One Fat Dude

Overcoming Five Fears in Pursuit of Your Dreams

As you chase your dreams, what fears stand in the way? You are almost guaranteed to fall—and you may even fail—but isn’t that better than not ever starting the “chase” at all? Just see what I looked like before I began this journey, before I began the chase, before I took a step:

fatty

You see, there are many FEARS that consume our minds and get in the way of our pursuits:

  • the FEAR OF THE FARCE, because people will bully, ridicule, joke, make fun of, mock, or shame you for what you are doing, so it feels safer to just stay put where you are;
  • the FEAR OF FIRST STEPS, because you’ve lived one way so long you are simply afraid of starting the chase and doing something different;
  • the FEAR OF FIGURING, because you don’t know where the chase will take you and you are afraid to figure it out, what each subsequent step looks like even if you have taken the first step;
  • the FEAR OF FALLING, because the chase is unlike any other ground you have walked upon over the past few years (or even a lifetime) and you are consumed about getting hurt when you fall;
  • the FEAR OF FAILING, because your mindset tells you that ultimately you will fail, thinking constantly, “I am not smart enough…I am not good enough……I am not creative enough…I don’t have enough skills , drive, or determination to make it the finish line.”

Now do something for me (or actually for you) … jump out of your mind for a second and jump into your heart. Replace the words fear with faith.

Have FAITH to ignore the farce; their voice doesn’t matter.
Have FAITH to take the first step; you are enough.
Have FAITH to figure it out; find a way.
Have FAITH when you fall; there’s a reason.
Have FAITH that you will not fail; not this time around.

This morning, I read what Rich Dad in Rich Dad Poor Dad told his 9-year -old son after his first failed attempt to make money: “You’re only poor if you give up. The most important thing is that you did something. Most people only talk and dream of getting rich. You’ve done something. I’m very proud of the two of you. I will say it again: Keep going. Don’t quit.”

Let me tell you the same thing: Keep going. Don’t quit. You are enough.

Stop Lying and Do the Work!

A Volta Sports Podcast with My Brother

This week on my brother’s podcast, I talked about about change, growth, failures, mentoring, movies, a crap ton of kids, a few tears, some daily struggles, the need to stop lying, and ultimately the secret to success.

doom

Chris (…mom always liked you best…) is the founderof Volta Sports and Leadership, whose mission is to empower teams and individuals to achieve SIGNIFICANCE and PEAK PERFORMANCE on and off the field though Recruiting Education, Coaching Education, Sports Camps, and Mission Trips.  We had a great time chatting, and you can listen to the conversation on any of the links below.

VOLTA WEBSITE

Buzz Sprout

ITunes

How to Create A Family Mission Statement

Not by You but by Them

In my daily video this morning, I talked briefly about our Family Mission Statement, although the message was about Lies Lies Lies (FB Video).  As promised, here is copy of our statement written a few years ago.

DeVriesAre

Now that you see it, feel free to copy it, crib from it, tweak it, or use it as a template.  But, just do something with your family and kids.  Do it this evening. It does not need to be perfect.  It does not need bible verses.  It just needs to be you and your spouse and your kids mapping out the theme for your family.

Two Questions to Ask When Making a Decision

Is it right? Will it hurt?

Today’s video relays a story about my son Dylan, who stepped up and did the right thing and was called at FAT-F&$*!  I was ready to file suit against this bully’s parent and enroll Dylan in karate!

After watching the video, leave a comment about any additional questions you ask yourself when making a decision.

What Goes On At School Should Not Stay At School

10 Questions to Ask Your Kids About Their Day

This year we placed our six kids into public school after years of homeschooling. We were scared about the transition, but I knew that they would thrive given each of their personalities.

Bully

Imagine my surprise when after two weeks, my first grader, Mia, came home and said that some girl had been taking her stuff every day during the afternoon break. Of course, the litigator in me wanted to track down that spineless grade-schooler and sue her for harassment, intentional infliction of emotional harm, and whatever cause of action I could fathom. But my anger turned to joy when Mia smiled and said in her small meek voice, “But today I stood up to her.

What if she had never told me about her day? What if a month had gone by and I never learned about the incident? That’s not acceptable for me and it should not be acceptable for you and your children.  And so I am inspired to write a list of questions that I can ask my kids every day in order to get to know them (and protect them if necessary). I encourage you to do the same.

  1. How was your day? (That’s an obvious one!)
  2. Were you sleepy when you got to school? (Helps us figure out their sleeping patterns.)
  3. Did you get enough to eat today? (Helps us figure out their nutrition and energy.)
  4. Did you like your outfit or clothes today? I certainly did. (All little girls need to hear this one!)
  5. Tell me one thing you learned today. (Are they expanding, everyday, like you should be?)
  6. Did anyone make you feel uncomfortable today? (Let’s start finding some red flags.)
  7. If today was a race, what place did you get? First place, middle of the pack, or last place? (Need a metric…)
  8. You know daddy is a Warrior. Did you slay any dragons today? Can you tell me about your dragons? (This is to really dig deep and find any red flags!)
  9. What’s the best thing that happened to you today? (Helps them find the good in all things.)
  10. What can I do to help you have a better day tomorrow? Let’s pray real quick. (Here’s a quick one on praying with yours kids!)

Any others that you can recommend?

 

A Private Text to My Thirteen Year Old Son

What Can You Tell Your Child On His First Day of High School?

Do your words matter? Of course, they do. Here are a few words that I sent to my thirteen-year-old son, who started high school yesterday. Maybe they inspire you to reach out to someone…and use your words to encourage.


Dear Son:

Today. Today, I was scared. I don’t like to admit that. But as I dropped you off this morning, I wanted to walk by your side all day long.

But the Warrior in me knew that I had to let you go. And the father in me knew I could trust that you would be okay. And the friend in me knew you’d kill them with kindness. And the attorney in me knew that if anyone hurt you I would sue them and their parents for every cent they had.

And so. Although I was scared to let you go today, I was the proudest parent on that campus this afternoon when I saw you jump in the car with a smile on your face.

Today, my fear turned to pride.

I love you, Warrior Son.

Dad

Local Man Duct Tapes His and His Son’s Mouths

Teaching Your Boys How to Respect Ladies

Nashville, TN — A local man used a roll of duct tape this past weekend to tape his mouth shut, as well as that of his 8-year-old son, to allow the ladies in their home to speak. “I just got so tired of interrupting my wife every time we spoke,” the local man said, “And I figured that I would do something to just SHUT UP.”

shut up bracelet

The local man also used the incident to teach his two sons about respect and encouragement: “You have to treat a lady like a lady, whether its your sister, mom, friend or spouse. And that means allowing them to speak and be a part of your conversation.  And one of these days I am going to get it right with your mom, who (when I stop to listen), has a lot of great things to say.” 

The man and his two sons have now made a line of duct tape “SHUT UP BRACELETS” to sell to other men in the world as a reminder to … JUST SHUT UP!

Okay. So this local man was me.  Not years ago. Not months ago.  This past weekend.  I think you get the picture, but there’s more to the lesson.

A couple will never be able to communicate if one of them is always talking and the other one is always listening.  I understand that we all have talents in our lives, but I have recently  learned that my talent or strength as a construction litigation attorney during the day is setting me up for conflict and failure at home in the evening.  My wife and family are not my clients, they are not a judge or jury, they are not my legal problem to solve.  They are my family.  Many times, my wife just wants me to listen as I walk into the door: listen to her problems, listen to her excitements, listen to her ideas….JUST LISTEN TO HER.

So what’s your challenge in communication with your spouse or children?  Do you need to listen more?

A Good Daddy Would Help His Son

There is nothing better than your own bed, particularly when you have been working late nights all week long.  So when I lay my tired body to rest last night, I was one happy dude. I immediately faded off to sleep. Peace.

At about 3:30 in the morning, I heard the whisper of a six-year-old boy: “Dad. Dad. My blanket won’t work. I can’t fix it.”

What?” I groaned back to him.

“Dad. My blanket doesn’t work. I can’t put it on my bed. I need help.”

Are you kidding me? I looked at the clock across the room. The red digital lights screamed out 3:32. What’s wrong with the blanket? How does a blanket fail to work? I will solve this: “Son, your blanket works fine. Just pull it up. You can do it.”

“But … Dad …”

“Son! Go back to your room. It’s night time.”

Although I couldn’t see his face or body, I knew he walked away rejected. I’ve seen the look before. He won’t remember, I reasoned to myself, because it’s the middle of the night. I rolled over, thinking I could still get a few more hours of good rest.

My wife whispered in my ear. The words pierced my eardrums and went straight to my heart. She was right. I jumped up quickly and ran down the hall.

The rejected son had his door shut, but I could see the light peering from underneath. I quietly opened the door and he stood the end of his bed. I now understood his dilemma. The top blanket was on the floor and the sheets were wrinkled up in a knot at the bottom edge of the bed.

“Need some help?”

His smile was all that I needed to see to reassure me that he was okay. “Yes, sir.

I threw him on the bed, hugged him, and gave a few tickles. “Hold still now.” He spred his body out and I lofted the top sheet up in the air. It landed perfectly over his body. I tucked in the bottom and edges. I took the top blanket and did the same. I saw his homemade quilt from GG lying on the floor. Better add that one, too.

“Is that better?” I asked.

“Yes. Thanks, Dad.”

I gave him a wink. I mouthed the words “I LOVE YOU.” I turned out the light and walked out the door.

Not even the best sleep could replace that feeling of joy I then experienced. And all because of that little whisper in the ear from my wife. Wanna know what she said?

A good daddy would help his son.

Opportunity For Growth Begins with Three Parts of Stress

The past few years have been a roller-coaster of emotional turmoil.  You name the stress, we experienced it: sick children, financial binds, cancer, broken friendships, heart attacks, car troubles, college searches, etc.

sadness

The last few  months have been particularly difficult as my wife was been tending to both of her parents out of town with significant health challenges. During those months where  my wife was nursing her parents, may people called me Mr. Mom or Single Dad.

At first, I called it, hell!

Now I call it Opportunity for Growth.

You see, stress is an interesting word.  The Middle English meaning denotes hardship or force exerted on a person for the purpose of compulsion; while the Latin origin is strictus, meaning tight, compressed, or drawn together.  WebMD defines stress as “the body’s reaction to any change that requires an adjustment or response.”  A combination of these definitions leads to one conclusion:

Author Andrew Bernstein once said that stress “doesn’t come from your boss, your kids, your spouse, traffic jams, health challenges, or other circumstances. It comes from your thoughts about your circumstances.”  If stress truly comes from our thoughts about our circumstances—rather than from the circumstances themselves—then we can transform those thoughts to be an opportunity for growth.

John Maxwell calls this big picture thinking.  It brings wholeness and maturity to a person’s mindset. It brings perspective.  Big picture thinking allows you to take your “hell” and turn it into an “opportunity for growth.”  You start to focus on the whole timeline, and not just the heart ache, failure or challenge that brought you to your knees.