I recently put together a new personal assessment for our View From The Top community members. The assessment helps men discover what they need—identity, ideals, relationships, career, and family. When I got to the family section, it touched me. It made me think about my own family...my daughters and my grandkids.
Our family is the most important dynamic of what we deal with each and every day.
Listen, I understand there are times when other things seem like a higher priority—such as making money. And there’s nothing wrong with making money. I absolutely want you to make all the money you can possibly make. But what I don't want you to do is to make money at the expense of your family.
I know it can be difficult for some people to hear that. Whether it’s because you’re young and have a bright future with lots of potential, or because the creditors are chasing after you, or maybe you have big mortgage payments, car payments, or tuition payments facing you. I completely understand that and I know the struggle of feeling torn between making money and spending time with your family. How are you supposed to prioritize? Where should you devote the most time? Those are valid questions, but you can’t let yourself achieve success at the expense of your children.
Anybody can be a father but it takes a real man to be a daddy. You need to be intentional about building boundaries and knowing when to shut off the electronics and when to go home and play with your kids. When your son or daughter says “Daddy, can we play?,” that’s when it’s time to shut off the electronics! Go out in your yard right then and there and play with your kids! They don’t care how much money you make. All they care about is spending time with you. Don’t cheat your children or yourself out of the most important time of your day. Don’t tell them to go out in the yard and play by themselves. Don’t allow yourself to come home too exhausted to run around with them. Be a real man. Come home excited and energized to play games with your kids. I promise you the the return on that time invested playing with your children is invaluable.
My own kids are 31 and 34 now, and I have beautiful grandchildren. I know how it is to get caught up in the feeling of “I’ve got to get this done, have to get that done.” I know how it is to be focused on business and professional obligations while my grandkids want to go out in the woods and hit trees with sticks, or throw rocks in the creek, or ride the 40-foot tire swing I put up in the yard for them. They don’t ask me “Big A, did you sell any books today? Did you get any new members in your mastermind groups or the community?” They don’t care about that. They come running in and ask me “Big A, can I shoot my gun? Can we ride the tire swing?” That’s what they want to do.
Don't throw your life away by coming home one day with a pocket full of money to a house full of strangers. It's a crime when you don't know your third grader’s school teacher’s name or your own child’s favorite color!
I don't want anyone to miss out on that precious time with their kids. I want you all to be like me…fat, bald-headed, and looking back without any regrets.
By all means, make all the money you can, but when those kids come up to you asking if you want to play with them, you better make time for them. Even if you’ve failed miserably at this in the past, I want you to put yesterday behind you and say: “Today is the day. I’m going to take Big A’s advice, and I’m going to build those boundaries. I’m going to spend time with my kids and I’m going to love my family. I’m going to make them the number one priority in my life.”
If you know someone that needs to hear this, share it with them! Every man needs to spend time with his children. We all need to consider what’s important to us, and realize that our number one priority needs to always be our children.
So, next time your kid asks you “Daddy, can we go out and play?” I want you to say “Yes, I’m on my way!”