I listened to an interview conducted by Tom Bilyeu, co-founder of Quest Nutrition. He was interviewing Tucker Max, co-founder of Book in a Box. Tom asked Tucker a question that led Tucker to share a story about a recent pivotal moment with his three year old son. As he described the situation, one we can all relate to, he was coming off a long day and not really in the best mood. His son was playing around and spilled something. In a fairly calm and firm voice, Tucker reacted to the spill. He caught himself, because he was actually present within, and in this moment saw his son’s face.
He immediately corrected himself and apologized while teaching his son a lesson. I think he missed the life changing lesson. His ability to be in the moment even though he was mentally distracted, and he made a real time correction. Key – real time correction! I’ll bet most of you will find it hard to recall the last time you caught yourself screwing up and in the moment, made the correction. Now that’s cool!
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When we apologize days later. Or worse, weeks, months and years later. It doesn’t have the same impact. When catching his son’s expression, testing if he was right by asking him a few direct questions about what he read on his face, and then made an immediate positive impact… powerful!
Tom then shared one of his “most important” lessons in life by telling a story about the vital importance of owning every situation. In other words, no blaming others or situations, even when they are seemingly out of your control. Which points back to the critical importance of two truths in life. Know who you are and allow life to be your teacher.
I was with my daughter, Kaia, on Saturday. We got into a conversation about my role as her dad. “Darling, do you know what the most important part of my job as your dad is?” I asked. She said, “To keep me safe.” I agreed. “My purpose, my practice, my curiosity is to help you be you. All I can do is wonder and point because it’s your story. Of course I’ll keep you safe along the way. People, some with really good intentions and others not so much, will try to define you. When you know who you are, no one will define you but you.” She listened intently. I asked if she understood what I was saying. I’ve been teaching some version of this lesson for awhile and not always at the level she can learn it. My lesson! “Yes daddy.” There have been more times than not where the answer is “uh, no.” We played!
Our role throughout life is to wonder. We should only be so fortunate to be present with our kids when it counts most. We will never know which time it counted enough to sink in deep and become a lifelong impression. When we continue to show up and be present with the small things, we may just have the impact we wished we could have.
This holds true in every aspect of life. Show up. Be present. Even when you are distracted. It matters. Each moment – every day.