was diagnosed, he was back on the field playing for Boston College and in another 16 months he had won a Super Bowl with the New York Giants. Mark played in 11 games, starting two at linebacker for the 2011 Super Bowl Team. Mark went on to play 7 seasons for the New York Giants and retired in 2018.

In May 2015, Mark married his college sweetheart Danielle, who is a retired Captain in the United States Army, New Jersey National Guard. Danielle, who was a victim of physical, mental and emotional abuse as a child, and Mark have made it their mission to end relationship violence. The couple are national board members, fundraisers, and constant volunteers for The Joyful Heart Foundation, which works to create a world free of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse. They are also national board members for A Call to Men, which works to create a world where all men and boys are loving and respectful, and where all women and girls are valued and safe. Mark and Danielle have spoken all over the country to schools, Fortune 500 companies, professional sports teams and college teams, educating them on healthy relationships and healthy manhood.

In 2015, Mark also published his memoir titled, “What it Takes: Fighting for My Life and My Love of the Game”. Mark currently works for ESPN as a college football analyst and is the founder and host of “The Superhero Dad Podcast.” The podcast works to inspire men to put their capes on when they walk in their front doors, not just when they walk out of them. Mark has two children and lives in New England with his family.

Mark’s life journey was a rough one, but he consistently talks about how his father was there for him through it all. As fathers, we can learn from this and try to create a realm of psychological safety for our children. They look up to us and open up to us. If we don’t make them feel safe, they will learn to hide their problems and seek help elsewhere. Being a present father in our children’s lives is something that we should never take for granted. Take Mark for example. If his father hadn’t been there to say, “Let’s do this,” he might have taken the wrong path that would have ended his career. The fact that his father was there throughout the entire journey and finally said, “We did it” shows the commitment Mark’s father demonstrated throughout his son’s life.

Take the time today to allow your children to come to you with any and everything. It’s such a gift to have your child feel safe enough to come and talk to you. It builds a bond and trust that you don’t find anywhere else in life.

What You’ll Learn: 

[6:59]

Mark recalls his childhood and what his family was like.

[11:20]

Mark talks about how his parents influenced him and his brother when they were younger.

[18:48]

Mark talks about the moment he decided he wanted to play football professionally.

[22:07]

Mark talks about when his professional football career finally took off.

[24:45]

Mark remembers the emotions he felt when he first heard his diagnosis.

[27:07]

Mark talks about his training schedule and what his first round of treatment looked like.

[34:45]

Mark talks about his father’s role in his treatment and how he helped him through it.

[38:12]

Mark talks about what happened at the end of his treatment.

[44:01]

Mark talks about the emotions he felt when he received the phone call that he was cancer free.

[45:32]

Mark talks about how he felt when his dad said, “We did it.”

[47:13]

Mark talks about his seven-year NFL career.

[47:30]

Mark talks about how he met his wife and how he created an environment of psychological safety for her.

[58:40]

Mark talks about the power of psychological safety.

[1:01:12]

Mark talks about what his family will be celebrating 20 years from now.

[1:04:12]

Mark talks about the things he is grateful for about his dad if his he were sitting in front of him.

RELATED EPISODES:

Finding Your Inner Strength Through Adversity Comes from Within with Ben Newman

Mindset is the Key to Success with Vernon Fox III

Embracing Fear and Living Life to the Fullest with Sal Frisella


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Turning Habits Into Rituals to Live an Effortless Life with Greg McKeown

Greg McKeown

Greg McKeown is a husband, father, author, public speaker, and leadership and business strategist. He is the author of the books Essentialism and Effortless and the CEO of McKeown Inc. McKeown is a renowned LinkedIn Author for the Harvard Business Review and his writings have appeared in the New York Times, The Huffington Post, Fast Company, Fortune, and Politico. Greg’s main purpose is to help people and teams discover what drives success and what doesn’t. McKeown thrives off of challenging conventional wisdom and focuses on what you really need in order to be successful.Mistake-free living is not something we should be interested in, either for us or our children. Honesty, humility, and leadership are the key elements that allow us to come back from our mistakes and better ourselves so that we can strengthen our relationships. Our children learn from our actions, so if we make mistakes and recover quickly from them, they learn how to do the same.Greg is a huge proponent of gratitude. He talks about following a complaining statement with a statement of gratitude; this can make a vast difference in mindset. Mindset is the key to going from a chore, to a habit, to a ritual. These three things are how we can achieve a state of effortlessness in our lives.

What You’ll Learn: 

[4:14]

Greg recalls his childhood growing up and his experience of becoming a father.

[7:30]

Hire hard, manage easy. This is the approach Greg takes when parenting his children. If you invest hard early on, parenting becomes a lot easier later on.

[8:08]

Greg talks about his experience with parenting his daughter the night before.

[14:18]

Mistake-free living is a very bad idea. Sometimes, what we want is to have no mistakes as a person, and no mistakes for your children. The level of control requ9ireed to do that would be astronomical. You want mistakes to happen and be as cheap as possible.

[17:29]

The health of a relationship is how quickly you can recover from making a mistake and apologizing.

[22:12]

Sometimes, we think that because teenagers are starting to look like adults, that they should act like them too. This is not the case.

[27:00]

Greg talks about giving his children an allowance with little risk so that they could experience disappointment when they didn’t have any money. This way, when they got older, they knew the risks associated with money and would think before they made a big purchase.

[30:00]

Encouraging someone to take risks will help them understand the property of risks when they get older.

[33:00]

Greg talks about the inspiration for his book Effortless.

[35:12]

Greg talks about his daughter’s neurological condition.

[38:04]

It’s not enough to do the right thing; you have to do things the right way as well.

[41:36]

Greg talks about three related levels of the book – state, action, and result. The question is how to get to that Effortless state.

[43:20]

After you complain, you immediately follow it with a statement of gratitude. People will have an instant reaction to this when you practice it in front of them.

[45:36]

Gratitude is a catalytic thing, it’s an upward spiral.

[46:50]

When you focus on what you lack, you lose what you have. When you focus on what you have, you gain what you lack.

[48:40]

There’s a difference between a chore, a habit, and a ritual.

[55:48]

Being in a state of effortlessness changes your experience. The experience actually changes because you’re paying attention to those little things in the moment. You start to see how the extraordinary exists in the mundane.

[57:10]

An exhaustive state is not a state of effortlessness. It’s a state of suffering.

[1:00:13]

Make a list of all the things you want to accomplish for the day and then check them off once you’ve done them.

RELATED EPISODES:

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less with Greg McKeown

Raising Strong Girls—A Dad’s Guide with Dr. Tim Jordan

Positive Fatherhood with Roger Mathews


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Counting the Reps to Resistance with Dan Johnson

Dan Johnson

Dan Johnson is a husband, father, and founder of the website New Paths. During his younger years, Dan was introduced to pornography by a friend. As he got older, the addiction intensified. During his college years, Dan used the internet as a way of accessing porn and felt the guilt and shame of his actions.

Before Dan got married, he told his then girlfriend that he was addicted to pornography. After the couple got married, they implemented filters on their devices to prevent him from falling into temptation. Unfortunately, he was unable to resist, and he fell off the wagon again. Once Dan realized that he had to make a change, he joined a peer group to keep him accountable.

With any addiction, it can be easy to fall back into temptation and continue the cycle. However, having a sense of community drives you to be better and helps you to understand that you are not alone. With porn especially, comes a great amount of guilt and shame. What Dan has done is implemented a three-step process that helps you recognize those urges, process them, and actively count the reps of your resistance. The action of recognizing the urges, saying them out loud, and then counting each rep that you resisted the urge to watch porn has allowed Dan and many other men to overcome their addiction.

What You’ll Learn: 

[5:08]

Dan recalls his childhood and how he had the best childhood ever; he was raised in the Church and attended youth group regularly. When he got to junior high, his friend showed him pornography on his computer.

[10:16]

Dan recalls his college years when he really got into pornography at an addicting level.

[12:10]

Dan talks about confessing to his wife of his addiction before he proposed.

[15:42]

Dan recalls confessing years later that he was still watching pornography. It takes a lot of courage to bring up a topic like that with your spouse.

[17:34]

After his first daughter was born, Dan’s wife had cancer in her uterus and had to have a hysterectomy. The couple looked at adoption and there was a question about sexual addiction in the application. Dan decided that it was time to tell the truth and come clean to his wife.

[20:45]

Community can make the biggest difference. Dan joined a peer group and saw a counselor.

[22:24]

In order to stop an unwanted behavior (such as watching porn), stopping the behavior is not the hard part. The difficult part has to do with the feeling you are left with when you don’t do the behavior.

[29:14]

When you feel the desire to do something, and you decide not to do it, you have to try to resist it. This relies on willpower, which can vary from day to day.

[30:30]

Instead of relying on willpower and rejecting that feeling, turn toward the feeling and face it head on. Acknowledge the urge and let it be there. The more you fight against the urge, you tend to turn toward it and give in.

[32:48]

Emotions and feelings are messengers. They have a message that wants to be heard. If you fight against it, you’re going to get more resistance.

[33:21]

There is a three-step process that allows you to process these messages and make decisions. Step one – You notice the feeling is there, and you acknowledge it. This allows to step outside the feeling and separate yourself from the feeling.

[35:56]

Step two is immediately setting a timer for 10 minutes. During this time, you allow that intense feeling to be there. You’re not going to give into it, but you’re also not going to try to resist it or push it away. You give it permission to be there and scream its message at you.

[39:02]

The third step is to count each rep that you’ve done so that you can see your progress, just like at the gym. Each of those reps is like a step to freedom.

[43:09]

Dan talks about replacement behaviors, which entails taking those emotions and directing them somewhere else.

[46:40]

Know when you’re going to be triggered and have a plan in place.

[48:45]

With porn, you tend to feel like no one else struggles with it, which generates a lot of shame. Community takes the edge off the struggle. It makes you feel like you aren’t alone and that other people are struggling with you.

RELATED EPISODES:

Porn Detox – The Truth Will Set You Free with Ted Shimer

Going Deeper: Battling Porn and Sexual Addiction with Eddie Capparucci

Everything Men Need to Know About Porn with J.K. Emezi

 


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Embracing Fear and Living Life to the Fullest with Sal Frisella

Sal Frisella

Sal Frisella is a husband, father of three children, and the President of 1st Phorm Supplements, which was founded by his brother Andy. He was a Minor League Baseball player who was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals and played for the Single A New Jersey Cardinals.

Sal went from a baseball player to selling copiers to medical sales where he worked for Johnson and Johnson as a successful sales agent. After these phases of his life, Sal realized that these jobs were not meant for him. Sal knew that he had to take a chance on himself and live the best possible life ever. Becoming the President of 1stPhorm gave him the best life that he could want.

However, Sal’s goals weren’t always clear. The fear of rejection and fear of the word “no” often held him back during his younger years. Yet, fear didn’t stop him from trying. Sal’s success in his life can attest to this because even through doubt and others negative opinions, he was able to push through and achieve the life he wanted. Sometimes, we are so afraid of rejection that we live with the regret of not trying at all.

Take advantage of every single day and live as if it were your last, or you’ll live with regret. The greatest strikeout of life is never stepping up to the plate. In order to live a fulfilling life, we have to embrace fear and live life to the fullest. 

What You’ll Learn: 

[3:45]

Sal begins talking about his wife and children.

[7:35]

Sal talks about the meaning behind his son’s name, “Enzo,” which means champion in Italian. He talks about how a name can be a unique identifier in a child’s life.

[11:29]

Time goes by so quickly when you have kids. Try to slow down and embrace the moments. Sal and his wife bought a farm to slow down in life.

[15:34]

COVID-19 caused a force to be present and break away from technology because we were home with our kids, and we had nothing but time to spend with them. Your phone becomes a pillar of your life and takes away your attention.

[17:53]

Sal talks about how he learned discipline when it comes to technology and putting the phone away in order to have quality time with his children.

[27:51]

Sal talks about how he makes his wife the Queen by letting her choose what they do because it’s her time to lead in the relationship. Setting boundaries is extremely healthy in a relationship.

[30:20]

Meeting in the middle goes a long way. It’s not always about being right. God gave you a mouth and two ears for a reason.

[32:44]

Guys don’t want to ask for help and admit that they’re struggling.

[38:04]

Sal talks about building a legacy so powerful that his stories and life lessons will live on beyond him. He wants to build relationships so meaningful that his kids will have someone to take care of them and tell them memories about their dad.

[43:37]

Sal talks about how he wasn’t always like this during his younger years. He recalls how he has been extremely blessed in the sense of having perspective. He says that his advantage has been being able to live a lot of really cool lives.

[45:58]

If you could treat every day as your last at bat, how hard would you swing?

[47:55]

Coming to 1st Phorm allowed Sal to go from being a jellyfish to being a shark; he got to hunt for what he wanted. With that, comes a little selfishness.

[50:01]

Most men are afraid of rejection and failure. You never know unless you try.

[53:33]

Sal says he would tell his younger self, 7 years ago, to be more adventurous in life. It gives you the opportunity to see what you like and what you don’t like.

[1:04:48]

Sal talks about what he and his family would be talking about in the next 25 years. He would want to say that he gave everything he could in order for them to have the best life.

RELATED EPISODES:

The Disease of Busyness

You Are More Than What You See with Darryll Stinson

How to Feed Your Courage and Starve Your Fear

 


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Taking Care of Your Health, Body, and Mind with Marc Hildebrand

Marc Hildebrand

Marc Hildebrand is a husband, father, an LAPD Sergeant, and the creator of First Responder Fitness. He lost over 100 pounds and is in the best shape of his life at 43 years old. Marc is the founder of First Responder Fitness where he leads other First Responders to get in the best shape of their lives.

Marc decided to start taking care of his health after his first son was born. He blamed all the weight gain on the job and had been yo-yo dieting for years. After his son spent 73 days in the hospital, Marc had a mental breakdown and felt like he couldn’t show up for his kid. When he hit rock bottom, he realized that he had to change his mindset before anything else. If you have a never-give-up mindset, you can achieve anything in life, no matter what setbacks you may face. The point is to just keep going.

The question we have to answer as fathers is: “How can we do the best we can at our jobs, family, kids, but also do the work that makes us come alive?” The problem that comes with this question is self-sabotage; we often try to avoid putting in the work, so we sabotage ourselves by making excuses. However, in order for us to be the best husbands, fathers, business owners, and version of ourselves, we have to try things that we’ve never done before to become something we’ve never been. The way you do this is to surround yourself with like-minded people who have similar goals to you. They will act as your support and your motivation to become better and achieve your goals. They will help you change your mindset from making excuses to taking action.

What You’ll Learn: 

[4:47]

Mark introduces himself and how he lost over 100 pounds simply by changing his mindset.

[9:55]

Self sabotage can ruin your mindset.

[12:39]

Marc addresses the setbacks he faced while trying to lose 100 pounds. He also recalls becoming part of a group of like-minded people with the same goals that kept him accountable.

[15:45]

Marc recalls one of his mentors telling him, “Your outward success reflects your inner growth.”

[20:09]

Surrender of Ego – Mark talks about how most law enforcement officers have egos that are hard to let go of on the job. It prevents them from growing and doing the things they need to do. Mark recalls going to a police psychologist to help him overcome the tragedies he saw on the job.

[24:56]

Surrounding yourself with good people is the key to success, along with mindset.

[28:41]

Marc talks about the growth of his business and how the Dad Edge Accelerator has changed his business and his energy.

[34:34]

Marc talks about his resources. The best way to become successful is to partner up with the people who have already paved the way for you.

RELATED EPISODES:

Mindset-Driven Fitness with Marc Hildebrand

Secrets of the Navy SEAL Mindset: Courage, Confidence, Perseverance and Resilience

No Excuses Fatherhood with Wes Watson

 


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