Wednesday, March 16, 2016

The Beginning of US / #resolve #goforth #leaders #softskills #empathy #grit #parents #family

The beginning of us starts inside, deep inside. The resolve to 'go forth' must be stronger than the tendency to leave it all to rot. My father was by no means a perfect man.. who is? Yet from an early age, he taught my sisters and I the value of resolve. He would say over and over again to us, "you were born to lead, you were born to lead." This, of course, ruined us. It made us tougher than tough in all the right places, as if we were invincible to failing because no matter what, we were primed to just keep getting back up. That is the growth mindset as it is called these days. Back then, Dad called it perseverance, toughness and 'firing out.'

When I played football, Dad was on the lines always giving me his eye which I would catch for extra resolve. As I got older and moved through the divisions I got tougher and tougher until I thought of myself as 'all steel.' When I was at the line of scrimmage, my father told me to act meaner than a junkyard dog. The opponent was to be subdued before the ball was hiked and I likewise ramped myself up to plow right through and sack the quarterback. I was good at it too. I led my teams in tackles and was ferocious on the field. It was fun and it was great to get my Dad's smile on me.

Every Saturday we would arrive at the football fields which were always in one army base or another and my father would bring 'quesitos' to the MP's (the military police). He would talk with everybody and was very affable and gregarious. He was a good man and a loving father. Not perfect, but he loved his daughters and son dearly. I am testament to that. To this day I can still see his eyes and hear him tell me how proud he is of my sisters and I. This meant the world to me.

He passed away over a year ago. He was my best friend along with my maternal grandfather. Since then I have been coping with the loss of father and best friend. Someone whom I could trust and I knew loved me unconditionally. That is big for me. Unconditional love. Surely, I do not put him on a pedestal. Again, he was not perfect, BUT he was my Dad and I would not trade my experience with him for another Dad. He poured himself into his children.

The beginning of US starts inside, I say again. The resolve to 'go forth' must be stronger than the tendency to leave it all to rot. The voice to keep going and believe in what we have in us must be much stronger than the voice to leave it to the wind and become complacent. I do understand now the value of simply being consistent and have a strong foundation. It becomes imperative then for parents to consider their thoughts and actions on a day by day, play by play basis. It all counts for the children. As they grow up and reflect, it all comes back to them like a foundation. Pouring in a foundation that will stand the test is what will catapult them when the direct and indirect challenges of life appear. Not only that, but instilling the tenacity to 'go forth' with a strong resolve to create life rather than respond to it is needed. That is the stuff of leaders. That is what leaders eat for thought in the mornings. That is what separates leaders from followers. The best leaders look to make the followers leaders also. They serve the base with empathy, compassion and an over-arching resolve that says, "I will not shirk away. 'I will not go softly into that good night, (Dylan Thomas).

When I fall... I get back up... again and again. That is what I was taught and that is the legacy both of my parents have inculcated in their children. Rain or shine, sleet or hail, mud in our face or grit in our teeth. We dust off and start running again.

That is resolve. It is not for the feint-hearted, yet the feint-hearted can become strong-hearted by following that recipe. It is never TOO late. That voice that says, 'put your hat away, you are done,' is the voice of doubt. It is not real. You are real. You matter. Don't listen to what does not matter.

Go forth today like a rock. 'Be like water, (Bruce Lee), that is adaptable yet retains its integrity. The children are watching.

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