Letters to my kids – The only way to spend your day

Fifteenth in the series – letters to my kids

Hey guys,

It is important to think about your life and what you want to accomplish during the time that you have. This great article by Ryan Holiday is an eye opener into the historical concept of spending your days in meaningful ways. Life really is limited and what ends up happening for so many people is that they get old and wish they would have accomplished more. I often think about my parents and grandparents and can’t help to think that they probably wish they would have accomplished more and it makes me think about my alive time and how much I am putting into the things that I do every day.

At the same time, raising two wonderful children is an incredible accomplishment that I ignore too often in exchange for accomplishing my other goals. Don’t do this to yourself or your kids. Plan when you are going to have kids, set aside twenty years, figure out what you’ll be doing to support your family during those twenty years, and make it easier on yourself. I didn’t do that part very well. I love having you boys, I love some of the things that I’ve gone after in my career, but I didn’t really focus things in the right way and no one really ever told me that I can do something for ten years and then shift into doing something different for the next ten years. It really takes 8-12 years to really build something great or to truly make an impact on something. I see that in my investments as well as in many of the other projects that I work on. In life the rapid pace of video games and sports betting are the seconds on the clock of life. It takes years to move the hour hand on the clock of life and greatness is only achieved when you’ve been able to focus your creativity, relationships, and process refinement on a few ideas over the course of several years.

I know this concept is a much bigger concept than choosing how to spend your time or what kind of degree to get. Understanding this concept though will help to set you apart from your peers, it is a behavioral edge that many of your otherwise competitive peers will not be able to compete with. Reid Hoffman, Chris Yeh, and Ben Casnocha talk about this a little in the corporate context in their book The Alliance, but the concept applies to any endeavor. Whether you’re a freelancer, a musician, an entrepreneur, or whatever you want to be and do with your life this concept applies.

Love, Dad

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