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If You Were Raised By A Playful Dad, You’re Really Lucky

If You Were Raised By A Playful Dad, You’re Really Lucky

Fathers tend to fit in one of two categories: the incompetent goofball or the detached work-a-holic.

The incompetent goofball is one of those tropes that really needs to go away. Playful dads are not inept parents, joking their way through adulthood. Instead, they’re positively shaping their children’s lives in a meaningful way.

Here are eight reasons why you were really lucky to have a playful dad:

1. He Was Your Friend

When you’re a kid, you need friends. But having friends is never harder than when you’re young and as you grow up, it gets harder.

Yet, if you had a playful dad, making friends was less confusing. Your dad taught you what it means to be a friend, in good times and bad. He taught you that good friends are the ones that are there in good times and in bad, even when one of you makes a mistake.

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He was always there when you felt alone. More importantly, he still is.

2. He Was Friends with Your Friends

Most of your friend’s fathers went to work, came home, watched TV and went to bed. They had a hard day at work and they wanted peace when they finally made it to the sofa. You had to be quiet when visiting other friend’s houses because you didn’t want to disturb their dads.

Your dad made a point to be friends with your friends. He learned their names, knew what kind of juice they liked and always made it a point to play a prank. Everybody liked coming to your house because your dad was not just another grown up. He was everybody’s friend.

3. He Supported Your Half Baked Schemes

Kids have the weirdest ideas. If you think back, you can probably recall one or two elaborate schemes involving some string, a tin can and possibly the neighbor’s cat.

Rather than squashing your dreams, your dad got it and was willing to give you loans for whatever endeavors you dream of pursuing.  He saw your strange ideas as a form of expression and ingenuity. He was always on hand to help you build a new contraption or set up a prank.

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His validation gave you the self-confidence and freedom to be yourself.

4. He Taught You Short Cuts

Playful dads have the best short cuts. They know how to travel through time and cut the length of any operation in half. In your mind, your dad’s pancake canon was a work of sheer genius, even if it was a little messy sometimes.

Your dad taught you that it’s okay to take a shortcut sometimes. But more importantly, he taught you that sometimes it’s less messy to put in the work yourself.

5. He Made the Weirdest and Best Snacks

Other dads would either follow your mom’s nutritional rules or half-heartedly throw whatever they could find on a plate. Your dad, however, made snack time an adventure. He tried out weird combinations. He threw the laws of nutrition (and sometimes gravity) out the window and always managed to encourage you to try new things.

You might not realize it but those pickle and Oreo sandwiches are part of the reason you’re so adventurous in adulthood. Your dad created a safe space for you to experiment with new foods so that you would never be afraid of something that was so good for you.

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6. He Kept Your Secrets

Kids have secrets and most adults don’t take them seriously. As you grow up, these secrets don’t seem like a big deal. But at the time, hearing an adult talk about your dreams and concerns was embarrassing and heartbreaking.

Your playful dad understood the importance of your privacy. He taught you that your private thoughts were valuable. He gave you an example of someone who was wholly and completely trustworthy.

7. He Taught You About Parenting

Now that you’re older, you realize you wouldn’t be the person you are without your dad. He had such a huge impact on your childhood and your adult life that you realize that parenting is about more than feeding, clothing and loving your child.

You learned that parents can encourage their children to be amazing people. He taught you that you can be a role model, a friend and a parent all in one.

8. He Encouraged You to Trust Yourself

You had a childhood role model who did not spend their time telling you “no.” Instead, he encouraged you to explore and learn and ultimately, to he taught you how to trust yourself. You learned how to say “I can” when other people are telling you can’t.

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Even when everyone is saying you can’t and you’re starting to believe them, you know that your dad is on the sidelines telling you that you can.

Your playful dad was not just having fun. He wasn’t just a prankster gliding through life. He was teaching you valuable lessons about friendship, life and how to be the best version of yourself.

Featured photo credit: David via flickr.com

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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