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relentless pursuit of greatness Thomas Williams

The Relentless Pursuit of Greatness with former NFL Pro Thomas Williams

Today we have a treat for you. We’re interviewing former pro football player Thomas Williams who’s played for the Jaguars, the Seahawks, the Patriots, the Bills, and the Panthers. Listen as he takes us from overcoming his troubled childhood, to achieving his NFL dream, to using a career-ending injury as the jump-off point to the relentless pursuit of greatness.

Thomas Williams

Thomas struggled through a childhood of adversity. He was born to a white mother and a black father who split up when he was little and moved to opposite sides of the country. Thomas lived in a small town called Vacaville, CA with his mother. As a child he had a build up of anger and, being biracial he struggled with identity issues. He got into fights with other kids and was always getting into trouble at school.

What Thomas remembers most was thinking, why isn’t my dad here? He felt alone, hurt, and angry. He saw all the other kids with their dads and felt resentful. He took his frustration out on his teachers and schoolmates.

At the end of first grade, he got suspended. His mom said she  couldn’t take it anymore. Thomas still regrets what he said to her that day. He told her he didn’t love her and that he wanted to go live with his dad.

Thomas got what he wished for and went to live with his dad for a whole year. He expected to do all the father/son stuff–going to games, playing catch, and spending time together. The reality was altogether different. His dad was still in the military and spent little time at home. On most days, Thomas had to let himself in the house after school and cook and clean for himself. He was also exposed to alcohol abuse, gambling, and fornication at an extremely young age. His dad’s idea of fatherly instruction was to sit down with Thomas when he was in 2nd grade and watch Boyz n the Hood. The portrayal of the father and son in the movie was his indirect message to Thomas of what he expected their relationship to be like.

Thomas asked to move back to live with his mother by his 3rd grade year. He was never so apologetic. However, after the experience of living with his father and being exposed to such an unhealthy adult way of life, he noticed he was much more mature than his peers. He felt isolated and started getting into fights and into trouble again.

After he realized how truly frightened his mom was about his future, Thomas finally made the decision to change in the 6th grade and began a transformation into a more positive mindset. This allowed him to pursue his new dream, which was to be on a field with people filling the stadiums to see him play. His mom was doubtful that he could make it. Not many people succeed in professional sports, but he didn’t let her discourage him. He gave himself permission to dream, and he worked until that dream came true.

Football Career

Thomas gave everything he had to make it to pro football, but when asked what it was like to make it to the NFL he says:

It’s everything you can possibly imagine and less.

He found it unfulfilling compared to his expectations. He had the money and the status. He was living the dream, but like when he was able to move to his dad’s, the reality of the situation was entirely different. He had become a man by surmounting obstacles to reach his goals. Because of the determination and toughness he developed, he knew he couldn’t fail no matter the outcome. He realized that the journey was what was important, not the destination.

Don’t do things for the outcome. Do things because that’s who you are.

Thomas continued to push himself in his performance before suffering a severe neck injury that ended his football career for good. That night, he went to bed as a professional athlete, and the next morning, woke up as a former professional athlete. He was only 29 years old.

This didn’t stop him at all. Thomas knew he lived a hell of a life already, and he knew it was time to transform yet again. He wanted to share his story and show others that they can achieve their dreams no matter how big they are. It was this passion that gave him the platform to his purpose. Now he is a coach, a motivational speaker, and the author of two books.

Thomas Williams Dad Wisdom

Thomas isn’t a dad yet. He’s not even a husband yet, but he watches and learns from all those around him. He believes the most important thing to teach his future kids is that it’s okay to be themselves.

 

Did you catch all our episodes with the Navy SEALs? Click here.


Resources

==>NEW!!<== Grab a copy of The Dad’s Edge AUDIOBOOK on iTunes or Audible

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Join our Dad Edge Group on Facebook Request Entry Here

We have new Dad Edge T-Shirts!  Grab one HERE

Download a free chapter from: THE DAD’S EDGE on UNLIMITED PATIENCE HERE

Check out this free resource on: CONNECTION WITH YOUR SPOUSE

Download this free resource on:  CONNECTION WITH YOUR KIDS

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How to Live a Life That Counts

How to Live a Life that Counts with John Williams

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

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.

On Marriage

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.


Resources

==>NEW!!<== Grab a copy of The Dad’s Edge AUDIOBOOK on iTunes or Audible

GRAB A COPY OF THE DAD’S EDGE HERE

Join our Dad Edge Group on Facebook Request Entry Here

We have new Dad Edge T-Shirts!  Grab one HERE

Download a free chapter from: THE DAD’S EDGE on UNLIMITED PATIENCE HERE

Check out this free resource on: CONNECTION WITH YOUR SPOUSE

Download this free resource on:  CONNECTION WITH YOUR KIDS

Links

John William’s Links

 

lifethatcounts.org

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Uncovering the Truth About Anger with Peter Sacco

Most men struggle with anger daily. Our tempers flare at work and at home with our wife and kids. Some of us are like Bruce Banner. Some of us turn into the Incredible Hulk. Canada’s psyche doctor, Peter Andrew Sacco tells us the secrets to where anger comes from, how to manage it, and so much more. You don’t want to skip this mind-blowing episode!

We are full-time workers, dads, and husbands. As men, it’s sometimes hard to control our anger. Discovering what type of temperament we have will help us find better ways to manage our anger, improve our relationships, and set an example for our kids on how to deal with their emotions too.

Peter Sacco

Peter Sacco, author of What’s Your Anger Type? is a psychology professor, a former private practitioner and is a regularly featured guest on television and radio. He is also an award-winning executive producer and has hosted many documentaries on relationships, psychological issues, and children’s issues. Peter Sacco has done extensive work in support groups and in anger management, especially with dads who are abusive towards kids and spouses.

Anger is a normal

Anger is a normal emotion. It’s how we deal with it that can be destructive.

Anger makes a person seem more authoritative and powerful, but the truth is that people with an anger problem actually feel they have no control in their lives. A lot of this aggression comes from unresolved issues in childhood and from shame or rage from being rejected as a kid.

Anger can be addictive

Anger is like a drug. When a person gets incensed, they experience an adrenaline rush. Being angry gives the sensation of dominance and control. It overpowers the fear that lies beneath it and gives a person a sense of power because it’s a stronger emotion than depression.

Is there hope for men with anger issues?

Some men who’ve come from a chaotic childhood feel doomed. They believe they’re broken and can’t be fixed. But Peter Sacco says there is tremendous hope for people with anger issues, but they have to do the work.

“You’ve got to want to be the change in your own life”

The Anger Cycle

Just like a soldier who has experienced PTSD, a person with a traumatic or abusive past might cope with unresolved emotions in different destructive ways. Some may use drugs and alcohol, some might vent their rage on certain races, others will withdraw or play the victim.

“Today’s catchers are tomorrow’s pitchers.”

A person who has anger issues will be more likely to take it on one his family. If your relationships fall apart and your work life is full of turmoil, the common denominator is you. It may be time to seek help.

Anger and bullying

Bullied kids lack self-esteem and confidence. They suffer from anxiety and depression. Some overcome it through counseling and become normal. Some cope by learning to be helpless and withdraw. Others develop a superiority complex and become bullies themselves, using aggression, rage, or passive aggression on others.

Why Kids are Suffering from Anxiety and Depression

Parents spend 2.5 to 6.5 minutes talking to their kids each day. In this small amount of time, the communication is usually corrective or punitive. It’s not at a deep intimate level because parents shy away from intimacy from their kids. ADHD has gone up. Divorce rates have risen. Peter Sacco believes it’s this lack of intimacy that’s more responsible than toxins in the environment or ingredients in food. Communication is the key.

Tips for improving communication with your kids

  1. How to start the conversation – If you feel uncomfortable speaking with your kids, find a situation where you’re most comfortable. Dinner is the best and most traditional forum for families to talk. Sit at the table. Make your kids accountable. Every day, ask them to give five things they’re grateful for. Then tell them to talk about one or two things they didn’t like. This will open up communication.
  2. Don’t start out questions with WHY – “Why” pushes someone in a corner. Be a facilitator, don’t treat kids as miniature adults. Don’t say why was your day bad? Say, if your day could go anyway you wanted, what would that be?
  3. Be more creative with questions – Do not be so direct. Maybe some things they’re facing will come out.
  4. Make yourself the go-to guy – Fathers are the breadwinners, and many feel that as long as they provide for their children, they’re doing their job as a parent. Most dads will plan adventures or bond over sports, but these activates focus on the event, not the father/child relationship. Dads should sit down with their kid and ask, “I’m Dad and you’re my child – let me ask you a question. What do I mean to you as a father? How do you see me? The all-knowing problem solver? Nagger? Coach? Disciplinarian? Teacher? How can I be a better dad?”
  5. How to talk about bullying – Kids won’t talk about being bullied because they’re afraid their parents will be ashamed of them. If you suspect bullying, don’t think that nothing’s happening and wait for it to go away on its own. It will wreck a child’s self-esteem. It’s crucial for kids to know that bullying happens in all walks of life. There is nothing to be ashamed of and that they can talk to you about it.

When Dads Get Angry

Even on our best days, our patience will run out. Peter Sacco says that the best way to communicate anger is to tell your kids you’re not feeling well. Tell them you just need a few moments. Instead of making it worse, treat anger like you have an upset stomach or like you’re going to vomit. You don’t want to talk about it. You want to be left alone. You’re not lying by saying you’re not feeling well because anger is a feeling. In a half hour, the emotions pass, and you’ll be in rational mindset to talk.



Resources

==>NEW!!<== Grab a copy of The Dad’s Edge AUDIOBOOK on iTunes or Audible

GRAB A COPY OF THE DAD’S EDGE HERE

Join our Dad Edge Group on Facebook Request Entry Here

We have new Dad Edge T-Shirts!  Grab one HERE

Download a free chapter from: THE DAD’S EDGE on UNLIMITED PATIENCE HERE

Check out this free resource on: CONNECTION WITH YOUR SPOUSE

Download this free resource on:  CONNECTION WITH YOUR KIDS

Links

Peter Sacco’s Links

PeterSacco.com

BullyingisfortheBirds.com

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Create an Epic Life

join The Dad Edge Alliance

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Dad Edge Alliance

Create an Unbeatable Mind, Body, and Become Sealfit with Mark Divine

Mark Divine will make you challenge yourself. This is the consistent message of Mark Divine, founder of SEALFit, author of Unbeatable Mind and Kokoro Yoga-Warrior Yoga. Right now, you are capable of more than you are right now. Mark Divine continues to prove this with countless client success stories; the GDP’s own Larry Hagner is living proof.

 

Physical and Mental Fitness

Mark Divine been with us before. In our previous interview with him, Mark talked about having an Unbeatable Mind through a mission, vision and power statement (this sounds familiar because we’ve incorporated it in quite a few podcasts!). In this episode, Mark expands the conversation to the physical aspect. One does not outweigh the other, as a matter of fact, mind, body and spirit are one in this practice.

 

What in the WOD are you talking about??

Coming from his Navy SEAL background as well as his own research, Mark has developed a physical program that is both mentally and physically challenging. The beauty of the program is it can be customized to every fitness level. Based on an idea similar to CrossFit, Mark’s SEALFit program combines the intensity of a CrossFit program with the mental focus of yoga. Worried about injuries associated with CrossFit programs? Mark’s got that covered, too! He’s put in safeguards, mentally and physically, to help you stay injury-free.

 

Take Your Game Up a Notch

So, maybe you are already in great shape or you simply want to find a workout program that fits your busy schedule. Mark’s program is sustainable and meets every experience level. And that guilt about taking time for yourself (remember, we had this conversation last week)? Turn that guilt to viewing this as a way to make yourself the best version of yourself in order to serve others. This is a message we continually drive home: you cannot show up as your best self if you do not take care of you first.

 

Resources:

JOIN US FOR FOR THE SEALFIT 2oX on June 24th at Vail Lake, CA HERE.  Use “GOODDAD10” for the coupon code and save 10%

Checkout Unbeatable Mind Online

REGISTER FOR “THE DRIVEN FOR EXCELLENCE SUMMIT”  Register ==>HERE<==

==>NEW!!<== Grab a copy of The Dad’s Edge AUDIOBOOK on iTunes or Audible

GRAB A COPY OF THE DAD’S EDGE HERE

Check out our Dad Edge Group on Facebook Request Entry Here

We have new Dad Edge T-Shirts!  Grab one HERE

Check out a free chapter from: THE DAD’S EDGE on UNLIMITED PATIENCE HERE

Check out this free resource on: CONNECTION WITH YOUR SPOUSE

Check out this free resource on:  CONNECTION WITH YOUR KIDS

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Connect with Mark Divine:

Books:

Links for Mark:

Jack Canfield

Reflections with Jack Canfield


I recently had the honor of interviewing Jack Canfield one-on-one for an hour.  I have to tell you it was one the most inspiring interviews I have done to date.  For those of you who don’t know Jack Canfield, he is one of the most successful authors and success coaches of our time.  He known world-wide for his Chicken Soup for the Soul Series and his Success Principles Series.  His books have reached the lives of over 100 million readers and his inspiration is reaching more people every day.

 

Before I did this interview, I only knew Jack Canfield as the successful person he is today.  I have often heard the quote: “When you see a successful person, we usually only see the tip of the iceberg.  We usually don’t see all the hardships, failures, and challenges these people have gone through in their lives to get where they are today.”  After spending an hour with Jack, I can tell you I was shocked to hear about his challenging childhood with alcoholic parents, the number of times he was rejected for “Chicken Soup for the Soul” (144 rejections), and that he earned a C+ in writing at Harvard.

 

Below are just few takeaways I learned from spending just 60 minutes with Jack Canfield

 

DON’T LET YOUR CHILDHOOD CRIPPLE YOU

Jack had a very difficult childhood raised by a father who was an alcoholic. The cool thing about Jack Canfield is that he used his childhood as an example of what he didn’t want to be as an adult. The main point is we have people in or society that live in two camps.

 

Camp #1- Those of us who leverage challenging times to fuel our future success.

 

Camp #2- Those of us who use our backgrounds for excuses as to why we are not successful and never will be.

 

So my question to you guys is: “WHAT CAMP DO YOU LIVE IN?”

 

If you are in camp #2:  Congrats because you have made an awesome choice on the path to an empowering life versus a victim mentality life. If you are in camp #1:  it’s time to re-evaluate your life and ask yourself better questions. If you are in camp one…go back and listen to Episode 28 with Navy Seal Commander Mark Divine on HOW TO CREATE AN UNBEATABLE MIND. That episode will give you a solid foundation on how to forge mental toughness and become resilient.

 

DON’T LET YOUR GRADES DICTATE YOUR SUCCESS IN LIFE

Jack got a “C+” in writing at Harvard and was always told he was an “average writer.” Jack is now one of the most successful authors of our time. Had he listened to his professors at Harvard and didn’t move forward with his passion to tell stories, our generation would not know the Jack Canfield we know today and he would have never had such a positive impact on the world. S

 

So, my question to you is: “WHAT HAVE OTHER PEOPLE TOLD YOU ABOUT YOUR SKILL OR PASSION THAT YOU HAVE BOUGHT INTO?”  What if for a minute you no longer bought into those labels?  What if you decided to step into your greatness?  What would be the worst that could happen?  I grantee 2 things are certain:

 

  1.  If you failed you would be no worse off than you are right now.

 

  1. If you decided to pursue your dream, whether you failed or succeeded, you would not live a life of “I wish”. Pay Flynn has a great quote that really hits this home which is…”I would rather have a life of “oh-wells and not a life of I wish I would haves.”

 

DON’T LET FAILURE STOP YOU

Jack was rejected by 144 publishers for his first “Chicken Soup for the Soul” Book. Let that sink in for a second…144 rejections. How would you feel about your purpose/passion if you were rejected 5 times, 10 times, 50 times, or even 100 times? What if Jack Would have thrown in the towel at the 143rd rejection?  The cool thing that Jack Canfield mentioned is that he would have self-published no matter what. It’s empowering to have a backup plan and know you will move forward even if it’s on your own when no one else believes in you.  The lesson here is to fail forward and not give up. Each time we fail there is a life lesson, we learn, and we move forward.

 

Guys, thank you for tuning in to our new segment – Five Minute Thursday’s. The goal of this mid-week podcast is to give you the powerhouse cliff notes of the week, to kick start your weekend, and ultimately to empower your life. Guys make sure you head to gooddadproject.com to get several free resources. Also make sure you grab a copy of “The Dads Edge” on Amazon. It’s an easy read and has become a bestseller.

 

See you next week with a powerhouse guest!  Up next week have Jason Mackenzie with The Book of Open, we also have Joe De Sena, founder of the Spartan Races and NYT BESTSELLER of SPARTAN UP. FINALLY also have professional UFC fighter Frankie Edgar also coming up in a few weeks.

 

Guys have a great weekend and live your life with purpose and without regret!

Free Resources:

Check out a free chapter from: THE DAD’S EDGE on UNLIMITED PATIENCE HERE

Check out this free resource on: CONNECTION WITH YOUR SPOUSE

Check out this free resource on:  CONNECTION WITH YOUR KIDS

Links

Jack Canfield Links:

Jack Canfield Website

The 30 Day Solution

Jack Canfield Facebook Fan Page

Jack Canfield Twitter