Give It Your Best
Posted by Orrin Woodward on May 5, 2012
I have attended many of my kid’s soccer, basketball, and wrestling tournaments over the years. Before the game, I always share with them the same principle: give it your best. This isn’t revolutionary, for in reality, what parent wouldn’t want their children to give it their best? Today, however, while watching my son’s soccer match, a peculiar twist on this thought crossed my mind. Why do nearly all parents encourage their kids to give it their best when study after study reveals conclusively that the parents are not practicing what they preach?
Consequently, parents who repeatedly display gaps between their words and their actions quickly lose the respect of their teenagers. However, judging by what’s exclaimed on the sidelines of the kids’ sporting events, I would be convinced the parents were philosophers of success with massive results. Today, for example, I witnessed parents losing their cool on the sidelines, berating their children to hustle after stray balls, shouting at them to pass to open teammates, and yelling at them to finish strong. All of it, in truth, is good advice insofar as it’s lived, but it’s nothing short of hypocrisy when the parents aren’t living the philosophy espoused.
Once I started down this mental track, I couldn’t help but recognize the irony. Imagine what life would look like if the roles of the kids and parents were reversed. For example, imagine the children waiting at the door when their parents come home, shrieking out statements like the parents do at the games. The kids could throw temper tantrums asking questions like:
1. Did you hustle today or just barely make it through another day?
2. Did you play as a team today or just focus on yourself?
3. Did you finish strong, or did you quit when the going got tough?
Please don’t misread me. On one hand, yes, I know that it would be disrespectful for children to behave in this fashion to their parents and it wouldn’t be tolerated. On the other hand, however, is the kids’ behavior in this example much different than how parents across North America act at their youths’ athletic competitions? What gives here? Why, in other words, is it perfectly acceptable to hold the bar high on one’s children, but not upon oneself? People seem to demand excellence from their children; meanwhile, accepting daily mediocrity from themselves. This MUST change.
The Mental Fitness Challenge is a total success program designed to create the needed change. It teaches people the proper thoughts, plans, and actions that will help them live the life they always wanted. In my best-seller RESOLVED: 13 Resolutions for LIFE, I teach the 13 Resolutions as a road map to take a person from where he is to where he wants to be. Remember the old saying “Example isn’t everything in life; its the only thing”? This statement is true in many areas of life. Consequently, the best thing that parents can do for the next generation is to back up their strong words of advice with similar strong actions and results.
Yes, the kids should hustle on the field, but so too should the parents in life; yes, the kids should play as part of the team, but so too should the parents in their professions; finally, yes, the kids should finish strong, even when it hurts, but so too should the parents in similar circumstances. The world is crying out for examples of men and women whose walk is as good as the talk. Instead of waiting for someone else, why not each person choose to become the model for others? One might argue, but, Orrin, no one is perfect, and I wouldn’t disagree; however, just because perfection is impossible, that doesn’t mean progress is. Likewise, just because progress is difficult, that doesn’t absolve the parents of their responsibilities.
When I ask parents how important purpose, character, attitude, and vision are to their children’s future, I receive hearty amens. Unfortunately, when I ask them how important purpose, character, attitude, and vision are in their future, I receive throaty ahems. My dear reader, there is a champion inside of everyone, but it feeds on discipline and accountability food. If the champion has been starved up to now, the good news is that there is still time. Resolve today to be the example for our next-generation leaders, not because it’s easy, not because it’s always fun, but because it’s our God-given responsibility. Do you believe your kids deserve the best? I do. Parents give their children the best when they become their personal best for them. If you are unsure of where to start, then take the Mental Fitness Challenge Self-Assessment Test to identify areas to start improving today.