If there’s one thing you count on in life, it’s distractions.
Life and society tend to fill every crevice of our attention with something. A place to go, a person to talk to, something to do…but when I stop to think about it, are these things the MOST important things to do?
If you haven’t seen this video, I highly recommend you take the few minutes to watch it.
I know, I know—just talked about being distracted, and now I’m giving you a YouTube video to watch!
But I promise this is important and will give you a particular perspective on king focused upon the MOST important things.
Here’s the link: https://youtu.be/6_N_uvq41Pg
I Think I’m Gonna Pass
A few years back something strange and I’ll say wonderful, happened to me in my career.
If you didn’t know, I’ve been a professional illustrator for 36 years, and I’ve also been building a fictional world for my kids (and yours) since 2005, called Wanted Hero.
Well my wife and I were being hit with all sorts of challenges when it came to our family. Most of it was dealing with new relationships, schooling for the teens, and dealing with a slew of illnesses. In fact, we’d just buried both a dear friend and a family member within two months of each other.
The whole household was at a low, and my own health was starting to drop.
I sent many nights worrying about how my kids were doing. Kathi and I talked until late into the night about how a certain child needed more attention, while another just wouldn’t talk to us and was struggling in nearly every aspect of their life.
My biggest stress was making sure the bills were paid, so we had a roof over our heads and we could live indoors during the winter.
Then it happened.
Someone noticed the epic size of the Wanted Hero world…AND they noticed how I was weaving a entertainment web that would cover the globe given time and effort.
…and I got a surprise visit from an executive of a company I’m not allowed to name.
I felt a bit intimidated, sitting exhausted in my worn jeans and smiley T-shirt, looking across at this clean cut older gentleman, dressed in his fine suit.
In the midst of all the chaos, where I was struggling to provide for my family and every waking hour was consumed with being there for my children and helping them through these difficult experience, I was offered one million dollars.
That’s right, one…million…dollars.
For the exclusive rights to market Wanted Hero as it stood up to this point.
Nine books, 13 comics, two graphic novels, a game, posters, t-shirt designs, and an online interactive world where I have been uploading 3 million words in notes.
Here I thought I’d feel like the weight would have lifted from my shoulders, but it didn’t.
Instead, I felt like a 50lb bowl of water was slammed down on my lungs and I struggled to breathe.
I would also be required to work harder than I’d ever worked before (though this guy didn’t know how hard I worked day in and day out, so, whatever). That included spending far less time with my family, and most of that time would be away from home.
That wasn’t a bad thing in some instances—but I chose to work at home so my family had access to me.
So I could be there for my wife and especially my children.
Who needed me now, more than ever.
…and I thought of my WHY.
- WHY did I choose to be a father?
- WHY did I choose to work from home?
- WHY did I take the career route I did?
BECAUSE—that was the best way to be the father my children needed, and it was the best way to be the father I was MEANT to be.
“Thank you, for this offer. I’m grateful. But I’m gonna have to pass.”
The man looked at me stunned. “Pass,…on a million dollars?”
I nodded weakly, “Yeah.”
“You want some time to think this through? That’s a lot of money, and I think we could take this places you never thought of.”
The bowl of water slowly rose from my chest—which told me I was taking the right path.
“It’s not worth the effect it would have on my children. Me being gone and losing focus on what’s most important to me. That’s them.”
He opened his mouth, but I raised my hand to interrupt.
“I really am grateful, but I promised myself I’d never do an exclusive for anything. I’ve never known where the blessings would come from, or the relationships. If I took your offer, I wall up any possibilities of the true success I fully expect to have.”
I felt good about that decision. Really good. Especially since my parenting WHY blazed like a beacon in the back of my mind.
Turns out this corporation wasn’t the right group to work with after all.
The words this executive used at me on his way out would not have passed my PG-13 standard rating.
Either your efforts to raise your children in a specific way are worth it,…or they’re not.
Only you know the answer to that.
But I’ll tell you, from personal experience, that life is going to throw some serious curveballs.
You won’t know when. You won’t know how.
But count on it hitting you hard when you least expect it—and it just might make you consider compromising on the values you’ve chosen to live by.
I’m not saying not to choose another path.
For me it wasn’t the right choice to make, BECAUSE it would have completely changed the kind of father I WANTED to be.
But that’s me.
We’re talking about you.
I’m saying that I strongly encourage you to take a step back and take a closer look at your WHY in situations like that, and then weigh and consider your options.
I think the worst word in the English language is compromise. It always feels like I’m giving up on what
Personally, I prefer the word agreement.
I’m NOT willing to compromise, but I am willing to come to an agreement we both feel good about.
Never compromise your WHY.
This is about your nature, and your habits.
Your determination to be the parent you want to be, and to raise the kind of child you outlined in your WHY.
The key is to be thoughtful.
Don’t rush into making decisions.
Strive to weigh and consider any long-term decisions you make—and pay attention if these decisions will change the way you raise your child.
You’ve probably noticed by now that parenting takes a great deal out of us.
It takes a lot of thought, planning, and especially consistent follow through if we hope to raise the children we want.
I will say this once more, and will continue to say it over and over for the rest of my life:
It’s worth it.
WHAT TO DO NEXT
Now is a good time to do a retrospect over the past month.
Are you on top of your goals?
How are your relationships coming along, both with your children AND your spouse?
Consider taking some time to focus on them.
Let them know you love them, and tell them what you’re pod of them for.
FORGET THE NEGATIVES this time.
Just focus on the good they do, and let them know you noticed.
You’ve got this.
“Miracles can happen when we focus on the MOST important things of life.”