As my daughters are getting older, I’ve been working to help them invest in their personal development. I think you have to start this young to help your kids create life lessons and habits that will carry them into adulthood. One of the ways I’ve been helping them live a meaningful life is to read to them every day. Right now, I’m reading 12 Pillars by Jim Rohn, as well as the blogs I write here on Morning Upgrade.
Here is my personal conversation of the 21 life lessons I want to share with them.
Since this blog post is written specifically for them, I wrote it as if they are reading it (because they will be), but I also hope you pull some gems out of this for your own family and kids!
1. Have a Morning Routine
Every day when I first get up, I spend time doing my morning routine. I know you girls see me focusing on my education, health, and mindset. Nicolette, I was really proud of you when I interviewed you on The Morning Upgrade Podcast, and you talked about how you get dressed every day to help you be more productive. Juliana and Eve, I look forward to interviewing you next!
2. Take Your Personal Development Seriously
Figure out the person you want to be and become that person. I want to be someone that works hard to take care of you financially and emotionally. It’s important to me to be a person that sets goals and goes after my passions. And I want to be a dad that you will always know is there for you.
I hope you will take your personal development seriously by reading, listening to others who are wiser than you, and surrounding yourself with people who will influence you to live a fulfilled life.
3. Work Hard in Everything You Do
I hope you will develop a strong work ethic and have ambitions to accomplish things in your life. Already, I can see that you girls take your extracurricular activities seriously. I’m proud of you for working hard and being a good team player and friend to the other kids.
Not only do I want you to work hard in the activities you are a part of, but I want you to focus on your education. Pushing through tough subjects will help you develop a mindset that will help you overcome things in life that you want to give up on, but have to do.
4. Be Kind to Others
Being kind to others isn’t always easy, especially when they aren’t kind to you. But…I want you to always do the best you can to say nice things to other people and treat them respectfully.
5. Invest in Your Health
Even while you are young, your mom and I are looking out for your health and trying to teach you good habits now. One day, you’ll be entirely in charge of the things you eat and have to intentionally make time to exercise. I know that you all are very active right now, but when you get older, and things are busier, you’ll have to schedule it into your day. I hope that what we have taught you while you are young will help you make it a priority.
6. Prioritize Relationships
Above anything else in life, relationships should be your top priority. I never want you to get so busy doing tasks, your studies, or activities that you don’t have time to spend with family members and the people you love. You girls and your mom are very important to me, and I make sure to connect with you every day.
7. Choose Your Friends Carefully
I want you to be kind to everyone and friendly with all people…but the friends you keep closest to you, I hope you will choose them carefully. Jim Rohn says that you are the average of the 5 people you surround yourself with…meaning, you will take on a lot of the characteristics of your closest friendships.
For the people you spend most of your time with, I hope you choose those with the kind of life and attitude you want. Those are the types of people that will help you become the person you want to be.
8. Follow Your Heart and Do What You Love
You can do anything you want to in life…and I hope you’ll do the things you love. Don’t let other people decide your path in life. Follow your heart and spend your time on the things that make you feel fulfilled. This includes your relationships, hobbies, and work.
9. Prioritize Your Happiness
Decide you want to be happy. Happiness requires you to make a conscious effort every day. One of the ways you can be happy with your life is to practice gratitude. That’s when you take a few minutes to write down things you are thankful for or say them out loud.
10. Give Back
Find ways to give back to the world around us. You can give money to charities you are passionate about or find ways to volunteer your time.
11. Take Full Responsibility for Your Life
You have full responsibility for the good and bad things that happen in your life…with apparent exceptions like getting hurt in an accident or some type of tragedy. But, what I’m really talking about is if you work hard, you will get where you want to be…but if you don’t, you can’t expect to be successful. Your successes and failures are your responsibility.
12. Learn to Relax and Find Ways to Decompress
I want you to be hard workers, but learn how to reward yourself after putting in a hard day’s work. Don’t make the same mistake as many. Learn to relax and take time to enjoy the world around you. You’ll have to figure out what helps you decompress and take a break, such as reading, meditation, or stretching. When you figure out what those things are, I want you to make time to do them in your day.
13. Be a Lifelong Learner
Being a lifelong learner means that you always look for new information that is of interest to you. You can read books talking about things you want to know how to do or listen to podcasts. You can even watch YouTube videos to teach you new skills or give you information about things you are interested in.
15. Do Things to Go Outside of Your Comfort Zone
Try new things! I never want you to get stuck doing the same type of things every day. Get outside of what you feel comfortable with and try something new. That could be trying a new food or activity, hanging out with someone different, or visiting a place you’ve never been. This is a practice that is good for your mental health.
16. Set Goals For Yourself
Goal-setting is such a big part of my personal development and the reason I’ve been able to give you girls the life you have. In fact, buying the house we live in was one of my big goals, and we did it! I want you to be intentional with your life and decide what you want to have. Turn those desires into goals and create a plan to get what you want.
17. Meditate to Control Your Mind
Every day, I spend time meditating to help my mindset, self-awareness, and gain control of my thoughts. Think of meditation as a way to work out your mind like you would your body. It can bring you comfort, control of your thoughts, and focus on the present moment. All you have to do is sit somewhere quiet, be still, and push all of the thoughts out of your head that tries to come in.
18. Pick a Career That You Love
Whatever you want to be when you grow up, I will support you. I just want you to pick a career doing something you love doing. There are so many things available to you that you don’t have to settle into a job that you hate.
19. Only do Life With Someone That Loves You
If you’re going to fall in love with someone, fall in love with a person who treats you right. Don’t stay in relationships with people that make you feel bad about yourself. You get to decide who you spend your life with.
20. Make Financial Plans
I want you to take your money seriously and create a plan for your finances. This will mean that you have to make intentional decisions about the income you create, what you invest in, and saving for the future. Financial peace doesn’t happen overnight, this is an important life lesson.
If you just coast along and spend your money on everything you want, you won’t be able to stop working when you are as old as your grandparents. They planned for their retirement for years to have enough money to live off of. Your mom and I are doing the same thing to be happy and support ourselves in our older years.
21. Don’t Let Anyone Else Affect Your Confidence
Be confident in who you are! You are beautiful young ladies that are strong and fully capable of getting what you want in life. No one else can be confident for you…it’s something you have to know in your own heart. And…don’t let anyone else tell you that you can’t do something or affect the way you feel about yourself.
My hopes are that you take these life lessons and grow into successful young adults. I love you girls and I’m so proud of who you are, and I am so happy that I’m your dad.
-Be intentional in the choices you make for yourself.
-Take your personal development seriously.
-Surround yourself with people who deserve a place in your life.
-It’s your responsibility for your happiness, career, finances, and fulfilling relationships.