14 lessons

13 lessons for my unborn sonIn the last few years, the thought of having children has changed from being a scary and daunting proposition to somewhat more acceptable, to now, it’s almost a forgone conclusion.

After thinking back over my own childhood and watching a lot of guys around me raise what I would consider boys, rather than of Men, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the kind of Father I want to be and all the lessons I would like to share along the way.

In case anything happens to me and I don’t get to pass these lessons on, here’s what I would want to say to my unborn son.

 

————-

 

Dear Son,

 

If you’re reading this, it means that for some reason or other, I’m not here to talk to you myself.

I don’t think I need to tell you, but this isn’t what I hoped for.

Nothing would make me happier than to be able to help you grow into the kind of Man that your Mum, your sisters, your friends, and this world desperately needs.

But… As is the way with life, things haven’t worked out the way I wanted them to.

That’s ok. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. And this is my way.

I’m sorry that I’m not standing with you, right now, being able to share these thoughts with you. I truly wish I was.

But to try and make up for that, here are the 14 things I wanted to teach you if I was:

 

1. Listen to your Mum

She is, without a doubt, the most beautiful woman I have ever met. I chose her for a reason. She is loving, caring, smart, kind, real, beautiful, and amazing.

If she’s saying telling you to do something that you don’t want to do, she’s telling you because she loves you very dearly and wants you to be the most incredible person possible.

I know it might not feel like it but it’s true. So listen to her, follow her instructions, and I’m sure that one day, you’ll see the beauty of her wisdom.

 

2. Do what makes you happy – always.

You’re the only one who can make you truly happy. Everyone else is far too wrapped up in their own problems and worries to be able to take yours into account. So you need to look after yourself.

Don’t sit around waiting for people to hand you things. Don’t sit around waiting for the world to change itself to suit your desires and needs.

Stand up, take control, and do what you need to do to make yourself happy, free, and fulfilled.

You’re the only one who can and will.

 

3. You can do anything

I don’t care what anyone says: you can do anything.

You can be anything. You can create anything. You can achieve anything.

The only thing that limits you is your imagination.

You are great. You are incredible. You are powerful. The world is in your hands.

Anyone who tells you anything other than this is simply saying that they don’t that they can’t do anything. They’re projecting their limitations onto you rather than making a statement about what you can or can’t do.

It has nothing to do with you.

You could become the greatest world leader in history, you could inspire millions to take action and change their lives, you could move to a deserted island and live your life in complete silence.

You can do anything you choose.

 

4. Only focus on what you can change

There are going to be many times in your life when things don’t go the way you want them to.

Other people are going to have their own opinions, agendas, and desires. The universe will, at some point in time, feel like it’s conspiring against you. Things are just going to go wrong.

That’s fine. It’s just the way things are. It’s just the way of the world.

The important thing isn’t what goes right and what goes wrong, it’s how you deal with it when it doesn’t work out.

It’s easy to sit back and blame other people for not being on board. It’s simple to complain about how unfair everything is.

But neither of those approaches are going to change anything.

Focussing on how other people should change is the fastlane to frustration.

Focussing on what the world should have done differently is the most consistent path to disappointment.

There’s only one way to get where you want to go: focus on what you could do differently next time.

Learn from every event.

You’re never going to be able to control other people. You can’t make the weather bend to your will. And trying to do so is just going to cause you pain.

Let other people be. Let them live their lives the way they want to. And just work out what you can do differently next time.

 

5. Challenge everything

“It’s always been done this way” is never a good enough excuse.

“This is what I was told to do” is never satisfactory.

There is always a way to be better, faster, stronger, more efficient, more effective, more profound, more powerful. The only thing that’s in the way is: “But we’ve always done it like this.”

The only thing that comes from just blindly continuing to do the same thing, the same way it’s always been done is the same thing, over and over and over again.

Nothing changes. Nothing grows. Nothing new is created.

Challenge everything. Never settle for ‘good enough’ or ‘just cause’. Branch out, explore, look beyond the habits and the structures and always be asking: Are you sure?

 

6. Create your own vision

Following someone else’s dream will never make you happy. Every person has their own set of desires, dreams, passions, and fears and someone else’s vision is never going to fulfil yours.

You have to find your own dream and live it.

It’s the only way you’re every going to be truly happy. Relying on other peoples opinions and perceptions about what you should do and how you live your life is all but guaranteeing that you’ll never be happy.

Finding your vision isn’t a guarantee that you will be fulfilled but it’s the most important step in the right direction.

 

7. You can’t change the past, you can only create the future

What’s happened, has happened. It’s done and dusted. You can never change the past and there’s no point in trying.

The only thing you can ever change is the present moment as you move towards the future.

The ONLY thing the past is responsible for is where you are now, not where you go from here.

The power is in your hands to decide and direct your future. All you ever need to consider is: where do I want to go now?

I’m not saying you should ignore the past… There are very valuable lessons in the past. But don’t dwell on it. It’s happened. All you need to focus on is ‘what have I learned and what am I going to do with it now?’

 

8. Surround yourself with people you love and ignore everyone else

Not everyone is going to love you. It’s a simple mathematical impossibility.

Everyone has their own beliefs, drives, desires, and needs and you’re never going to fit all of them.

So don’t even worry about trying.

Surround yourself with inspiring, passionate, power, driven, committed people who love you for who you are and ignore everyone else.

Let them go on their way, thinking their own thoughts, being their own people, and just keep living your life.

 

9. Never change yourself to please another person

Anyone who likes you for the kind of Man you pretend to be will never accept you as the Man you really are.

The only thing you achieve by convincing someone to like you is condemning yourself to a future of pretending to be someone you’re not.

Never change yourself for the sake of another person.

Ever.

If you truly believe you need to change the way you’re living your life, then great. Change. But never make the purpose of that change to get something from someone else. It’s the simplest and fastest way to a frustrating life.

 

10. Your most precious commodity is time

Time is the only thing you can never have more of.

You can always get more money. You can always collect more goods. You can always meet new people and try new things.

But once you live through a second, that second if gone forever.

I don’t know how many seconds you have on this earth, but I do know that your time is limited.

So make the most of every second. It’s a beautiful gift that millions of people who used to live on this earth simply do not have the pleasure of.

Don’t measure your success in life based on the amount of goods you collect of how big your bank balance is. Measure your success in the only truly limited resource you have: how you spend your time.

 

11. The most important knowledge you will ever gain is knowledge of yourself

You can read all the books, study all the texts, be able to do algebra backwards, whilst hanging upside down from an elephants trunk in Nepal, but none of it will do you any good unless you know yourself.

You can’t surround yourself with people who excite you unless you know what you find exciting.

You can’t find a job that fulfils you until you know what you find fulfilling.

You can’t find the woman of your dreams until you know what kind of women you dream about.

The most important knowledge piece of knowledge you will ever have is knowledge of yourself.

Take time out, every day, to sit back and think about your self, your life, your fears, your pain, your sunshine, your darkness, and your desires.

 

12. Independence is the greatest gift you can give the world

The greatest contribution you will ever make to the world around you is your complete independent from it.

When you can be happy, fulfilled, and free, without having to wait for the world to give you something, then no-one else has to look after you. No-one else has to be responsible for you. You take the pressure off everyone around you so they can focus on themselves. And because you’re happy and free without them, you’ll be able to help them with whatever they’re working through.

If you still rely on anyone other than yourself to feel strong, confident, and in-control, then every time you try and help anyone else, it will always come from a place of needing something in return.

Become selfish. Completely selfish. Do what you need to in every moment to make sure that you feel sure and strong so that you can be free to help everyone else around you.

 

13. Do unto others…

Hate will never fix hate. Anger will never cure anger. The only way that you will ever help make the world into the kind of world that you want is by being the change you wish to see in the world.

If someone hurts you, uses you, tries to swindle you, getting angry and doing the same thing back (or worse) will never change the situation. It’s not going to help them see just how pointless their actions are.

The only way to help them and make the world a more loving and beautiful place is to treat them the same way that you want to be treated: with compassion, love, and understanding.

You don’t have to blindly retaliate. You don’t have to let your emotional response rule your life.

You can choose how you live your life and the only choice that’s ever going to help you create the life you want is treating other people with the same amount o understanding and compassion that you want to be treated with.

 

14. I chose you

You weren’t an accident. You weren’t an unwanted by-product of some drunken and stupid choices. I chose you.

I chose your Mum and together, we chose to create you.

You are wanted, loved and appreciated. Things might get tough and things might make it seem like there might be some other truth hidden beneath the layers of complaints and worries.

But underlying everything is this: I chose you.

I love you and I want you to be the happiest, most powerful, most incredible human being to ever exist on the face of this earth.

Never forget that.

 

There’s so much more…

…I would say to you if I was here right now. There are so many things we would do, so many places we would visit, so many laughs we would share.

But I’m not. And I’m sorry for that. Nothing would make me prouder than watching you grow into a powerful, beautiful human being.

I know this won’t make any difference but please don’t mourn my passing.

I got to experience so much more in the short time I was on this earth than most people who will outlive me by many years.

I made some incredible connections with some amazing people, helped thousands of people all around the world find the strength and courage to change their lives, and I did it all with the most incredible woman I’ve ever met by my side.

I lived an amazing life and if you follow what I’ve written above, I’m sure you’ll do the same.

You will be forever in my heart,

 

 

Leigh

 

Comments
11 Responses to “14 lessons”
  1. Andrew says:

    Your son will grow to be a leader among men himself.

  2. igz says:

    Beautifully written!

    • leigh says:

      Glad you enjoyed it mate. It was an interesting thing to write. It just kind of came out rather than me having to think about it.

      I guess that’s what happens when you’re writing about something you really care about.

  3. A 16-year old boy says:

    Reading this made me shed tears. It touched my core.

    As a 16-year old boy… I never received this kind of advice before; from my parents or anyone. It dawned on me that NO ONE taught me this. Teachers at school teach Maths and Science, but they didn’t teach this. “Civics & Moral education” classes are just worthless bullshit, and actually encourage students to be dependent on others to feel good.

    NO ONE TAUGHT ME THIS WHEN I WAS GROWING UP. F**k! What kind of bullsh*t society is this?

    But ultimately… this was what caused me to make the decision that one day I will change the world. I will make history. I WILL NOT ALLOW ANY MORE BOYS TO BE LOST, not while I can do something about it. I can remember the despair and helplessness I felt when I realised what school/parents/society taught was a lie. I will not let other children suffer this helplessness.

    I WILL NOT LET ANY MORE WOMEN SUFFER FROM THE LACK OF REAL MEN. I WILL NOT ALLOW ANY MORE BOYS TO BE LOST. This is f**king ridiculous, the amount of bullsh*t in society.

    I am 16 years old now. When I grow older, I am going to stamp all the lies down. I am going to create a world of true men; men who are unapologetic of who they are, men who are independent, powerful, carefree, compassionate, caring, complete individuals. Men who are the men that ancient legends talk about. Real men.

    I don’t know how I’ll achieve that, but I trust my nature.

    Thanks Leigh for sharing the 14 lessons. I resonate with them fully.

    • leigh says:

      I’m glad to hear it touched you so much.

      I know what you mean about not being taught this. This isn’t the kind of stuff they teach at schools (which is where it’s needed most).

      They don’t teach this anywhere. This is the kind of stuff that you’re just supposed to pick up on the way, but, as it’s plain to see, most people don’t.

      I have a suggestion: instead of waiting till you grow older, start now. There are always opportunities for you to make a difference, whether that be to how you live your life or how to inspire others. You jsut have to look out for them.

      You’re never too young to start. And you’re never too old to start.

      You just have to want it bad enough.

  4. Jan says:

    Wow, this really touched me. I truly believe your going to make wonderful dad Leigh.

    I remember reading through Endgame and my first thought was, I have to pass this ideology on to my kids one day. Ironic thing is I immediately started blaming everything and everyone around me. Why did no one teach me that? If only I had this peace of information 10 years earlier! Imagine all the time I could have spent more wisely.
    It wasn’t until later that I realized that all that didn’t matter anymore. It’s all about where I take it from here, about how I choose to react in every moment.

    Anyways, I’ll make sure to post my letter.

    • leigh says:

      You’re not alone in blaming others mate. It’s hard to see just how powerful this all is and then think that you spent so many years without it. But, in saying that, if you were raised with this, it probably wouldn’t mean anywhere near as much to you and you could have even rejected it as crap.

      Everything happens for a reason.

      Love to read your letter. Just upload it on the site when you’re ready.

      Leigh

  5. Jammer says:

    This is great stuff, and best of all it’s gender neutral. My father has taught me a lot of these things (especially the first 3) but somewhere along the way things got a bit rocky between us, some awful advice started crawling in. I’m very thankful for the great people I surround myself with everyday both online and in real life who enrich my life and receive the gifts of my own enrichment. Such pearls of wisdom!

    I was thinking today if I was ready to have children (parents also want more grandchildren, plus I am pro-life so “choice” is arbitrary). In many ways no, not yet, but in so many ways hell yes! What do I need to create a life for a part of me aside from my entirety?

    • leigh says:

      You’re very lucky to have someone in your life who taught you these lessons from a young age. I didn’t and I know that there are a lot of guys who’ll read this who weren’t that lucky either.

      Glad you enjoyed it.

  6. Young-S says:

    Man this really touch my heart…. living my entire life with my mom I learn a lot but never have a father by my side… if only my father told me just one of these lessons I wolud be really really happy but the thing is I can still be happy no matter what…

    As always Leigh great article

    Young-S

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