It’s a sad sight when you see a dad who has clearly stopped trying. He puts on weight. He checks out of his marriage. Maybe he starts drinking more. He resigns himself to the fact that he hates his job. He accepts whatever grades his kids bring home from school. He makes their behavior somebody else’s problem.
We see that dad and we think, “I never want to be that guy.”
Good. Ok. But what steps are you following to make sure you don’t? In the startup world, they said that if your company isn’t growing, it’s dying. In a way, it’s sort of true for people too. If you’re not actively developing yourself, what’s happening? You’re atrophying. You’re getting worse.
Epictetus liked to quote Socrates, that he delighted in attending to his own improvement day to day. Brilliant. And in a way, the perfect thing for you to be thinking about as we head into a new year. How are you improving yourself day to day? Are you working out? Are you reading? Are you setting goals for yourself? Are you clocking in at home as well as at the office?
Your kids will be better served by a father that’s getting better. More importantly, they will be inspired by your example. Show them that you’re trying—that we can never stop trying—and they’ll follow you in their own way.