John Williams is the founder of a non-profit organization called Life That Counts. Today on The Good Dad Project, he shares his story of childhood adversity and talks about how he is raising his two boys, how he keeps his marriage on point, and what amazing things he is doing in the world.
John Williams grew up in Alabama in a dysfunctional household. He never knew his father. He lived with his mom, his little brother, and his cousin. The man of the house was his tyrannical alcoholic uncle. Daily life was plagued by profanity and poverty. John Williams remembers that he always felt the huge void of his dad’s absence in his life.The man in their lives, his uncle, was not really a man. He never held down a job or kept a relationship. he was a terrorist in the home. There was no discipline, no encouragement, no one to witness his mistakes and to show him how to take ownership of them. He also felt for his mom, who had no one to share the burden of hard times with.
As John grew older, he experience frustration and rage. He watched himself do terrible things. He became violent in front of his mom. One time, he frightened her so badly that she took his little brother and fled the home.
He knew this wasn’t who he wanted to be, but he lived that way into his twenties. He was defensive and always fighting against the world. Eventually a mentor show up in his life who told him that he had to quit living for what he was against and figure out how to live for what he was for. Today he is determined to stop the echoes of his volatile childhood.
My wife is going to know her husband, and my kids are going to know their father.
John Williams and his wife just celebrated their 15th wedding anniversary. She was his high school sweetheart, and the one thing they agreed on before they got married was to eliminate the ‘D’ word from their vocabulary. Divorce was not an option. They pledged themselves wholeheartedly to on another. They keep in mind that they are both human and are prone to screw up. John knows that he isn’t the same man he was ten years ago, or even a month or a day ago. He recognizes the change and growth in his wife as well. They give each other the latitude to grow, change, and adapt over time.
If you want a relationship like the one you had when you first fell in love, you have to do those things you did when you first fell in love.
Life That Counts
John Williams believes in consciously approaching life instead of reacting to our fight or flight instincts. Now he is helping his kids and children everywhere to develop decision-making skills that lead to healthy outcomes. John believes that higher expectations lead to increased performance. When more is expected of students from teachers and parents, they will go further. But he has noticed that when more is expected from students by their peers, the results can not only change their lives, but the culture of the entire school. Peer-to-peer mentoring removes the spotlight from kids’ negative behaviors and puts the focus on behavior that generates positive outcomes. That is why Life That Counts is offering this program to schools at no cost. John Williams wants to show kids how to be the hero of their own stories.
We have to remember that we hold influence and we do have sway, and whatever we want to do in life, we can.
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