I’m going to be a father very soon. It will be two girls – so you can imagine how excited I am.
I took some time to reflect and think about how I would like to be as a father. What kind of life advice can I give to my kids to help them on their path? What insights did I make, sometimes painfully, sometimes with joy, that I want to pass on to my kids?
Think about it…
If you have kids (or want to have kids), what one lesson would you want them to learn from you?
I think this is a very important question.
And the more I reflected on that question the more I noticed how universal the insights I would love to hand over to my kids really are. They could easily be given to anybody and I probably would’ve love it to get them when I was a kid. Or as an adult. Hopefully my kids will think the same…
So I will say to them:
1. You Are Enough.
Whatever you do, whatever happens, you are already 100% perfect. There is nothing you have to do to prove that you are enough. You don’t have to prove it to anybody. Because you are already enough.
In the world you will encounter difficult tasks to master and people who want to challenge you. You can take these challenges and give your best, but whatever happens will never have the power to decrease your selfworth in any way.
When you know your true self, you realize this fact as truth.
2. Your Life is in Your Hand.
You are 100% responsible for how your life turns out. What you make out of your life, your happiness, your relationships, your success, your health, your wealth, everything is in your hand.
You can influence and create your life the way you want it to be. Your thoughts are your creative power to design your life how you want it to be. You just have to take the courage and take responsibility for yourself. First think things through and then do what you need to do.
I trust in you. And you can trust in me.
What that hopefully does is it empowers and encourages you to 1) build self-confidence in yourself and 2) to become a self-responsible human being.
3. Never Settle for Less than You Can Be.
Stand up for yourself! Assert yourself and fight for your rights when you feel the need. Don’t ever sell yourself short and always stand up for yourself.
Never be afraid to try. The worst thing that can happen is that you learn something. There is no such thing as „failure“ if you stand up, learn and retry better.
Challenge yourself to come out of your comfort zone from time to time. Give your best and go for the best always. Be self-confident in what you are and what you are capable of and deserve.
Life doesn’t have to be hard. What you have to do first and foremost is get on the right track. Think about what you truly want, what you need, what life asks of you, and then focus on that.
4. Create Balance in Your Life.
You need to find the balance of life. Balance is like the ultimate and never-ending challenge in life.
Be serious. Take it easy.
Give your best. Don’t try too hard.
Think logically. Follow your feelings.
Focus on one thing. Do whatever is necessary.
Assert yourself. Be compassionate.
Happiness in all areas of life. Enjoy the peak of the moment.
Have deep relationships. Be social.
Live your passion. Start a business.
Be safe. Take risks.
Balance also means to have some kind of focus in all important areas of your life. So take care of your body and health by exercising and eating well, socialize a lot, make some room for yourself and keep an eye on your finances as well.
Balance is in the eye of the beholder. It’s different for everybody because you have different needs as I have. Listen to your inner voice. Find the right balance for you. Then life begins to flow.
5. Feed Your Mind.
Educate Yourself. Education is one of the best things to make sure you will head into the right direction in life. Get a great education and also learn all by yourself about want fascinates you. Find your passion in life and check if you can make a living from it.
Feeding your mind means giving your mind input first and foremost by reading and also by other sources of good information (no, not blindly following your social media streams ;-)).
Be open for new inspirations and for different perspectives. Try to keep your curiosity up and never stop learning something new.
6. Free Your Mind.
Be active in developing yourself by learning, having goals in life and building your self-awareness.
Know yourself beyond your thoughts and beliefs. Your mind is the tool, not the master. Meditate. You can be your true self if you quiet the mind and feel what is beyond your mental stream.
Carpe Diem means seize the day. Set goals but never forget to live now.
And whatever happens, I’ll love you without condition.
So over to you:
What one thing would you want to teach your own kids?
I just want to thank you sir for giving me such realization. I’ve been reading some of your articles and I swear, it greatly affect my life. Even though I’m just 14, I find your blog very useful. Thank you sir.
Excellent advice! I would add that Love is above all things; give and receive it freely.
Thanks Sunshine. Yes, these are good ideas too. I think compassion is a core thing, I may even add it later to the post.
Of course we always want to see how each individual is developing, what are their personal tendencies? For instance if a child is compassionate by nature, I would see if I want to encourage showing more self-confidence. If she/he is very focused on her/his own good, then supporting the development of compassion and empathy may be more helpful.
Congratulations Myrko. I enjoy reading your posts the thing that I’ve taught my children is to be compassionate towards others. We have not walked in their shoes so we don’t know about their lives, and to make friends with the „underdogs“ the children others make fun of. They have feelings just like you do and if you wouldn’t want someone teasing you, then don’t do it to others. These children I’m sure don’t have many friends so make friends with them it won’t hurt you to do that.
I also told them words hurt be careful how you use them, and of course some of the things that you mentioned in your article I have also told them about.
Thank you Mihaela. The expression of receiving our children is beautiful. Giving our attention fully is a precious gift. Hopefully I can live up to do it, continuously, with my children.
lovely post – very thoughtful and insightful. This is something that the hospitals should give away to every parent…a sort of „what to strive for in raising kids“ manual instead of the poop diary we get in US hospitals:-).
A beautiful expression I would like to pass to all parents is „receiving our children“. I found it in Mother Teresa’s Nobel prize speech she gave many years ago. She mentioned that the problems with teen pregnancy and drugs at that time were due to the parents‘ inability to „receive“ their children (aka as the priceless gift they are).
This expression stayed with me and guides me everyday – „did I receive my children today?“ – did I connect with them deeply, did I „see“ them, did I see their „formless“ through the screaming/whining/tantrummy/milk-spilling „form“ (in Tolle’s framework)?
It is an ongoing meditation in itself to ask myself how to receive my children – and the answers are many, as in „let me count the ways“…
Congratulations and best of luck in your parenting journey!
Thanks for your comments james. Of course, it always sparks a some objections when I say you’re 100% responsible for how your life turns out. And of course I’m also aware of the fact that you can’t be responsible for every influence you will have over a lifetime. That’s obvious. It’s more about the mindset of not looking somewhere else and by that losing power over the situation. And I think I will make that clear as well, when I try to bring the principle of personal responsibility across :-)
First off – congrats! I’m sure you’ll be the best of fathers and wish you luck with all the shoe shopping you have to look forward to with 2 daughters :)
Although I agree with the vast majority of well-considered advice you’ve written here, there is one thing I would temper a little before handing it down to the next generation – the part where you’ve written ‚You are 100% responsible for how your life turns out.‘ Whilst I agree entirely with the principle of taking control and being the driving force of your successes, ‚the universe‘ -or whatever you wish to call it- does throw us all a curve ball to do deal with that is outside our control or wishes – something which can change our circumstances and path dramatically. As we know, the trick here is to have the flexibility to work with these new cards. Being made 100% responsible for how things turn out all the time is beyond our capacity as humans to control and a big weight to place on little shoulders – although I do appreciate the underlying sentiment.
Much love to you and your new family,
Yes it’s true Mans. Thanks a lot!
What?!? Myrko!! Congratulations my friend! That is some great advice. They are in good hands.
Thanks Jose, compassion, giving your best, non-judgmental and open-minded. Sounds great to me! :)
I also soon going to be a father in two months to my first baby boy and I know the excitements you are feelings at this moment of your life.
To my child, there are too many things that I would like to teach or pass on to him. Firstly, I will pass on or teach him the wisdom and the knowledge that I know about life, and teach him how to be compassionate toward to others. Also, I will teach him how to do the best in whatever he does and not to be settling to do just well enough on what he will do. No to be judgmental and to have open minded.
in every situation always remember that what hurts u that hurts others. try to avoid such situations.i think life is very simple. BIG „CONGRATULATIONS“ !!!
given a chance, i’ll teach my children to listen.
very moving post, myrko.
@Anne, that’s very good advice! Thanks for the addition to my points.
Congratulations! I always try to instill in my kids is to try to remain positive at all times. I try to teach them how the energy you are putting out into the world is what you will receive back. I remind my 10 year old specifically to stay away from drama and negative people. When I attended parent teacher conferences her teacher said she had a class full of drama but Bailey just seemed to be above it all and didn’t get involved. So proud she is listening!!
@Bar, that’s nice to hear. I’m grateful to be of use.
How exciting for you! Congratulations. My son is 22 and he and I both need to learn from the advice you’ve shared here. Its been a process for me. Thanks for this site, I read it all the time.
That’s an interesting point, words. In fact I often notice this when I talk about friends having some kind of issues. So often these can be tracked back to what their parents told them when they were young. It made a huge impression, mostly unintentionally.
Huge congratulations, Myrko! That is awesome and I am sure you’re incredibly excited to see them. :)
If I were to have kids, I would teach them how powerful words can be for others. No matter how seemingly insignificant they may seem at the time, these words can stick with others for a lifetime and mold them.