level up your life

Level Up Your Life Through Ruthless Self Evaluation

Level up your life through Ruthless Self Evaluation!

The last interview we had with Niyi Sobo was one of the best we have done to date.  He shared so many different insights on having the right mentality, the importance of self-discipline, and how to level up your life through constant self-evaluation.


LEVEL UP YOUR LIFE by asking your family to evaluate you

Niyi shared one of the coolest (and scariest) things I have ever heard on any of our podcast guests to date.  I have always been a man who wants to improve.  I have no doubt if you are wanting to level up your life, you are also a man who constantly wants to improve.  However, I have never thought about leveling up my own life by surveying my family.  The fear of what they might say is pretty scary.  Niyi clearly explained that he gives his family a weekly survey on how they think he is doing as a man, a father, and a husband.  Think about that for a minute…he puts his guard down and risks humiliation from his family just so he can get very direct feedback on how he can improve.


I put this strategy into action and had my family evaluate me

Over dinner the other night I got out a dry erase board and came up with four areas my family could rate me.

  1. Listening: how well do I listen?  Am I engaged?  Do I listen my wife and kids when they speak?  Am I distracted?
  2. Playing: Do I play with my kids enough?  Do I say “no” too often when they ask me to play?  Do I seem engaged when we play?  I wanted to know their feedback because we truly only get a handful of years to play with them.
  3. Affection: Kids need physical and emotional reassurance that we care about them.  I wanted to get their feedback on if I give them the hugs they need when they need them.  Do I give them a pat on the back when they do something great?  Do I pour words of encouragement into them when they need it or do they need more?
  4. What can Dad do better: This final category was open to feedback from them.  This was the part of the survey that they could say anything they wanted.


The results of my family survey

I happy to report that my kids and wife gave me rave reviews on affection and playing.  They all said I play with them plenty and I am an affectionate father.  However, there was one glaring thing I needed to work on…Listening!  My kids and my wife all agreed that active listening was a problem for me.  The feedback I got was that I can be easily distracted by my mobile device and they have to say my name 2, 3, or even 4 times to get my attention!

It was tough to hear this feedback, however, it was extremely liberating.  I asked the family:  “What do I need to do to make this better?”  The answers and the feedback was clear:

  • When spoken to, look my kids and wife in the eyes and actively listen.
  • No cell phones between the hours of 5pm-9pm.
  • Pause the TV when someone is speaking or has a question.

I was able to put my ego aside and receive all this amazing feedback.  I have to say, Niyi was right on point with this.  I feel empowered now that I have that raw feedback to be a better listener.

Thanks for checking out this episode of Level Up Your Life!


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Check out this free resource on: CONNECTION WITH YOUR SPOUSE

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Niyi Sobo Links

Niyi Sobo Twitter

Niyi Sobo Website:  Im Not You

joe de sena

Joe De Sena on How to Teach our Kids Work Ethic and Mental Toughness

Joe De Sena, founder and CEO of Spartan Race, bases his company on the foundation that we, as humans, cannot really reach our full potential until we have gone through struggle. It’s what he calls “purposeful suffering”. Coming from a childhood where he had to learn, on his own, how to make it, Joe De Sena firmly believes his success has come from this purposeful suffering philosophy.

As we’ve seen many times before on the GDP, some of the greatest success stories have come out of a poor upbringing or incredibly challenging circumstances. But there are lessons to be learned from these situations.

Joe De Sena on an “Attitude of Gratitude”

We are the creator, not just the product of our environment. Teaching your kids that their circumstances do no define them empowers them to face obstacles they will certainly come across in their adult lives. Instead of being a victim of circumstance, help your child, and yourself, adopt an attitude of gratitude. While the situation may be difficult, find the growth opportunity.

Joe De Sena on the value of “Delayed Gratification”

Delayed gratification. Joe tells a great story of how his desire for greater things helped him turn down opportunities for instant gratification, and thankfully, his actions paid off. By showing our kids that putting off an immediate want for something greater, we are giving them the gift of patience and teaching them to plant the seeds for their future goals.


Enough said. The success stories on the GDP are not from overnight successes-those are few and very far between. The true successes, the ones that get to the marrow, are those that are had from great sacrifice and tenacity. When we teach kids that they can conquer obstacles they did not think they were capable of conquering, we provide opportunities to build their self-confidence and lay the foundation for them to reach their full potential.

Of course, these lessons take time to teach, and we may need to learn them ourselves, first, but they are critical for survival in this world. Instead of handing our kids everything they desire and protecting them at every turn, give them something greater: the inner power to reach the best version of themselves.



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


Connect with Joe De Sena

Joe De Sena Book Spartan Up!

Joe De Sena Podcast

Joe De Sena Website Spartan Races

Thanks for checking out this week’s podcast on How to Teach Our Kids Work Ethic and Mental Toughness with Joe De Sena.