Updated: Dec 9, 2019
Advice for my teenage sons
Dear Peter & Jacob,
You're both on your way to becoming adults, and I'm excited to watch the next chapters of your life unfold. Your Dad and I have been the primary authors of your story thus far, but we know you must eventually pick up the pen and assume full ownership. To equip you with some fundamentals on how to live a joyful and fulfilling life, I'm offering my best advice. Here goes...
1. Identify Your Values
Make choices that align with your core values. Fighting against your beliefs makes you weak and lowers your self-esteem. Stay authentic & have courage!
2. Learn from Adversity
Overcoming adversity builds resiliency. You can’t control everything, but you can choose your reaction and what you focus on. Don't waste energy being a victim. Choose to be the hero of your own story!
3. Practice Gratitude
Appreciating what you have helps you live contentedly and joyful vs needy and resentful. Remember that life is a collection of moments, not things. Celebrate your blessings!
4. Challenge Your Perspectives
Develop a growth mindset. Educate yourself about different cultures, religions, social issues, and historical events. Challenge your assumptions and first impressions. Question other people's perceptions. Be a lifelong learner!
5. Find Your Tribe
Surround yourself with supportive people and good role models. The best way to attract your tribe is by being genuine with others. Acknowledge and let go of relationships if they consistently leave you feeling less valued and are unequitable. Good relationships give and take equally. Develop uplifting friendships!
6. Nurture Your Passion
Be proud of your hobbies and interests. Spend free time on things that energize and inspire you. Allowing yourself to be authentic fosters your compassion toward others. Value yourself!
7. Work Hard
A joyful and fulfilling life is not an entitlement, but it's worth the work. Choose joy.