Personal Development Event for Dads

The Ultimate Personal Development Event for Dads

Today I’m joined by my two facilitators for The Dad Edge Summit live event, Jason MacKenzie and Jeff Bouwman. We recorded this episode live in The Dad Edge Mastermind community. The men online were not only able to listen but also interact with us on the podcast.

There are five dimensions of manhood. They are health (mental, physical, emotional, spiritual), work, our relationship with our spouse, our relationship with our children, and finances. In this live Q&A, we go through how we approached each dimension of manhood in last year’s Dad Edge Summit and how we will approach them in this year’s summit using techniques like appreciative inquiry, group exercises, and visualization.

At most personal development events, we are part of an audience. We sit and listen to speakers, but The Dad Edge Summit is different. It’s active, not passive. The intimate setting allows for deep self-exploration and fosters breakthroughs that change the lives of the participants. Listen to why The Dad Edge Summit is the ultimate personal development event for dads!

Are you ready to create a future beyond imagining? Join us at the ultimate personal development event for dads June 2019 in St. Louis! #dads #men #fathers #stlouis #stl #events #personaldevelopment Click To Tweet


Jason MacKenzie and Jeff Bouwman

Jason MacKenzie is the author of The Dadly Book of Open: How Cultivating Vulnerability Makes You a Stronger, Wiser and More Courageous Father. Jeff Bouwman is the author of Your Income, Your Life, which helps parents understand what their relationship with money looks like today, and define what it could be going forward.

The two of them partnered up to create Adaptive Growth Systems, a full service training agency that specializes in bringing teams, organizations, and communities together to achieve the goals that matter most.

What You’ll Learn

  • Why the traditional meeting structure doesn’t bring about dynamic change
  • How to build on strengths to create a future beyond imagining
  • What is appreciative inquiry (founded 30 years ago by David L. Cooperrider) and why it matters
  • How to create a shared culture where everyone can flourish, whether in business or in your own household
  • How to search through questions the best of what was, what is in the present, and what is to become to create a living vision
  • How to move from a deficit-based approach to one of possibility
  • How the dad/child relationship parallels the generation gap
  • How technology has changed a dad’s role. Before, our dad had the answers. Now the answers are at kids’ fingertips.
  • How to bring people together by asking better questions
  • Why men focus on weaknesses instead of strengths
  • How we’re taught to improve through correcting what’s not working instead of focusing on what is working and building on that
  • That self-improvement historically comes from eliminating weaknesses
  • How most people have never considered that focusing on strengths is a more effective way to improve
  • How it’s scientifically proven that when we focus on strengths, we accelerate the path we’re on
  • How to crowdsource the intelligence in the room
  • Giving yourself permission to talk about the things you are good at
  • The 3 key appreciative inquiry questions
  • What questions you can ask yourself to find your strengths
  • How to learn from your weaknesses
  • How to create a safe space in an emotionally charged situation involving your wife and kids
  • How to reframe around what you want instead around what you don’t want
  • The difference between being positive and generative
  • What men can expect at The Dad Edge Summit 2019 – Building connections with higher caliber people


How to Optimize the 5 Dimensions of Manhood

How Embracing Vulnerability will Strengthen your Resolve and Manhood with Jason MacKenzie

How to Pay Off Debt and Create Financial Security for Your Family with Jeff Bouwman

How to Unf*ck Yourself with Gary John Bishop

Learn More About Our Live Event!

June 5th – 8th 2019


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going one year without drinking

The Life Lessons Learned from Going One Year Without Drinking

Alcohol has affected everyone in some way. We drink to reduce stress, to be more social in social settings, and to reward ourselves after a long, hard day at work. But what if drinking is actually bringing more stress into our lives? What if it’s causing us to miss business opportunities and is harming our relationships?

You’ll discover amazing insights into these questions in today’s podcast as I celebrate a whole year without drinking with three special guests who’ve all decided to live alcohol free. We discuss our experiences with alcohol, what kind of drinkers we used to be, what we didn’t see in our lives when we were drinking, and how our work lives, or social lives, and our family lives were dramatically improved when we took alcohol out of the equation.

Today’s Guests

Shane Ramer

Shane is the host of That Sober Guy podcast, where he discusses alcoholism, addiction, and recovery, and provides a platform for guests to speak their mind, tell their story and share their experience.

Ruari Fairbairns

Ruari grew up on the Isle of Mull in Scotland, and is a successful broker in London. After a few failed attempts, Ruari quit drinking and it fundamentally changed his life. Together with a colleague they decided to create something to change the peer pressure around giving up drinking, One Year No Beer.

Jason MacKenzie

Jason is an expert on peak human performance. He’s a father, speaker, author and coach, and the author of The Dadly Book of Open. He teaches audiences around the world how cultivating vulnerability will liberate the strength, wisdom and courage we already possess.

What was keeping us from quitting drinking?

Whether you’re a social drinker, a daily drinker, or a binge drinker, most of us are afraid to give up alcohol because of one or more of the following reasons.

  1. Fear of job issues – drinking is part of the corporate culture of many jobs.
  1. Fear of social awkwardness – how is it remotely possible to have fun without alcohol? Will we become a dull, boring person?
  1. Fear of losing friends – are we going to make other uncomfortable when we refuse to drink with them?
  1. Fear of anxiety – how do we cope with the stress of everyday life without the comfort of alcohol?

The Reality of Quitting Drinking

Shane, Ruari, Jason, and I debunked all these fears. Here is what we noticed when we gave up alcohol:

  1. Fear of job issues – productivity multiplies, business relationships improve, success is inevitable.
  1. Fear of social awkwardness – It was awkward at first, but we discovered that you don’t need alcohol to have a good time and you can connect with people on a deeper level when you’re not drunk.
  1. Fear of losing friends – Don’t make a big deal of not drinking. Other people will get used to it, and most don’t care as much as you think.
  1. Fear of anxiety – Alcohol increases anxiety. It can make you paranoid about how your drinking habits appear to others. It creates stress because you’re not being your best, authentic self.

Other Benefits of Giving Up Alcohol

  • Find out who you really are – Without alcohol to numb your feelings or weigh you down, you discover your authentic self and what you’re truly capable of.
  • Stop holding yourself back – Quitting drinking frees you from self-limiting and self-destructive beliefs and habits.
  • Exponential improvement in fitness results – Living a sober lifestyle reduces your caloric intake, makes life easier on your organs, and allows you to maximize workouts since you’re not hungover.
  • Increased confidence – Knowing you can deal with life without relying on alcohol is extremely empowering.
  • Feeling more relaxed – When you feel that you are more productive and capable, that your relationships are on the right track, and that you truly know yourself, stress and anxiousness is reduced.

Keys to Stop Relying on Alcohol

  • Connection – Johann Hari said in his TEDx talk that the opposite of addiction is connection. When we don’t have connection with others, we connect to alcohol or other substances instead.
  • Communication ­– Talking openly and honestly with those close to us keeps relationships healthy. Make yourself vulnerable so that you can be helped and help others.
  • Join a Tribe – Men thrive in packs. Don’t isolate yourself. Find a group of likeminded men that you can join for support.

How an Alcohol-Free Life Affects Each of Us as Fathers

Jason MacKenzie

Jason can make himself vulnerable and open about his experiences. He shares them with his children so they can make more informed choices.

Shane Ramer

Shane has found peace in the ability to give up control of everything and everybody. He is present with his family, listening and talking and being willing to put the work in.

Ruari Fairbairns

Ruari says don’t pay for counseling if your relationship is in trouble; just drop alcohol. When you’re drinking, you always point the finger at someone else and adopt a victim mindset. Now Ruari enjoys a rich life with his family and likes to be with his kids on their level, which he could never do when he was numbed by alcohol.

Larry Hagner

Your habits set an example for your kids. They do take notice about how you behave when you drink, and they will notice how much better it is to be with you when you are sober.


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


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


 Guest Links

Ruari Fairbairns

Shane Ramer

Jason MacKenzie





jason mackenzie

Drunk to Monk by Jason MacKenzie

Jason MackenzieJason Mackenzie drank  for a long time. He drank to cope with his wife’s battle with bipolar disorder. He drank to cope with her suicide. He drank for years afterwards so he didn’t have to grieve her death. And he drank so he didn’t have to try to be the man his heart knew he could be.  Jason Mackenzie submitted this article to the Good Dad Project from his own blog, The Book of Open.  I have to tell you, he really opens up his world with this article.  It’s incredibly impactful.  Sit back, hold on tight…this article is a game changer.

The Decision to Quit Drinking

Quitting drinking was one of the greatest choices I have made in my life so far. It’s changed everything for me in ways that still amaze me every day. The interesting thing is, I don’t regret drinking. It would be pointless to waste time mired in regret. The benefit of freeing myself and knowing what I am capable of far outweighs the costs I incurred.

The Lessons Learned

The lessons I have learned have made me a much better father than I would have been otherwise. There is so much wisdom to be gained from picking ourselves up off the floor and moving forward.   When our character is tested and we overcome, we are changed forever.
I created a persona that I projected to the world for a long time. I was living someone else’s life because I thought I was supposed to. That person is long gone and will never return. I did it out of fear that the real me wasn’t good enough. Far too many of us still live our lives this way.


One of the most important lessons I’ve learned is the power of vulnerability. I define vulnerability as loving yourself enough to have the courage to share your story. It means loving yourself as you are and not as how you think people want you to be. When you put yourself out there you create a place of safety that will draw people to you. You’ll build connections with people that are deep and meaningful. And real.

What did this have to do with parenting?

You’re wondering at this point what this has to do with parenting. My oldest daughter is twelve years old. She is an athlete to her core. She is always moving her body and expresses herself through her athletics. She always, always brings her A game whether its to practice or competition. She inspires me to push harder and be better.

She does not like reading. In fact we’ve realized that she is a bit behind in her reading ability and it is starting to affect her at school. It’s not a crisis by any means but something we need to work together to improve. She was very upset about it so I needed to handle it with care.

We sat down and talked. The first thing I told her was that we’re both responsible for right now and for what we do about it. We’re a team. I explained that I felt like I let her down by not paying more attention to how her reading was progressing. I assumed everything was fine and that was a mistake on my part. It was a chance to talk about how we can learn from mistakes and make course corrections.

Reaching Out for Help

I asked why she didn’t ask for help when she fell behind. Her response was, “The other kids didn’t need help and I wanted to be like them. I wanted to do it on my own.” I understand that feeling completely.

“I drank too much for a long time. I needed help but I was too afraid to ask for it. I was worried about what people would think about me if I asked. I was worried about asking for help and still failing.  So, I pretended everything was OK and I kept struggling for a lot longer than I needed to. Mommy was right there wanting to help me and I wouldn’t let her.

The Lesson Learned

“You know what I learned from that? I learned that when you try your best and then ask for help, people will help you. They will want you to succeed. I ask for help all the time now. I’m not afraid to say when I don’t know something. People respect me more because of it. I learned that lesson at forty-one. I’m so happy we have a chance to talk about it when you’re twelve. You’re almost thirty years ahead of me!”

I could tell by her facial expression and body language that my words resonated with her. They made me human and helped her realize that we’re not so different. I created a safe harbor for her to take refuge in when seas are stormy. Will she use it? Time will tell, but I am optimistic. She’s a great kid.

The Power of Our Own Story and Struggle

The fact that I own my story is what allowed me to tell it to her. I’m not afraid of her thinking less of me. I know she’ll think more of me because I am willing to take what I have learned and use it to help her. Regardless of how I’ve learned it. Loving yourself enough to be vulnerable is a game changer folks.

She came to me later and said, “Daddy, I have some solutions on how I can get better at reading.” A girl after my own heart 🙂

Please visit Jason Mackenzie at The Book of Open to read amazing stores of courage and overcoming.

jason mackenzie

Free Resources:

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

The Dads Edge Book

Check out this free resource on: CONNECTION WITH YOUR SPOUSE

Check out this free resource on:  CONNECTION WITH YOUR KIDS