For first time readers of my blog, last week I celebrated my 60th birthday and took a moment to reflect on the lessons I had learnt and given the opportunity, would share with my younger self. I received plenty of positive feedback and most readers could relate to what I wrote. However it was interesting to hear my son’s feedback after he read it. “Dad, I loved what you wrote but I felt it was all negative. All good lessons on what not to do but you have done some really good stuff……you should have mentioned some of those.” I thought about that for a while and he was right. My intention was never for it to be a negative article but clearly it could be and was interpereted in that light and he was right, there were some lessons to share with positive outcomes.
Having been involved in personal development ecosystem over the last 7 years, one of the strategies coaches use to help build self-esteem and to help clients see themselves in a more positive light is to write a list of achievements, no matter how small. Indeed we have tendency, and I am definitely guilty, of dismissing or diminishing the value of some of my achievements. We only consider or value the “big “ones but ultimately it’s all about perception. Well Jonathon, thanks for the feedback and here are 4 of the main positive ones.
Spend quality time with your kids.
I often see and hear some parents say, “I do spend time with my kids”. There is a huge difference between physically being there and being present and engaged. Watching TV whilst your kids are playing with toys is NOT spending time and being present, it’s called supervising, just! My greatest and proudest achieving is my kids. I always spent quality time with them and we did things together. As a result, I have an amazing relationship with them. They are married and are building their own lives but we still talk and spend time together regularly (multiple times weekly). They know they can call me anytime and discuss anything, in fact my son is 31 and we still weight train 5 days a week at 6am. You reap what you sow and I am blessed to have reaped a bumper crop. And for those of you using work and a perceived lack of time to spend quality time with your kids, listen to Harry Chapin’s classic “Cats in the Cradle”
Look after your body.
Obesity is a major issue in society and can be directly and indirectly attributed to diabetes, high cholesterol and heart disease amongst other ailments. Carrying those excess kilos also impact day to day life. Some day’s basic activities can seem like climbing Mt Everest! At my heaviest of 120kg, it took me 15 minutes to put my socks and shoes on. I’d do one foot and have to stop and take half a dozen deep breaths before attempting the second. I’m not a fitness fanatic, don’t intend to compete at the next Olympics and I have inherited my mother’s sweet tooth but I have always kept active and am lucky that I have found a physical activity I love. I have been doing weight training in one form or another for 40 years and I’m proud that I’m often told I don’t look anywhere near my age. Most importantly, I could always run around with the kids when they were younger and now I’m blessed to be able to run after my beautiful grandson.
Give it a go
Regret in old age is widely spoken about. Regret the things you haven’t done rather than what you have done. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no, if you don’t try things how will you know if you love or hate them…..the clichés are endless but never the less true. The idea of safety in the known is never something I have subscribed to. I took chances on work and business and while I am still working on my fortune, I did discover my true passion is Public Speaking, Coaching and Training and I kept asking the gorgeous girl out and she eventually said yes. We all have something in us we want to do or try. Don’t wait till it’s too late.
This is kind of a continuation from “Give it a go” but I feel strongly enough that it needed to be discussed separately. I spent a few years in my teens in the USA (that will be another episode!) and got to understand and love their sports. I always wanted to go back as an adult but found every excuse known to man until I made a stronger case to go than not to go and boy, I had a ball! Traveling gives you a different perspective on life, amazing experiences and in many case makes you really appreciate home. I mean, the people that complain about Adelaide traffic have never been to Melbourne or Sydney, let alone New York or Los Angeles!
I look forward to your feedback and until the next edition, my name is Con and I am
“The Con Versationalist.”
Con is an accomplished and articulate speaker and presenter with over 25 years of high level sales experience.