Shawn Stevenson

Shawn Stevenson on Fatherhood and Overcoming Childhood Obstacles

In this intimate look into the life of Shawn Stevenson, one half of The Good Dad Project Podcast, Shawn shares the reason he is so passionate about fatherhood and being part of this wonderful program. This successful author, entrepreneur, health and wellness expert (not to mention being “audio velvet”) takes us behind the scenes into his upbringing and the challenges he faced that brought him to achieve his best version of himself.

“Great men create great people.”
-Shawn Stevenson TWEET THAT

We Choose Our Response to Any Challenge

It’s the old adage: do you see the glass as half full or half empty? Yeah, it’s a cliché, but there’s a reason it’s overstated. We can’t determine what life circumstances we are born into, and we certainly can’t control how others act or how they treat us. But, we can ultimately control the way we respond to our environment or how we choose to live despite our upbringing. We can choose to be victims, or we can choose to dictate our own future. We can choose to look at that glass and see the opportunity, or we can see that we are running out of liquid pretty darn quickly.

In Shawn Stevenson’s case, growing up in a chaotic home without his biological father may seem like an ideal situation to wallow in self-pity. But for Shawn, it isn’t. Shawn just wasn’t going to let his childhood circumstances define his life. So what makes Shawn (and others like him) choose a different path?

Lesson One: Reflect What Your Children Should Value

For Shawn, much of his inspiration came from his grandmother. She propelled Shawn to love learning, giving him the motivation to do well in school. Shawn’s grandmother taught him that learning can, in fact, be fun. From there, Shawn learned to value education, continuing all the way into his college career.

Lesson Two: Adopt a Grateful Attitude

Throughout Shawn’s young life, he did continue to face challenges: getting kicked out of school for fighting as well as having his first child in his teens. Despite this, Shawn was able to graduate from high school with solid grades and move on to college. Again, through all of these continued challenges, Shawn chose to take the positive path. He finds himself grateful for his upbringing and the challenges he faced; he credits them for his successes.

Lesson Three: Be Motivated by Your Kids

As parents, we will never be perfect. Scratch that, as humans, we will never be perfect. That’s ok.

But when we show up for our kids, whether we are blessed to be with them every day or if it’s every other week, we teach them to become the “best version of who they can be”-Stevenson.

Shawn says, as dads: “Great men create great people. Great men help to create a foundation that starts to eliminate so many of the problems that we have out here with our society.”

What your kids see and what they are taught is how they will reflect themselves into the world. So, yeah, you can be a victim of your circumstances (glass half empty), or you can take what life has given you, look at it as a gift and use it to propel yourself and your kids (glass half full).Being a dad isn’t about being perfect (no one is), it’s about showing up, being your best version, so your children can be their best version.

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


Links Mentioned:

If you enjoyed this episode Shawn Stevenson on Fatherhood and Overcoming Childhood Obstacles . Leave your comments below as we would love to hear your thoughts so we can continue to provide you with content you enjoy.

Charlie Brenneman

Charlie Brenneman: How to Live a Life of Excellence

Charlie Brenneman is a professional mixed martial arts fighter, speaker, mentor and author. Following a successful high school wrestling career, Charlie took his talents to Lock Haven University where he achieved a top 12 finish at Division I Nationals and 1st Team All-Academic. After teaching Spanish for three years and winning Spike TV’s Pros vs. Joes, Charlie decided to leave his job to pursue a master’s degree and begin his professional fighting career—“The Spaniard” was born. In 2011, he was ranked as high as #7 in the world, and in 2015, he published his autobiography, Driven: My Unlikely Journey from Classroom to Cage. Charlie currently lives in PA with his wife and daughter

“I would rather be 7th best in the world and have a well-balanced life, than the best in the world and not have that balance.”

-Charlie Brenneman TWEET THAT

“When I pass away, I want my last breath to be from exhaustion from living life to the fullest.”

-Charlie Brenneman TWEET THAT

Charlie Brenneman’s Background

That’s a heavy statement coming from a pro MMA fighter. But knowing Charlie’s background sheds some light on this quote’s reasoning. Growing up, Charlie Brenneman was fortunate to have a supportive family; a mother and father who encouraged him to achieve his goals, and sacrificed their own needs for their children. This upbringing allowed him to be successful in his academic life, his own family life and his career in the MMA.

Charlie Brenneman on Youth Sports

This isn’t to say you shouldn’t try to be the best simply that you should strive for your own excellence and encourage that in your kids. This is especially true when it comes to kids and sports. Charlie applauds his own parents for making sports fun for him and credits this attitude with much of his athletic success. He states that there needs to be a proper amount of push and encouragement. In other words, throwing your kids to the toughest opposition doesn’t necessarily ingrain positive self-image. It may actually work against them and make kids feel defeated. Instead, help kids to have “little successes”; competing against like-ability opponents and work up the ladder as they improve in their ability. Allowing kids to have fun with sports and achieve gradual success will more than likely make them want to play and instill positive behaviors.

Teach Balance and Live Balance

Teaching children the value of balancing being the best in something with other important aspects of their life, like friends and family, gives them a strong foundation for success as adults. Let’s face it: the balancing act of life only gets more challenging. Whether you’re a pro MMA fighter or a fire-fighter, learning to develop and maintain a healthy work-life balance is critical. Charlie works to achieve this through his “Systematic Living”-a curriculum for life.

Positive Habits and Surround Yourself with the Right People

Developed from his own reflection on his past successes, Charlie created this curriculum to help others become successful in their own lives. Essentially, he “deconstructed” how he achieved each individual success and identified certain pillars: honing your positive habits, surrounding yourself with the best people, networking and avoiding negativity (Check out his links to find out more!). These pillars set you up for the greatest individual success in your own life.

Family is the First Priority

Of course, one common thread throughout the entire interview with Charlie is the importance of family. It is clear that he believes in dedicating himself to something greater than himself. In other words, keeping the needs and desires of those he loves at the forefront of his personal aspirations. By being the best version of yourself, you are providing the best example for those around you.

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


The Spaniard’s Links:

If you enjoyed this episode Charlie “The Spaniard” Brenneman . Leave your comments below as we would love to hear your thoughts so we can continue to provide you with content you enjoy.