We Were Inspired

Recently we were invited to speak to students. After reading one of our columns titled, the admissions director, called and wondered if we would talk about setting high standards, doing one’s best, and persevering through thick and thin. We were flattered. And we are glad we said yes.

They’re not looking back

The students ranged in age from early 20s to mid-60s. Many of them have personal stories of lousy breaks, insurmountable hurdles, family tragedies, and personal heartbreak. Whatever their setbacks, they have picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and started over. 

They are a brave bunch. You will never meet students with greater resolve to reach beyond their grasp and to achieve their educational goals. Many of the students have lived through nightmares. Today all of them are fulfilling their dreams. It is inspiring to be around them. Their energy and enthusiasm rubs off as soon as you’re inside the door. What you see are a lot of smiling faces happy to welcome you inside.

Good for the soul

Our presentation touched on issues such as perseverance, creating your own personal public relations program, aiming high and higher, fulfilling your dreams, being prepared, and giving back. A few of the students stood in front of the group and told their own personal stories of trials and triumph. Several times the room erupted into applause or cheers as fellow students shared encouraging words and professed how their faith helped them through some tough times. At one point, all of us were brought to tears, punctuated with hugs and pats on the back.

They turned the tables on us

We went to motivate the students and cheer them on. Instead, or in addition, they lit our fire and lifted our spirits. We were moved and motivated. We felt better for being there, for being among those smart, determined and inspiring men and women.

Thank you students for making us feel at home and part of your family. If we left you with any words of wisdom and sage advice, we also walked out your door richer and wiser.

Pep Talk

We love these opportunities … partly for selfish reasons. Who wouldn’t want to do something if it made you feel better? That’s why we speak to groups—youngsters, oldsters, in-betweeners. No matter where you are in life, everyone can use a pep talk. 

By dads2dads

The No-Vacation Nation

If you like to take lots of vacations, the United States is not the place to work. In fact, according to a report titled “No-Vacation Nation” by the Center for Economic and Policy Research, the U.S. is the only advanced nation in the world that doesn’t guarantee its workers annual leave.

Vacation . . . What Is It Good For?

We’ll say it right up front – dads need vacations. Many countries realize this. Yet, even when provided with vacations only 57% of American workers use all the days to which they are entitled. When we do take the two or three weeks that may be allocated to us, we’re often tethered to our cell phones, tablets, and other personal devices so that we’re often not really on vacation but rather just at work in another location. 

Quite often American workers say something like this: “I gave up over a week of my vacation last year – I just couldn’t get away” — as if it is a badge of honor. Or this:  “Why should I try and take a vacation? I have to work twice as hard before I leave and then when I get back, I’m faced with three or four times the work. And when I see the bills from my trip, I wonder how I’m going to pay them. It’s just not worth it.” Now that many of us are working from home, this takes on a another dimension.

Vacations are an essential component for effectiveness on the job and in the family. You’re a better dad and a better worker if you employ some down-time. Just because you might be working from home doesn’t mean you don’t need a vacation. It might even be harder for you to distinguish between working & not working.

Finding the Balance

We’ve often talked about balance and how vital it is in the lives of dads. Sure our work is important. It provides us with a sense of identity, a way to contribute and a salary to support our lifestyle. But it is equally important to have balance in life. It is essential to shift gears downward—to enjoy calm, change the scenery, experience an attitude makeover and re-energize. Truly vacating from the grind puts duties and deadlines on hold and provides us the opportunity to strengthen the relationship with our family.

The dictionary defines “vacation” as a respite from something, a period of time devoted to pleasure, rest or relaxation, a break from regular work or routine. It need not be exotic, expensive or ambitious. The good ones are simple. The best ones are the ones taken. 

Getting Your Life Back in Alignment

Smart companies know that providing vacation time allows their employees to gain perspective and refuel. When workers return to the job, they do so refreshed, recharged and ready for new challenges. The payoff is equally great for the family. A vacation removes distractions, provides time for reflection and gives you the gift of reconnecting with those you love the most. 

Plan something simple. Whether you stay home, really focus on the kids, and explore beautiful places nearby, or go on a camping trip or to the beach, keep logistics to a minimum. And remember to practice proper precautions during this time – wear a mask, keep a distance, wash your hands. The return on investment for both the family and the company from time off will be substantial.

By dads2dads