How Defining Your Core Values Can Ignite Your Personal Evolution with Mike Merriam

If we don’t know our purpose, our core values, and our why, we can walk through the world lost. Today Mike Merriam, author of bestselling book, Closer Than You Think, shares his method of uncovering your core values to go from a life of frustration and defeat to a life full of success and fulfillment.

Mike Merriam’s Story

Through his books, keynote speaking, leadership training, and whole-system Appreciative Inquiry Summits, Mike teaches people and entire systems of people in a company or community how to create the foundation and the framework to develop new configurations of strengths, talents, wisdom, experiences, and perspectives that render their weaknesses irrelevant. Inspired by the abundance of research and breakthroughs in Systems Thinking, Positive Psychology, Emotional Intelligence, Design Thinking, Neuroscience, and Biomimicry, and guided by the Appreciative Inquiry 4-D Cycle and Positive Core Mapping, Mike teaches how to create a flourishing cycle of inquiry and innovation in all aspects of your organization, your community, or just simply, in yourself.

Mike Merriam’s story is rooted in mediocrity. He never had a stand-out skill or strength. He graduated at the bottom of his class and went on to community college where he received a C-/D average. He still wanted to attend a University, but they wouldn’t accept him because his grades were so bad, his credits wouldn’t even transfer. Mike refused to take no for an answer and called the Dean and convinced the Dean to meet with him. He sat with the Dean for three hours until he not only convinced the Dean to accept him as a student, but to also accept all the credits from community college. It was then he finally executed his strength- his ability to communicate and influence people.

He went another ten years not fully aware of his talent and not knowing how to apply it. He stumbled into the mortgage business and spent the next 16 years closing sales. He climbed from loan officer to regional VP, and enjoyed a substantial income and a comfortable life with his wife and two twin boys.

Then, just weeks ago, Mike Merriam’s position was eliminated during a corporate merger.

For the first time, his confidence was rattled and he began to have doubts about his self-image. His family was going through it too and he wondered if he should just go get another job to provide the income needed to maintain their lifestyle.

But he did not go and look for another unfulfilling job. Instead, has taken a situation which feels like a disaster and is using it as an opportunity to go after his dreams.

Now Mike Merriam takes what he has learned and formed it into a digestible framework so others can apply the same concepts to their lives. In addition to his coaching and speaking services, he has just released Closer Than You Think. This book outlines 6 fundamental questions that will ignite your personal evolution and help you bridge the gap between what you are doing now and what you are capable of doing. By mapping your positive core values, identifying your strengths, envisioning a radical transformative future, focusing on priorities, and other exercises, Mike tells us how husbands and fathers can align all these aspects to achieve success, fulfillment and happiness.

On his fatherhood journey…

As the father of two eight-year-old twin boys with completely different personalities, Mike says the most humbling part of his fatherhood journey is coming to the realizations that you can’t truly guide or mold another person into who you want them to be. You can only provide them with unconditional love and support.

Biggest lesson he’s learned as a husband…

Mike says that we tend to want to coach our wives, but he says that coaching without permission is criticism. It’s not good for the relationships, and husbands shouldn’t do it. It’s more important to simply listen.

Mike Merriam’s most valuable piece of Dad Wisdom…

As a father, it’s important not to be wrapped up in outcomes. Don’t worry if your kids are not doing things that you think they should be doing according to your construct of the world. You can’t control them completely. You must let them express themselves, and you must be there as the rock with the dialogue to support learning through their experiences in life.


Referenced in this episode: How to Unlock ADHD Superpowers with Peter Shankman


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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

Check out this free resource on:  CONNECTION WITH YOUR KIDS


Mike Merriam’s Links




Closer Than You Think on Amazon


failing forward

How to Teach Your Kids Success By Failing Forward

Failing Forward is a powerful life lesson.

As adults, we know we don’t have all of the answers. We fail, we make mistakes,  and we struggle. But if we have the mindset that we can learn from these mistakes and failures, then we persevere and get better. Too many times, though, we get stuck in the pervasive idea that failure is bad, unacceptable; heck, there’s even tag lines quoting “Failure is not an option”. The problem with this thinking is, if failure is not an option, then how do we ever progress forward?


Changing our mindset to one of growth, helps us be great examples for our kids on how to tackle their failures. These 6 tips will help uou and your kids achieve your best self.

Failing Forward and Letting Kids Fail

Too many times as parents, we get so impatient with our kids’ ability to finish something in a certain amount of time. We must remember that they are kids and need to,learn. Doing things for our kids teaches them nothing; wait, it does. It teaches them dependency. If our kids can’t learn to be independent and have their own way, of thinking, then we will cripple them in their future.

Change Your View of Failure

Let’s face it, failing is not fun. It is so much more fun to win. Maybe we have been condition to avoid failure at all costs because it is seen as “bad”. What we may not realize is our fear of failure caps our children’s view of what is possible. Instead, we need to help kids learn from their failures.

Model Failing Forward

It’s time to swallow that pride. As difficult as it may be, let your kids see when you fail or share times that you have failed with them. This helps them see that even adults makes mistakes, but the important thing is learning from them. You can even give them examples of others failing forward. When kids see that failure does not occur in a vacuum, they have more freedom to make the mistakes they need to make to grow.

Not Everyone Gets a Trophy

Teach your kids that not everyone wins a trophy. This is a tough one. This Lesson helps kids appreciate the times they do win. Not only that, it helps kids set and work toward a goal. To help your child achieve, ask them questions about how they think they can improve.

Failing Forward Teaches Perseverance

Teach perseverance. Try. Try again. Then, try again. This is grit. When kids learn how to keep going even when it feels like it is impossible, they learn to reach their full potential.

Have a Sense of Humor

The power of having a sense of humor when we make mistakes. Having resiliency through humor when we fail immediately changes our perception of the situation and also shows others that we do not fear failure. Failure is a fact of life. Dealing with it with less drama and more laughter brings more positivity to a situation.

In order for kids to learn to embrace failure, we need to embrace it ourselves. It won’t be an easy road, but definitely worth the ride.  


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


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


Thanks for checking out this week’s show on Failing Forward.