NEW CASTLE —
I’m a parent.
And I mess up.
Just ask my kids.
(On second thought, please don’t ask my kids. I’ve got a reputation to uphold.)
Most of the time, I’d like to think I’m loving. I’d like to think I’m engaged. I’d like to think I’m pointing my son and daughter in the right direction.
But I’ve got a confession to make.
Far too many times I get caught up in simply raising children.
And far too many times I forget I’m supposed to be raising children who will become great adults.
Today, I stand corrected and convicted.
Thanks for rocking my world, Jones.
“Everybody wants to make a difference, but nobody wants to be different. And you simply cannot have one without the other.”
Who is Jones? He’s the central character in the wonderful book from Andy Andrews called “The Noticer Returns.”
And he is, shall we say, different.
Jones, you see, is a “noticer.” He’s been around the block more than a few times — and he’s got a pretty good idea of what true wisdom looks like.
Sporting flowing gray locks, blue jeans and flip-flops, Jones tackles three big questions that we’ve grappled with since the beginning of time.
•How do we begin to change the culture in which we live?
•What is the key to creating a life of success and value?
•What if what we think is the end is only the beginning?
Through the backdrop of a parenting class, he dispenses insight and wisdom that will have lasting impact for your home, your business or your team.
Just don’t call him Mr. Jones.
Simple. Practical. Direct.
“If you can understand that you have made choices that took you to a place you DON’T like, doesn’t it just make logical sense that you can now make choices that will take you to a place you DO like? Yes. Of course it does.”
If you don’t have a target, how will you know if you hit it?
Don’t even get Jones started on this topic.
“If society’s best parents — the most loving, the most determined, the most concerned parents — are all raising their children by setting their sights on a target called ‘doing the best we can,’ is anyone aiming at the same thing?” Jones asks.
“I think most parents are probably doing the best they can. But what IS that exactly? What guideline has society settled upon as the best method for bringing up kids? What do today’s parents agree is the gold standard for raising children? Any clue?”
Jones poses another question: what results do you want with your children 10 or 15 years from now?
“When you inspect the fruit of the tree you have planted and fertilized and watered for years, what fruit do you want to see?”
Perhaps, he suggests, parents can actually make a list, just like businesses and teams do.
Makes perfect sense, doesn’t it? An end result must be determined before an effective process can take us there.
“Once that process is in place, one has only to adhere to the process — those daily steps — that lead inevitably to the final result,” Jones notes.
This, in essence, is how a culture is created — whether at home, at school in the workplace or in the locker room.
So unlike our world today.
“In order to produce results that are wildly outside the average — to produce results that are extraordinary — you cannot afford to think like average people think. You cannot act like average people act. You cannot be what average people are ... which is normal.”
Just a regular guy or gal.
We desperately desire to fit in. To be part of the crowd. To be “one of the group.”
There’s a certain level of comfort in numbers. It’s good to connect over foods, TV shows and sporting events.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with it.
But if that’s you, stop telling me “there’s got to be something more to life.” Stop telling me you want to “make a difference.” Stop telling me you want to do “something special.”
Stop telling me ... and just DO IT already!
If that’s you, no one is holding you back — but you.
“If you are doing what everyone else is doing, you are doing something wrong,” Jones stresses. “Why? Because most people are not obtaining results that are considered extraordinary.”
You’ve read it here before but it’s worth repeating: You can be comfortable or your can be outstanding. But you can’t be both.
You can grab another slice of pizza and watch. Or you can grab your helmet and get in the game.
Just be warned.
Powerful art is uncomfortable.
Excellence on the field or on the court is uncomfortable.
So is business.
So is parenting.
Notice I didn’t say great parenting. That won’t be apparent for another 10 or 15 years.
“Don’t be like average people. Most folks look for their car keys with more energy than they search for wisdom that can change their lives.”
So how, then, shall we proceed? We must keep in mind a few simple statements:
•There are NO little things.
•We always have a choice.
•If we’re not intentional about the route we want to take, we’ll simply wander the earth during our time here.
•Lead your negative emotions — don’t let them lead you.
•Follow wise men and women who have gone before you.
And when in doubt, just ask Jones. I’ll let him take it from here.
“Don’t sweat the small stuff? That’s a lie that’ll ruin your life. Your choices, your words, and every move you make are permanent,” he says.
“Life is lived through indelible ink. You’re making little bitty brush strokes every minute you walk around this earth. And with those tiny brush strokes, you are creating the painting that your life will ultimately become — a masterpiece or a disaster.”
Hmm. I hadn’t noticed.
Or really given it much deep thought.
Thank you, Mr. Jones, for the powerful reminder.
Jones, I mean.
NEW CASTLE —
I’m a parent.
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