I do a lot of coaching, and one of my most recent unplanned sessions was with a young woman about her life and the path she wanted to take. I told her she needed to figure out who she wanted to be and then go for it. This is evident, but also difficult. It is difficult to determine who you want to be and where you want your principles to be established. What are your absolute no's, and what are your personal philosophies? I determined mine by asking myself, "What do I want my children to see?" What characteristics do I want to impart in my children?
What kind of men do I want to entrust the world to? That's how I knew I needed to be when I realized that. For one thing, all parents understand that our children learn by seeing rather than listening. We construct them through our daily activities, not through what we tell them. They believe fat is healthy if we are fat and tell them to be healthy. We can tell them to work hard, but if they don't see us working hard, they won't. How a guy treats his wife teaches his children a lot about how to treat their future spouse.
All of these aspects must be considered. Who do you want to show your children? I believe no one had ever stated it in these terms before, since she said she finally grasped it and had more direction in her life. It may be a lot of fun and freeing to realize you have control over your life. You get to be the person you want to be. You are free to shape it in whatever you see fit. The issue is that this requires effort.
It doesn't matter if you find the attributes in people you know, historical figures, or fictitious characters. If you find something that you enjoy and believe will help you, take that small piece and include it. Just don't become involved with someone you don't know. Take what you want and leave the rest. Many people in history have done wonderful things that we should admire, but they were also humans with short lives that we should remember.
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Dr. Matt Chalmers
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