Archive for September, 2010

Mother’s and Father’s –Society’s Perception of Fatherhood

(Before you read this please note that I have nothing against mothers, especially single mothers as I was raised by one).

I had an experience not too long ago that echoes a sentiment that I had after the birth of my son.    I took my son to a new Doctor with his (my son’s) mother for his first initial visit and once we were at the registration window, the nurse looks at his mother and asks for her name and personal information to list her as the “parent of record” as if I wasn’t there at all. 

It was similar to what I felt shortly after my son was born.  While there was a lot of attention being paid to his mother for medical reasons, when it came to speaking about parenting issues and general medical issues for newborn children, most of the hospital staff completely ignored me (keep in mind I didn’t leave the hospital until we all left the hospital which was about 15 days).   All of this has led me to one inescapable conclusion: Father’s are treated like crap from a social perspective when it comes to their perceived role as a parent.

This post isn’t me standing on my soapbox to complain, but it is about me bringing an issue to the forefront that doesn’t get the attention that I feel it deserves which is NOT ALL FATHERS ARE DEADBEATS WHO WANT NOTHING TO DO WITH THEIR CHILDREN!

I personally find fathers who chose to be boy enough to get in the bed with a girl/woman to have sex but not man enough to take care of the child that both the man and woman created together by having sex to not only be irresponsible but to be an immature example of a person that shouldn’t be having sex in the first place.  But ladies you aren’t off the hook either. 

Ladies, you shouldn’t allow just anyone into your bed to have sex with you to begin with.  If you are looking for love and acceptance; sex is not the answer.  If you are looking to cave in to a “boy” who wants you to have sex with them and is constantly pressuring, even threatening to leave you if you don’t have sex with them; sex is not the answer.  If every guy that you meet is able to get you into bed because you love to have sex so much not only is sex not the answer, but you don’t even understand the true meaning and purpose of sex to begin with.

There are a lot of responsible fathers out there that are either single dad’s or with the mother of their children.  So while there’s so much focus on men that choose not to be parents to the children that they created, let’s actually flip it and focus on the Dad’s who choose and want to be a Father to those children that they have created as well as adopted. 

I may sound a little fanatical with my next statement, but I wonder how Mother’s would feel if the world made a big fuss out of Father’s Day and minimized Mother’s Day (the way Father’s Day is minimized and Mother’s Day is exalted).  I needed to vent all of this because I am a man who loves his child and chooses to be the best man that I can be in order to be the best Dad that my child can have. 

So for all of you Father’s that choose to ignore your children I have 3 suggestions for you:

  1. Stop having sex so that you don’t leave a trail of fatherless children as a result of your selfish choices.
  2. If you’re going to continue to have sex because you just have to have it, sterilize yourself so you don’t have to worry about getting any girl/woman pregnant.
  3. Instead of ignoring your children try growing up, become a man, and be a Dad to the child(ren) you took part in creating.

 

As for the rest of us that choose to be Father’s who are present and raising their children; keep setting the right example and love your children as much and as hard as you can so that we can produce a responsible future generation that will not tolerate the Fatherlessness that we see today.

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A Celebration & Memorial

There are 3 particular days every year in which I don’t have any idea of if I’m going to feel great or very sad.  Those days are January 11th, January 26th, and today September 29th.  The significance of these days are the day my Mother died (January 11, 2004), my birthday (which comes 2 weeks after my mother’s death), and both my mom’s and [one of my] nephew’s birthday. 

Today I’m filled with joy that my nephew is celebrating another birthday and has finally caught up to me in age (at least until January), and I’m sad at the same time as I really miss my mom, especially with all that’s going on in my life right now. 

I know that my mom wouldn’t want me to mourn her the rest of my life which is why these 3 days are very unpredictable for me because there have been years in which these days have been happy and joyous for me and other years where they haven’t been. 

But I’ve come to understand over the past 6 years that while it’s great to have a memory/memorial of a loved one or someone significant in your life during the time of the death or birthday, an even better memorial would be to celebrate their life everyday by living the best life you can.  This doesn’t mean that you will never be sad on certain days or have times in which you will reflect, it just means that you should continue to live your life in the best way possible.  In this respect you will be honoring and celebrating the memory of that loved one everyday and in the best way possible.  

So I’ll end this post by saying this, Happy Birthday Chip and I Miss You Mom!

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Maybe Someday

Maybe and someday are two words in the English language that by themselves and in the right context are fine, but when put together as in Maybe someday I’ll pursue my career goals; Maybe someday I’ll lose this weight; Maybe someday I’ll start to work on my dreams; Maybe someday…..(I think you get the point) are deadly.  When you continue to make and live  those maybe someday statements they actually go from being mere words and turn into living behaviors that take root in you, behaviors that keep us wondering what if instead of inspiring us to actually do.

There’s a difference between having priorities and reducing your goals, well really your life to the back burner in hopes that one day you’ll be able to get to the dreams and goals that brought you so much hope and joy at one point in your life.  Instead of dreaming about what could be, spend that time working on how to make it be.  Lay out your plan with a timetable for achieving your goal and turn your maybe someday into an I Achieved My Goal Today!

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Success: Image vs. Actual

What is success?  That is a question that I’ve asked myself for several years.  Dictionary.com defines success as:

  •  The favorable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavors; the attainment of wealth, position, honors, or the like; a successful performance or achievement

 With that said, I’ve seen several examples of people that have been deemed a success according to the magazines; gossip articles, television and other media outlets, but are they actually successful or is it an image of success that you see?  According to our Dictionary.com definition every person that has wealth, a notable position, or any kind of honors is a success, but in reality I don’t agree with that. 

 Success is more than your wealth, position, or honors that have been bestowed upon you as all of these things can be taken away from you at a moment’s notice.  So many people chase after an image of success because of what they perceive success is from the many media examples that are before them and not based off of what success actually is.  This isn’t to say that some of the celebrities that we see on a regular basis in the media aren’t successful, but just because you’re famous doesn’t mean you’re a success.  Let’s check out what the image of success is about.

One who has the image of success is usually a person that is always trying to force everyone to pay attention to them.  They are the kind of person that will finance a house they know that can’t afford, lease a car that they know that would not be able to buy, and live their lives flaunting all of their material things and expensive outings that they’ve experienced and charged on their credit/charge cards which by the way are now all maxed out. 

 People who generate an image of success tend to try very hard to make sure that they are the most “successful” person in their circle(s) of influence and if they aren’t, they will try to do all that they can to either keep you from doing better than them, or to increase their image of success in order to keep their ego high and yours low. 

This image of success has been chronicled in so many places and areas of life with both celebrities and us “Everyday People”.  The most notable celebrity example in recent time for me of a person that had the image of success (and since achieved actual success) is Simon Cowell.

 I watched an interview that he did with Oprah Winfrey in which he spoke of a time in his 30’s when he was wearing all the designer labels, drive the fancy sports car, living in the luxurious home and going out to all of the fancy restaurants all on credit until he had a big financial issue crop up which took away the image he was projecting.  He had to move back in with his parents and he thought that he would never be able to live that lifestyle again, but look at him now. 

 Simon understood better than ever from his experience that instead of trying so hard to put up the image of success that he needed to work both hard and smart to be the Actual Success that he truly desired and now he’s surpassed even his own wildest dreams. 

People with Actual Success in their life don’t measure their success by the size of their wallets nor with the type of car that they drive, size of the house they live in; places that they vacation in; etc.  To have Actual Success means that you have actually achieved goals you set for yourself or organization, goals that you take pride in achieving.  Most people who have truly worked for their financial wealth did so doing something that they love to do; the money came as a result of their dedication and hard/smart work to their craft. 

You don’t see an American Football player getting a huge contract extension if he hasn’t performed well prior to that extension, in fact American Football is one of the only professions that I’ve seen in my lifetime that will terminate your contract early and not guarantee all of your money if you don’t perform to the terms of your contract (some other non sports-based professions need to take note of that).

The most important trait of a person with Actual Success is their willingness not only to teach others how to be an Actual Success, but their passion for wanting to make sure that those that they teach have even more success than they did.  Actual Success isn’t based on politics or bureaucracy; nor is it based on quid pro quo (you do something for me I’ll do something for you); it is based on a genuine love and passion for achievement as well as a willingness to help others go where you have gone and beyond. 

Actual Success is what I consistently strive for; I hope that is what you are striving for as well.

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You Can Still Achieve Your Dreams

I was sitting in the playscape of a local mall with my son as he was running back and forth to me while playing in the playscape when I saw an old friend and musician that I haven’t seen in over 2 years.  He stopped and we talked for a while.  He told me that he was happy as he was travelling around the world playing music, living his dream, and then he asked me what I was doing (musically).  I told him nothing and he was quite surprised.  I then told him that I didn’t want to have to be on the road so much that I miss being a Father to my son.

He was very understanding and then asked me if I would be willing to do some studio work to which I said yes I would.  Once I got home and put my son to bed, I started feeling bad about myself for a little while which carried over into the next morning.  I was feeling bad because I knew that where I’m at in life at this point isn’t where I wanted to be (with the exception of having my son) and because instead of following my gut when I was a fresh graduate out of college, I followed the opinion of someone that was once a mentor to me that strongly encouraged me to not pursue my passion for certain types of music as it isn’t conducive (which I now know isn’t true) to my other great passion in life. 

Now I know that ultimately I made the decision to follow this persons advice, but I must say that back then I didn’t think that this man would steer me wrong as a result of him being so successful (which I later found out was an image of success and not the real thing).  But the more that I thought about this, the more that I realized while I may have taken a longer road then necessary, I am achieving my some of my dreams and goals now and am already on the path to achieving more of them.  I wrote all of this to say that it is never too late for you to achieve your dreams and goals and the core lessons to learn from this experience are:

  • Don’t allow your past to punish your present which will result in you denying yourself of your desired future.
  • When you meet someone that you want to mentor you because you believe they are successful, make sure that there is some actual substance behind the image that you are beholding as many people are bankrupting their finances as well as their souls to present an image of success to folks that just isn’t real.
  • Know that the only dreams that you aren’t able to achieve are the ones that you define as unachievable. 
  • While Good Mentors offer you great expertise and may at times try to steer you in a different direction other than what you desire, you ultimately are responsible for your choices and need to make the choices that you believe are the best ones for you, even if it’s without the blessing of a Mentor [or anyone else for that matter] that you hold in high esteem.

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Keep Your Eyes On Your Prize!

Notice I didn’t title this Keep Your Eyes on the Prize, I purposely said Keep Your Eyes On Your Prize!  When you put your eyes on someone else’s prize, someone else who is in a place of achievement that you strive to be in,  you can potentially cause yourself to lose track of your own prize as you now start to fall into two places that you shouldn’t have fallen into at all; discouragement and distraction. 

It is through Discouragement and Distraction that you tend to lose the determination, courage, and focus that you had when you started pursuing a goal.  Discouragement and Distraction can be used as tools by people who don’t want to see you achieve your goals for whatever reasons, or more commonly, used by you as to why you should just quit when the path to your goals starts to seem hard and unachievable.  I know this because I’ve lived through it.  These two obstacles in your path of goal achievement usually stem from a particular mindset that is best articulated in the following quote:

“Some people would rather live in a known hell than explore an unknown heaven.” –Les Brown.

When your eyes are kept on the prize it’s hard for you to get moved from your goal.  Stephen R. Covey in his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People says it best in one of his 7 habits, “Begin with the end in mind.”  This is not to say that you will never get discouraged or distracted but if you follow this advice, it’s hard to remain discouraged or distracted when you have the end result in mind that you want to achieve, a result that once fulfilled will be a wonderful accomplishment and blueprint for achieving more goals in your life.   

 It is always good to look at the journey of others for inspiration as well as to encourage them on their way to achieving their goals and attaining their prize.  But examining the journey is different from looking at their prize, so as I said when I started this post, Keep Your Eyes On Your Prize and don’t stop until you have it in your hand!

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Welcome!!!

Welcome!!!

Well I’ve done it.  I’ve joined the many people who have a blog!  The purpose of my blog posts are to convey my personal thoughts on a variety of topics, give you information/ideas on being able to live the best life that you possibly can as well as to bring topics to your attention that I don’t believe get the attention that they need. 

And yes there may be an occasional vent my frustration post here and there, but I want to be very honest and transparent in what I write to you  so that you know that I’m a human being that has ups and downs just like the rest of you.  I’m not trying to paint an all is well 24/7/365 (366 on leap years) picture for all of you.  The challenges that we go through are real and we could all use a helping hand in getting through them. 

With anything that I write, please leave your honest feedback if you so choose as we take this journey together in maximizing and living the best lives that we possibly can!

Haneef

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