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5 Ways My Daughter Made Me a Better Man

5 Ways My Daughter Made Me a Better Man

My life was forever changed two years ago. Ever since the miraculous day of your birth, you have inspired me to become a better man. Prior to your birth I was not a man worthy of having such a beautiful little girl in my life. Having a daughter is the greatest source of motivation and the best thing that can happen to a man.

You completely transformed my life in these last two years. I have experienced exponential growth in my development as a man, a father, and a husband. New areas of my mind have opened and I am becoming the person you and your beautiful mother deserve. I am not there yet, but I will be.

One of the deepest philosophical questions we often ask is, “What is the meaning of life?” I know my answer to that question. You are my reason for living, you are the meaning in my life. Here are five ways you have inspired me to become a better man.

1. Stand for What’s Right

“Stand up for what is right, even if you stand alone.” – Suzy Kassem

Our life is full of choices and our choices set the foundation for our life. We are all living the result of our past choices. You have inspired me to stand for others and stand for what’s right. A strong and good man will look after the less fortunate. He will be powerful and relentless when protecting others. I want you to see that your father will take a stand if I perceive something to be wrong, even if I stand alone.

2. Do What’s Right

“To know and not to do, is not yet to know.” – Roger J. Hamilton

It is easy to tell someone to do the right thing, however, it is much harder to actually do the right thing. You have inspired me to take this stand and do the right thing. All I have to do is think of you when I am about to do the the wrong thing. The fact that I know you are always watching, I can feel confident that I will try my hardest to do the right thing, even when it is difficult.

3. Be Fearless

“The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.” – Ayn Rand

You have made me fearless. I no longer have any concern for what other people think of me. We all have a choice as to what level of life we want to live and you have inspired me to evolve to a higher level. Because of you, I have chosen to live at the highest level possible.

It is crazy to think of the danger you put yourself in when you play at a higher level. People will attack you when they realize you have made the leap. They have no idea why they are attacking you, but they still do. It is because of you that I am not bothered by this. The fact that these people attack me is validation of moving to a higher level.

4. Achieve Peak Physical and Mental Performance

“You’ll be her first role model, her first best friend. She’ll be your forever love.” – Vicki Reece

I have always been in good physical shape, but I have gone to unbelievable levels in the last two years. You have inspired me to achieve optimal physical and mental performance. The night you were born, you inspired me to become a ferocious reader. I still remember reading to you that first night in the hospital. That is one of my favorite and most treasured memories.

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Since then I have read over 300 books and I am in better physical shape than I have ever been. You were my motivation to complete my first full marathon, and I have achieved new heights both physically and mentally because of you.

5. Love Your Mother

Tomi and Ella

    “God could not be everywhere, and therefore he made mothers.” – Rudyard Kipling

    You are my compass. Other people use their passion as their compass, but you are mine. You are my inspiration to wake up every morning and feel invincible.

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    However, out of everything you have brought in my life, there is one that stands above them all. This is my love for your mother. I have not always appreciated her, and at times, have taken her for granted. I have neglected our time together. Time is the most important asset we have and I have wasted too much of it on useless people who add no value to our life. Your mother is the most beautiful, loving, and faithful person I know – I love her more because of you.

    Although it saddens me to think that one day you will outgrow my lap, I know that you will never outgrow my heart. As you grow from a cute little girl to a beautiful woman, never forget that you are meant for greatness. Always be the inspirational woman you were meant to be and remember that your mother and I will love you forever!

    Featured photo credit: Image by Sally Cavanaugh Photography via mpix.com

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    The Gentle Art of Saying No

    The Gentle Art of Saying No

    No!

    It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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    But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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    What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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    But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

    1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
    2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
    3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
    4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
    5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
    6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
    7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
    8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
    9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
    10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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