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courage

How to Feed Your Courage and Starve Your Fear

COURAGE is something every dad needs more of…the question becomes:  “How do we develop more of it?”

We can’t out run stress. It’s simply a fact of our daily lives. The idea that we “eliminate” stress from our life sounds great, but that means cutting out the parts that are most meaningful. Think about it: the parts of our lives that make us who we really are come from areas that bring stress: our work, our kids, our significant others. These aren’t “bad” stressors, but they are part of our lives. It’s not a matter of cutting these areas out, but a matter of how we handle them.

 

Always Darkest Before the Dawn

 

Truth. All too often, we get caught up in the negativity of our circumstances and fail to see what good might actually come out of them. Our mind will take us where we lead it. If we choose to ask questions like “why did this happen to me?” or “what did I do to deserve this?” we certainly will find ourselves at the end of a self-destructive spiral of pity and self-loathing. Yuck, we’ve all been there. But, if we choose instead to view a circumstance from a state of abundance instead of scarcity, we just might see that our “negative” circumstances have a lot to teach us.

 

What are You Feeding?

 

Our attitude about stress is all about what we choose to feed: fear or courage. We’ve talked about feeding the Fear or the Courage Wolf before and this is exactly what we have been encouraging. Choosing to nurture the Courage Wolf through affirmation statements gives us the strength to get through the circumstance and persevere. Whereas feeding the Fear Wolf only strengthens our stress, making us anxious and eventually paralyzing us from taking any positive action.

 

Choosing the Statement

 

It doesn’t have to be complicated. A simple phrase like, “I’ve got this” in moments of even the greatest doubts will trigger our minds to think in a state of positive action. Navy Seals even use these statements to get through their most difficult moments in training and the field (see the Mark Divine episode for more!). Like anything in life, how we confront stress is how our mind and body will respond. What it boils down to is the fact that we simply don’t give our minds enough credit for what they are really capable of.

 

It’s About the Questions

 

And what it also comes down to are the questions we ask ourselves. Really, how positive is it to ask ourselves, “what did I do to get here?”. After this question, your mind will tell you EXACTLY what you did to get “here”. Because our minds go where we ask them to go, we tend to lead them down a negative path with this line of questioning. A better, more positive question might be, “what can I learn from this event?”. Through this type of questioning we will find ourselves better poised to handle whatever the stressor might be and learn from it for the next time around.

 

We’ve just touched the surface here. Knowing that we, as men, face the societal challenge to be strong and unbending, we tend to shy away from anything that others might perceive as “weak”. But instead of suffering in silence from these stressors, learning to reprogram how we deal with them will only strengthen our relationships and better our lives.

Resources:

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

Links

 THE FLOW CHART MENTIONED

courage

Jordan Goodman

How to pay off your home mortgage and be financially free in 5 years with Jordan Goodman


Jordan Goodman, America’s Money Answer Man, comes on the Good Dad Project Podcast and shares insights on paying off our mortgages in 5-7 years, paying off credit debit, and saving for the future.

The American Dream: House, 2.5 kids, pets, credit card debt, 30 year mortgage with an arm, car loan, wondering how to pay for the education of those 2.5 kids, the list goes on. It’s kind of a given, isn’t it? Being strapped till the end of time with debt? It kind of nestles itself right in with the family, just like that annoying relative. How comfy! But, what if, you could eliminate that unwanted “family member” more quickly than you thought?

The Mortgage

Jordan Goodman (Money magazine, financial analyst at NBC along with being the author of numerous books on the topic) has helped people pay off their mortgage in 5-6 years and reduce their credit card debt. Yeah, right, you say. But, it’s true! He says if you have equity in your home, take out a Home Equity Line of Credit, connect it to your checking account, use the credit line to pay towards the principal of your mortgage. Repaying the line of credit and then repeating the process six months to a year down the road, you will have that house paid off rapidly.

The Debt

Credit cards can be both a blessing and a curse. The blessing is that they help build our credit. The curse is that, if we overspend on them, we can find ourselves in a world of hurt. Use one credit card to pay your bills every month and then pay it off the next month. That way, you keep your credit in great standing and pay your regular bills.

The Budget

Half of all divorces occur because of money issues. Yep, that unwanted family member is responsible for half of all the broken marriages. So, one solution to that issue is to have open communication with your spouse regarding handling money. Our relationship with money may differ from that of our spouse (most likely it will), so, understanding how our spouse deals with money and communicating how you deal with money is key to a happy home. If you really enjoy golf outings, but your wife loves her Manolo Blahnik’s (it’s a big name designer guys), then make those items part of your budget. Don’t just cut out the things that bring you joy in the name of frugality (unless, of course, you’re simply trying to put food on the table).

Of course, this is simply the tip of the ice berg. This episode really dives into the details of how you can get yourself on a better path with your money and unload the “family member” you aren’t so fond of.

Resources:

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

Links

Jordan Goodman Links:

Jordan Goodman Website

Jordan Goodman  Financial Resources

Jordan Goodman Twitter

Jordan Goodman Facebook

Jordan Goodman YouTube

family stays connected

Five Ways to Make Sure Your Family Stays Connected


Ensuring our families stay connected is something that every dad desires.

You know your family. You know your spouse’s trigger points, what’s going on with their day and  what bothers them. You know what is going on in your kids’ lives: their friends, their favorite activities, their sensitivities. Whoa-wait-do you? When is the last time you sat down and really listened, or scheduled an activity together and really made quality time? Too many times our best intentions to build the connections with our family are overlooked by our busy schedules and outside commitments. Changing just some of our simple daily habits, though, can really help strengthen the most important connections of all.

Your Family Stays Connected By Taking a Few Minutes to Talk Everyday

Yeah, you ask your kids how they’re doing, but are you really paying attention, or are you absentmindedly listening while mentally going over that meeting with your boss you had an hour ago? Admit it, you’ve done it before; most of us have. But listening and truly paying attention to what they have to say helps to build those bonds. It just makes people feel important when you really listen. Think about it: when someone is really engaged and listening to you, you know it. You also know when someone is just half way there. You just feel better when the other person is actively listening: asking good questions and being present.

Schedule an Activity

It doesn’t have to be a trip to DisneyWorld (unless that’s what you really want to do), it’s the daily activities of simply playing with your kids. Our intentions might be good, but if it’s not in our routine schedule, we may not get to it. You schedule meetings for work, why not schedule activities with your family; the reason you go to work?

Do Physical Activities Together

No, this doesn’t mean putting your kids to work pulling weeds in the yard while you mow the lawn. Spend some times outside: go for a walk, throw a ball, wrestle. Whatever it is, the simple act of being active together creates a different bond than just sitting on the couch (there’s quality in that, too, just not all the time). Schedule a hike or set a goal of doing a challenge course together (Color Run, anybody?).

Have a Meal Together and Express Gratitude

It doesn’t have to be the Beaver Cleaver family meal at 5 o’clock; dinner can be whenever you can connect. And when you’re sitting around that table eating (please don’t talk with your mouth full), maybe say something you’re grateful for. Heck, why not make it something you’re grateful for about someone at that very table? While you’re at it, make this a tech-free zone. Nothing says “I’m physically present, but not mentally here” like a cell phone at the table.

Pay Attention to the Small Stuff

Small Stuff. The stuff that keeps gnawing at the back of our minds when we have a moment’s down time. Paying attention to our spouse’s and kids’ small stuff helps them know we care enough to listen to their deepest needs. You might even help them take that small stuff off of their plate!
Daily habits can be changed. It doesn’t take moving a mountain to do it, either. Really, it’s just a conscious effort to take what you typically do in a day and just insert some of these 5  easy steps to make those family connections even stronger.

Resources:

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

Links

Thank you for checking out this week’s episode on 5 Ways to Make Sure Your Family Stays Connected.

new dad

Being a New Dad in the Early Years by Chris Cottle

As I think back over the last 10 years of being a father, I reflect on the joys and the struggles of the early days. There have been many joyous moments such as being there when my son was born, watching him smile as he woke up from a nap, his first words, his first steps and I can go on and on. But the biggest struggle through all those joyous moments was I physically could not tell him that I loved him. It is even difficult for me to type those words, that I couldn’t. It’s not that I didn’t. Because I truly did and still do. I was able to overcome this difficulty with the help of my friends and my wife. I now have three kids and I tell them every day that they are loved. Now let’s take a difficult walk down memory lane.

 

As a child I don’t recall my father being present much, mostly due to the fact that he was in the Navy as an officer. He was out to sea quite often. Even when he retired from the Navy he was going to work early and coming home late. Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not knocking my dad in any way. He was doing what he had to at the time. The more I think about it I don’t recall many of the men in my family telling myself or my brother I love you. We heard “I’m proud of you” when the time called for it, but not those three important words. I never knew how they would affect me later down the line.

 

It was the summer of 2005 and my wife was due with our first child. We were the typical first time parents. We had read all the books we could find, bubble wrapped the entire house, and had prepped for this day for weeks in advance. The day had come and we were officially parents! I held my son for the first time and everything changed. My whole world was fixed on him. While at the hospital I felt the need to say I love you to my boy, but the words physically wouldn’t cross my lips. I shrugged it off and hid it from my wife, she was a ball of emotion and I didn’t want to blemish this moment. Flash forward to a few weeks later. I felt the urge to express my endearment yet again, but nothing but “I” would come out of my mouth. I was heartbroken and thought what kind of father can’t tell his son I love you.

 

I talked to my wife about my issue and believe it or not she was understanding considering my history of being emotionally inept (In the past I have not been one to express emotion much). I spent a lot of time discussing my lack of verbal communication with my best friend at the time, who was also quite supportive. Finally I came to a conclusion. I chose to show my son I loved him despite the lack of words. I was constantly holding him and taking care of him on my off shifts. I knew that if he felt loved I wouldn’t have to say it. If I remember correctly, with the more I showed him, the easier it was to say it down the road. Once he began making noise and communicating in his own way, I was able to tell him I loved him as well as show him. My wife began calling me the baby whisperer as I was able to soothe him on occasion when she could not.

 

After everything was said and done, I found comfort in my wife and friends. Because I felt comforted I in turn discover a solution to my issue. If I couldn’t say the words like I wanted to, I was able to wrap him in my loving arms showing my love. Sometimes you have to find other solutions that may not show themselves in the beginning, give it time and you will discover them where you least expect.

 

Resources:

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

Links

comfort zone

Get Out of Your Comfort Zone with your Kids!


Do something with your kids that will challenge you both!  Get out of your comfort zone! This past weekend, my eight-year-old son and I did a three and half mile obstacle race called “The Crusher Race.”

A Race will Get You Out of Your Comfort Zone

Let me preface this before anyone gets crazy and worries if this is “safe.”  The Crusher is not a Spartan Race and not a even a Tough Mudder.  It’s a family friendly event.  It will challenge the participants, but not to the point of anything extreme.  The obstacles are no joke and the run is not easy when you are covered in mud and water.

My son and I signed up for this because we wanted to do it for fun.  However, we got more than we bargained for.  Below are some unexpected highlights from our experience.

The Race got us out of our comfort zone

Doing an obstacle race and being covered from head to toe in mud will definitely get you out of your comfort zone.  When we push out of our comfort zones and we do it with our kids, we get to grow together.  We also have the opportunity to inspire each other and pour words of encouragement into each other.  Throughout the race, I kept telling my son how much he was inspiring me.  He took on each challenge with grit.  He ran fast between obstacles.  He never hesitated.  Here is what shocked me the most…those inspiring words were reciprocated back to me.  My son kept telling me how much he was inspired by me and how much I was helping him be his best.  It shocked me to hear an eight-year-old speak these words even in the face of extreme challenges.

 

Memories for a lifetime

I have no doubt that my son and I will remember the day we dominated the Crusher Race together.  It will be something we will remember for the rest of our lives.

Resources:

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

Links