Despite the fact that I am a father of a almost two year old boy, I find myself looking back on college, high school, and even middle school through my own eyes more than I can picture what it will look like through my son’s. For one I can’t imagine how the world at large will have changed by the time he is making decisions like where to go to college. Secondly, since he is only two years old, there are still so many years for him to live before he develops a personality, passions, or even preferences.
As much as I want to prepare for my son’s future and our conversations around that future, I am still in a season where I am fully recognizing the consequences of my own decisions. I am still trying to learn from my own missed opportunities. I am still trying to figure out what decisions have led to where I am currently, so I can continue to shape the man that I becoming.
But one thing is becoming more clear, the days of theory are over, and the principles that I believed in high school and college have had an effect on who I am today. They are having an effect on who I am becoming.
No matter how many books I read, case studies I work through or interviews I listen
to, there is no substitute for walking through a situation personally. In fact the only real exception is having a coach or someone with a better vantage point lend you their per- spective. That third party perspective, around pointed questions has helped guide me in difficult work situations better than walking through them blindly.
It is this type of perspective that I wish to give my son. Because the most arrogant and idealistic version of myself believed things in those formative high school and college years that now don’t seem as important to me. In fact they now seem downright trivial to me. It is that kind of perspective that I wish I had during my formative years. The perspective that I didn’t always believe from my parents despite our great relationship and their incredible wisdom. It was something I thought anonymous advice from pul- pits and podcasts could better deliver. But as it turns out, having someone who knows me and has my best interests at heart is pretty invaluable.
I must find a way to cultivate a conversation in our house where I speak life into my son on a daily basis from age two till age twenty-two, to show him that I have his best inter- ests at heart, and beyond all of that show him through my vulnerability that mistakes will be made but those mistakes won’t define him. Like, hopefully, they haven’t defined his father.