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The Psychology Behind Marriage and Relationships with Kevin Gilliland

Kevin Gilliland

Kevin Gilliland is a husband, father, and author, and licensed clinical psychologist. He is the executive director of Innovation 360, an out-patient counseling service that helps individuals and couples struggling with mental health, relationship issues, and substance abuse. Kevin is the author of Struggle Well. Live Well. – 60 Ways to Navigate Life’s Good, Bad, and In-Between. This book is told through the eyes of Kevin and his approach to going through life. The topics in the book range from simple things such as work-life balance, to heavier topics such as mental illness and addiction. Kevin’s podcast Struggle Well. Live Well. Worry Less. helps people overcome anxiety, worry, mental health, and how we can treat the things that lead to a worry free life.

There is a certain psychology that comes with marriage. Marriage is one of the most rewarding and unique relationships that we will ever have. It’s hard to be aware of things we’re focused on when we’re in it. Sometimes, we are blinded by emotional resentment; we need the other person to give us input on how we perform best and what we need to do to work on things. The great thing about our spouses is that they can act as a mental coach in our lives. They see the things that we can’t see because we are unaware of what’s happening. They also can give us the potential to unlock our best selves when they give us their outside perspective. This doesn’t mean that you need to be their coach or vice versa; this means that you can give them constructive reinforcement for things they can work on or things they are good at in order for them to better themselves. This is important to remember because we don’t want to damage the connection we have with our spouses. We want to elevate them, not mentor them.

What You’ll Learn: 

[6:58]

Kevin talks about how he got into psychology.

[12:32]

Kevin discusses emotional resentment in marriages. He answers the question, “What does it take to become the best man you can be?”

[18:25]

Kevin talks about the costs of doing something about a problem that arises in your marriage versus doing nothing about it.

[22:34]

Marriage is a never-ending series of difficult conversations. The more we do it, the better we get at it, and we start to see the results of it.

[25:11]

Kevin talks about the fear of addressing difficulties in marriage, and how some people would rather give up than face the problem head on.

[37:09]

Kevin discusses the common themes between couples who have a great relationship and those who have a mediocre relationship.

[44:35]

Kevin gives advice to men that are within their first seven years of marriage.

[47:51]

Kevin talks about quiet expectations in a marriage.

[54:55]

Kevin discusses the issue of couples getting too upset over the mundane things that are really covering up the larger issues that need to be addressed. You can’t get hung up in the details that don’t really matter.

[58:22]

Kevin talks about the problem with asking, “Why?” when there’s a problem because it doesn’t give any insight as to what’s wrong. The typical responses to why someone is feeling a certain why is “I don’t know,” “Yes,” or “No.”

[1:01:17]

Kevin talks about his resources.

RELATED EPISODES:

Communication Mastery for Fathers with Chris Voss

Marriage Partnership in Action

How to Level Up Your Marriage with Dan Purcell


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Kevin Gilliland

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

Ted Shimer

Ted Shimer, author of the Freedom Fight, is a 30 year veteran of a National Collegiate Disciplinary Ministry who has helped thousands of young individuals in their pornography addiction. His book The Freedom Fight is also a no-cost internet program that uses the power brain of science to outgrow porn and heal from the addiction.

In the early 2000s, Shimer witnessed firsthand what pornography does to not only married couples, but to young adults as well. After the rise of the iPhone, becoming addicted became an even easier feat amongst millions of individuals. Countless studies have been conducted that state the detrimental effects of pornography in relationships, marriages, and even children. Shimer uses a faith-based approach in talking about the effects of porn and how it draws us further and further away from the truth of God’s word and His will for our lives. In order to deepen our connection with God, we have to repress those sinful behaviors and replace it with healing behaviors such as an accountability partner or connecting with the Word of God.

In our society, men tend to justify porn by stating that it’s not as bad as doing drugs or drinking heavily. However, addiction is addiction no matter how you swing it. The impact of pornography on husbands and fathers has been known to cause divorces two to three times greater than if there was no porn involved. There has to be a point where you admit that you have an addiction, then find the right people and resources to help you outgrow the addiction.

What You’ll Learn: 

Pornography in Young Adults

[7:46]

In 2007, Ted recalls he started learning about the pornography problem in America. After the iPhone came out, the struggle for ministering to young, vulnerable men became a much more difficult challenge.

Accessibility of Pornography

[13:55]

The accessibility of pornography in today’s society is exponential compared to 30 years ago. Smart devices have allowed pornography to become a lot more prevalent. 

How Pornography Impact Families

[15:18]

Deny. Minimize. Rationalize. We can be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin and we need to recognize that. 

[17:18]

Pornography impacts our spiritual commitments. If somebody is using porn, that person is less committed to their spiritual disciplines.

[20:51]

Sociology Professor Samuel Perry conducted a study that found that if either the husband or wife started to watch porn, the couple was two to three times more likely to divorce. It brings less relational connection to your significant other and your kids. 

[24:23]

Shame is a huge part of pornography and it can lead parents to avoid talking about spiritual things with their children because they are ashamed. There is a direct correlation between watching porn and the person’s involvement in their church, as discovered by Dr. Perry. 

The Birth of an Addiction

[28:05]

When a person watches porn, the brain releases a significant amount of dopamine. An addiction is birthed when a person starts using that high to medicate the negative emotions they have. 

How Porn Affects the Intimacy Between a Husband and Wife

[33:33]

The porn industry tries to sell porn to married couples by stating that it adds sizzle to their relationship. However, the problem with porn in marriages is that it may bring a sizzle in the beginning, but it eventually dies out and creates a strain in the marriage. 

Solutions to the Addiction

[41:52]

When you repress one behavior, you have to replace it with another in order to break the addiction. There are six roots to a pornography addiction that have to be addressed if the person wants to achieve freedom.

[43:57]

You need to build a new pathway that is connected to God’s word, an accountability partner, escaping the situation, etc. When you are triggered, you need to move toward God and others. 

[44:58]

You don’t just quit a porn habit. You have to outgrow a porn habit. You have to renew your mind.

[47:08]

Before God’s truth sets us free, it changes us. Because it changes us, the freedom lasts

What Does Detox Look Like?

[49:22]

Detox is asking the question, “What do I need to do to get radical about removing temptation?” It’s not enough to just have behavior modification and take these steps. Our hearts need to grow in our conviction for personal holiness as well. Holiness isn’t a list of rules, but rather pursuing what is God’s best for me. 

Accountability

[53:03]

Recognizing that the first step to healing is confession and coming out of the shadows. Moving from the shadows to the light is where healing begins.

RELATED EPISODES:

Battling Porn and Sexual Addiction with Eddie Capparucci

Porn Addiction and Affair Recovery Mentoring

Porn-Why We Watch It, When It’s a Problem, and How to Stop with Nell Daly


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Ted Shimer (The Freedom Fight) Links

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ron worley

How to Survive Your F&%$ed-Up Life with Ron Worley


Ron Worley is a business coach, entrepreneur, and the author of “Ditches to Riches: How to Survive Your F&%$ed-Up Life and Create a Kick-Ass Business.”

Living a life of treachery, drugs, and helplessness, Ron almost succumbed to the abyss of death.

Today, Ron is a self-made millionaire, a husband, and a dad. He reveals his chaotic past, personal reflections, pivotal decisions, and life lessons. He also shares how every man needs a woman that will support him throughout it all—in happiness and pain.

Your dreams may be free, but getting there demands a price.

Ron Worley

Ron L. Worley, II is successful business owner, real-estate investor, mentor, and self-made millionaire who follows his own code, The Worley Way. He is a proud papa and dedicated husband making his home in Colorado. He refused to accept circumstance, taking himself from a man on a path to death to living a world-changing reality. He shares real life lessons that inspire countless entrepreneurs, thinkers, and those wanting lasting change. His systems guide wealth and well-being. Ron is the host of the podcast, Sons of Ditches, and the author of Ditches to Riches: How to Survive Your F&%$ed-Up Life and Create a Kick-Ass Business.

Ditches to Riches: How to Survive Your F&%$ed-Up Life and Create a Kick-Ass Business

Homeless. Addicted. Alone. Ron Worley hit rock bottom, but climbed his way back and into money, a successful business, and fulfillment. Now he is helping others do the same.

Negative circumstances can overshadow a life of purpose. Making the brave hard choices can seem impossible. Yet, you don’t have to accept mediocrity. Your growth is your choice. If trauma and failure have set you adrift, it’s time to step up with Ditches to Riches.

Unlock potent strategies to revolutionize your well-being, create personal wealth, and build a prosperous business! Worley’s inspiring true success story teaches you to overcome feeling defeated, directionless, and driven to the edge. Give yourself the chance you deserve.

You need to show up and make the right choices to make your dreams happen. Follow heartening real-life stories to help you ditch a shattered life and build a new rich one. These are life lessons for the new entrepreneur, strategic-thinker, or anyone sick of not using their full hidden potential.

What You’ll Learn

Ron’s Appreciation for His Wife

[07:43]

Ron works, plays, lives, and does everything together with his wife. They treat each other as best friends and he fully appreciates her loyalty. His wife knows the difference between right and wrong and she helps Ron navigate his gray world.

[09:03]

His wife brings peace. She is his rock, and Ron feels she is the reward for his pursuit to change his life.

Ron’s Chaotic Upbringing

[11:23]

Ron’s father has two children, Ron and his brother, Les. When his parents eventually separated, his father married the babysitter and had another two children. During the honeymoon with his new wife, his father got another woman pregnant.

[13:31]

His dad had a total of six kids and three different wives. Ron grew up witnessing many horrible things and started to smoke weed at as a little kid.

[15:26]

These unsupervised ways of taking drugs became his way of life. He became an alcoholic and a drug addict at 15 years old.

[16:31]

Ron worked to keep himself high all the time. Meanwhile, he was also athletic in various sports and had offers for scholarships. He made sure to not let the two worlds cross with each other.

[17:07]

Ron only started to learn as an adult about integrity. When nobody is looking, is he really doing the right thing? As a child, the only thing that mattered for him was to feel good.

[18:43]

His father died in 1997. He lived a dangerous lifestyle where he was killed by the police.

[20:39]

When kids are young, they look at their father as if he is a god. He grew up realizing what he had been idolizing was not good.

Regrets

[24:24]

Ron feels a tremendous loss. It made him mad and upset for not having the opportunity to be a child.

Living Through Your Children

[29:05]

Ron felt he has not grown up yet. He is reliving his childhood through his children as they are growing. He is enjoying a part of their lives he never had.

[31:23]

When Ron retells his childhood to his kids, he wants them to learn something from it. Since he has lived through the worst, he hopes it helps them understand and to not repeat what he has experienced.

Flipping the Switch

[35:37]

Ron’s mother cut ties with him because of his dysfunctional life. It was the final straw for him, realizing that he had no one to lean on anymore.

[36:21]

It was at that moment where he would either be the biggest loser or he would get sober.

[38:33]

Ron felt that rehabilitation was not for him, and it was at this time he found business. He started working out, getting healthy, feeling good. He found a job and started a small business to save money.

[40:11]

Everybody has this insight to know that when enough is enough and to change their circumstances.

Outlook on Life

[46:29]

Ron learned to set aside his guilt and let go of the past. He treats his experiences as his Medals of Honor, telling the world the wisdom he can offer. He wakes up every single day with a positive frame of mind.

[49:01]

He battles insecurities all day. It was ingrained from his childhood and it is something he has to live with. He goes through his values, anger management skills and ends up exhausted. But Ron emphasizes to be positive no matter what you do.

[51:12]

Ron has an hour of power he calls The Dream Time or active meditation. It is the time where ideas for his next business come up. He makes a list of solutions for problems, finds change, and figures out how to do better.

Living Authentically

[57:13]

Ron does not want to let the people down and he is honest about the fact that he has many things to learn. Even if he can only do meager things for the meantime, Ron has learned that faking does not always work. If you are dumb or ignorant to something, you should never hide it.

Legacy

[01:07:12]

Ron’s eldest daughter is stubborn, hardworking, and a forward-thinker. His youngest son is smart, aloof, and enduring. The middle son is a sponge, a gifted talker, and brave.

[01:10:37]

Ron wants to try everything. He realizes that if he does not start doing things, he will die. He will try anything as long as there is an angle to make money from it.

[01:12:32]

“Live like you are dying.” It’s the motto Ron lives by. It’s the legacy he wants to leave.


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Ron Worley’s Links

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wes watson

No Excuses Fatherhood with Wes Watson


This show is explicit, and it will be offensive to some listeners. But the message is important. Today’s guest is Wes Watson, and he is not going to sugar-coat his advice. Prepare to hear a lot of f-bombs.

Wes Watson is an ex-convict, motivational speaker, and is the founder of personal coaching firm, Watson Fit, which aims to liberate people from mental prisons to help them achieve their health goals and beyond.

Today, Wes talks about his journey from penitentiary to personal development. He reveals the mindsets and vices that are keeping us stuck. He also teaches us how to exercise self-discipline, practice constructive self-talk, and commit to behaviors that will transform us into the men, husbands, and fathers we want to become.

Are you ready to stop making excuses and start investing in yourself?

What You’ll Learn

Loyal Family

[12:42]

Wes appreciates his family’s loyalty. He is especially grateful for his dad and his work ethic. He adapted from his father how to be committed in anything that he does.

Inspiration as a Life Coach

[14:13]

Wes believes in the saying that “acquire what we admire.” His dad inspired him to be the man he is today, to be a hard worker, and to have a large physique.

Work Ethic

[15:37]

People are what they eat. However, there is a misunderstanding about how to allocate the macronutrients in one’s body properly. Wes’s aim in his program is to help people understand the correct macros. Everything is a test of purpose over pleasure. Therefore, Wes makes sure that there is a deep intention through diet exercise to mindset training.

Motivation

[17:57]

Wes’s aim is for fathers to develop their internal attributes and knowledge with their own intensity and delivery as role models to their children.

[18:48]

Despite Wes’s dad being a hard worker, Wes always felt that they were struggling financially, and his parents weren’t able to conceal that aspect. That’s why Wes felt the need to come up with a way to earn money to pay the bills.

Emotional and Mental State

[22:20]

Foster the body and mind through self-help books and apply quotes to everyday situations, especially in difficult ones.

[22:47]

Reflect as you project while cultivating yourself with a high self-love level and self-worth to see others’ love. Stay diligent and structured as your weakness comes through.

Changing one’s mindset

[30:54]

Wes is a firm believer in reading quotes to change the stream of consciousness. 177 Mental Toughness Secrets of the World Class is his go-to reads to develop his mindset.

[44:31]

Seek personal growth by giving up on bad vices, be grateful every day, and focus on putting everything into what you do every day. Find something you love more than your bad habits.

RELATED EPISODES:

Wake Up Warrior with Garrett J. White

Real AF Self-Discipline with Andy Frisella

Stop Doing That Sh*t with Gary John Bishop


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Our biggest regrets in life happen
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Do the work. Make a plan. Follow along with simple, yet powerful exercises and tap into the patience that is within you.

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The Fundamentals of MANHOOD

Teaching Your Son the Fundamentals of Manhood with Gregory Koufacos

Young men today are less motivated to create extraordinary lives because they aren’t equipped with the skills to turn their dreams into reality. How can we be relatable parents and instill the fundamentals of manhood so our sons can reach their full potential?

In this episode of the Dad Edge Podcast, we talk with Gregory Koufacos. Greg is the founder and CEO of Velocity Mentoring. He is an addiction professional with almost 15 years of experience. He holds a Master’s Degree in Psychology from The New School for Social Research. He is a Licensed Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselor and a Nationally Certified Recovery Coach.

Gregory is also the author of the book named “Primal Method” which he will discuss along with the issues between a father and a son. We will also talk about relationships, marriages, and the challenging transition of becoming a man in today’s world.

Don’t tolerate a mediocre relationship. Try to make it the relationship of your dreams.

The Primal Method: A Book for Emerging Men

The general public is starting to recognize what parents, teachers and therapists have known for years: we are losing our young men. Now more than ever, emerging men between 16 and 35 find themselves stuck in limbo between adolescence and adulthood. Addictions, anxieties, egos, and overwhelming expectations leave them trapped in childhood, frustrated with their lives, and feeling forced to cope with drugs, porn, and video games. For too many young men, this vital period has gone from a stage of emergence to a state of emergency.

In The Primal Method, addiction counselor and therapist Gregory Koufacos draws from his extensive background with troubled young men to identify what has gone wrong, why traditional therapy often fails, and how emerging men can break their debilitating cycles. Using vivid examples from his professional career and own life, Koufacos demonstrates the use of the walking cure, Miyagi mentoring, emphatic challenge, and other techniques that harness young men’s primal motivation to live a life of power and purpose.

What You’ll Learn

Gregory’s Childhood

[8:28]

Gregory grew up in New Jersey. He is the eldest of the three brothers, and his father immigrated from Greece in his late 20s which is exciting for Gregory. During summers, Greg and his family would go back to Greece. At an early age, he became exposed t two different cultures, specifically the American and Greek Cultures.

[10:36]

Gregory grew up in an era where there were strong male role models in the community. He would seek those men out like a sponge and just soak in all of their wisdom, their power, and confidence.

Respecting his Father

[12:14]

What led Gregory to the respect he had for his father came from the going to journey of himself becoming a father. He always judged his father and what closed the gap n term of his deep respect for his father was when he decided to stop judging him and just focus on himself. He found that the journey is not easy for any of us.

[14:11]

The job that his father had never excited him. It was a means to an end. His father was very good at his career, and he’s a smart man. He’s a mathematician and physician, but it didn’t set his soul on fire.

A Message to Fathers

[15:47]

Greg recommends to fathers to tell their kids who they are and what sets their soul in fire. Let your kids see who you truly are.

Gregory’s Wife and Kids

[22:16]

When Gregory had his daughter, it opened his heart where he didn’t realize that it was closed. He didn’t think that he could love another human being so selflessly. His kids pushed him to provide a great life, and he is very happy about that.

[23:31]

Gregory and his wife had been married for almost 14 years, and it has been a crucible for intense growth for both of them. They both care and love each other deeply, and fortunately, they are working through that. They have managed to the most important thing to stay and keep going in the direction they need to go.

[24:28]

According to Gregory, don’t settle and tolerate a mediocre relationship. Try to make it the relationship of your dreams. That is our vision as men.

The Choices in a failing relationship

[26:09]

According to Gregory, there are 4 choices in a failing marriage or relationship.

  1. Get a divorce
  2. Stay or stick it out and suffer
  3. Choosing that you are one of the lucky ones that have a good marriage
  4. You take it as your own personal duty and mission to breathe the life of love and joy and happiness into your relationship no matter what

Keeping the Relationship at an Optimal Level

[30:18]

The one thing that has worked for Gregory and his wife’s marriage is they give each other to breathe. If their marriage needs oxygen, they will get it. They would go on couple’s retreats, which really helped them where somebody could guide them in that process.

Reaching Out to Young Men

[32:08]

Gregory believes that his commitment to working through the obstacles and difficulties in staying in the course of his marriage helped him reach down to young men a ask them t work through their own battles.

[32:38]

For Gregory, he knows the same frustrations, fears, and delusions that young men are crippled by, which he is also struggling with, but he’s fighting the good fight. Therefore, he can speak to them with authority and wants the young to fight the good fight because it is worth it. It creates a bond between him and the young men he works with.

[33:40]

Gregory is not coming to young men as an expert who solved everything in his life. He believes he is a few steps ahead and may be able to offer something, and they may be able t offer something to him as well. He says that we are all in this together. He tells young men that the only difference between him and young men is that he is higher up the mountain.

[34:33]

According to Gregory, the only difference between himself and the young men he is working with is the degree of difficulty and the stakes. Fortunately, he has the tools to go on the journey he’s on, and they can get it too. They have to acquire the tools to go on the journey

Being a Relatable Parent

[36:13]

Larry says that when you’re human, that makes you relatable. When you’re relatable, you create psychological safety within people to tell you what’s truly on their minds and heart. When something goes wrong in their life, he doesn’t want his kids to be afraid of him, but instead, when something goes wrong, he wants them to know that they can count on him. You are creating a bond and connection where there is no judgement, only guidance.

Rehabilitation Settings

[39:10]

Gregory works in the field of addiction counseling. He has worked for about six or seven years in different rehabilitation settings. According to him, all the rehabilitation settings have one commonality: they provide a lot of structure. Within that structure, he saw individuals who were capable of making miraculous transformations.

[40:59]

Gregory found out that traditional therapy and approaches that he was trained in were not helping young men. He grew frustrated. With the desire for a real transformation, he decided not to meet in his office anymore and instead, go outside and do something. That decision to leave the office knocked a whole pattern into place, and he started doing things intuitively.

Writing his Book

[43:33]

Gregory made a decision to write about it and figure out what it was that he was doing. That journey lasted about four years and culminated in the book, Primal method. He outlined different tools that he has identified commonly in the work he has done with young men.

[44:06]

Gregory wrote the book to appeal and be read by a young man. He wanted the readers of the book to know that he is offering something of value. And that it should be read by fathers and people that are in the lives of young men.

[45:01]

Gregory believes that that the book can be read by a professional, a parent, or a young man. He hopes that it reaches young men.

The Premise of the Book

[46:22]

The book’s premise is that you are missing the boat by talking to a young man. What will reach this young, emerging male is not talking to them. It’s action and connection.

[47:03]

Gregory says that even if your son is listening to you as you’re telling him the ways of the world, it’s not reaching him at the deeper level because he’s not implementing it. He’s not gaining knowledge through experience. It’s just information that makes sense to him. One of the big premises is instead of talking at your kid, get into action and do something with him. Doing that cultivates a sacred bond, which is achieved by two men sharing an experience.

The Bottom Line

[53:44]

The bottom line is to do things with these young men and make it have stakes on both ends. Let them see you striving as a man who is not perfect. Pick something that they’re better than you, or show them what it’s like for a man to enter an arena where he’s uncomfortable and to do his best or something in that creates a very special bond between men.

Gregory’s message to society

[1:03:59]

Gregory’s message to society is to stop pumping young men full of lies. Stop telling young men that this is how life works. He wants society to stop lying to them and just tell the truth about life, about themselves to the best of your ability. For him, that’s what he wants. He doesn’t care about how he wants life to be. He wants to know how life is.

Gregory’s Final Advice

[1:07:45]

Gregory advises to not pick something that puts you on an elevated status. Pick something where the two of you are equal. Let your son see how you go through life when you’re not the expert. We’re not experts. We’re all men on the journey of life. And life is way bigger than all of us. Humble yourself, and show your son how you go through the process of becoming a man.

Gregory Koufacos’s Links

https://www.eternalprinciples.com/

LinkedIn

Instagram

Twitter

Buy Greg’s book on Amazon


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Resources

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