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Eulogies, “Wait” Scales, & Parenting No-No’s

By: Michael Blankenship |

Let each thing you would do, say, or intend, be like that of a dying person. 

– Marcus Aurelius

Greetings from LA and Oahu!

This week we’re sharing some parenting no-no’s (according to 70 interviews with successful parents), reasons to quit (and reasons to keep going), and why writing your own eulogy can be a great exercise in self-awareness. 

Enjoy!

Today’s post is sponsored by YouTopian Journey

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Parenting No-No’s

A child’s success in life is undeniably linked to both their nature (genes) and their nurture (peers, parenting, etc.).

In so much as we’re responsible for the impact we have, we parents are responsible for raising our children in a way that gives them the best possible chance of success and happiness.

Margot Machol Bisnow, author of Raising an Entrepreneur, recently wrote an article for CNBC where she documents some of the top things she’s learned about raising successful children during her interviews… 

“I interviewed 70 parents who raised highly successful adults about how they helped their children achieve their dreams.

Despite the diverse ethnic, socioeconomic and religious backgrounds, there were four things that the parents of these smart, driven and entrepreneurial individuals never did when their kids were young.”

So… what are the parenting no-no’s? 

Here’s the gist:

They never treated their kid’s hobby as a waste of time: “Sports, video games, debating, music, birdwatching — every child of the parents I spoke to had a passion outside of the classroom. The parents never veered their kids away from the hobby because they knew it was keeping them mentally active.”

They never made all the choices for their kids: “It can be extremely tempting to constantly make decisions for your kids. After all, you’re the adult — you know your children better than anyone else does, and you don’t want them to suffer. But successful parents resist that temptation.”

They never prized money or high-paying degrees over happiness: “Someone who loves something enough and works hard at it will find a way to turn it into a living, even without a degree in that field. And they won’t be afraid to tackle an opportunity that won’t pay anything for a few years as they might be if they had to pay off high student debt every month.”

They never neglected financial literacy: “Although the parents I spoke to never pushed their kids towards pursuing a high-paying job, all of them made an effort to teach their kids about money in one form or another.”

Your Eulogy

When you die, what will people say about you? 

What would you want people to say about you?

Writing your own eulogy — now, before you’re dead — might sound weird and depressing. 

But it can be a great exercise for figuring out what really matters to you while you’re still alive. 

Regret is the most difficult emotion to process when the end comes — as it will come for all of us — and the top five regrets of the dying (according to The Guardian) are…

  1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
  2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
  3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
  4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
  5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

It’s easy to get lost in life’s shuffle, to forget what we really care about, and to start believing that there’s something more important to life than laughter and love (there isn’t). 

Here’s a video of people writing their own eulogies. Give that a watch… and if you’re ready for a much-needed wake-up call, to rediscover what really matters to you… then try writing your own.  

“Wait” Scales

The 48 seconds it takes you to watch this video is well worth the inspiration it provides.

“There’s always reasons to quit and there’s always reasons to keep going and the reasons you choose will define you,” Justin Prince explains to a room full of entrepreneurs. 

He continues… 

“My friends, here’s what I want you to think about. There’s reasons right now to quit your business… we could write a list. There’s also reasons to keep going in your business; we need to make that list a little bit longer. It needs to outweigh the reasons to quit. It’s like a scale. If there’s more reasons to quit than there is to keep going, you’re gonna quit.

All success is uphill, all the way. You don’t accidentally go up the hill. You have to intentionally go up the hill. If you can stack the reasons to keep going, you’ll pick those reasons because there’s more. 

There’s reasons to quit your faith, there’s reasons to quit your marriage, there’s reasons to quit your workout program, your diet program, all of it. And there’s also reasons to keep going. And the reasons you choose will define you.”

In other words, you find what you’re looking for. 

If you look for reasons to quit, you’ll find them. If you look for reasons to keep going, you’ll find them. Direct your focus where you want to go and you’ll achieve far more, far more quickly. 

Extra Stuff

Here is some other random stuff we found interesting this last week!

Books We’re Reading

Here’s what the tribe is currently reading (let us know books you’re loving and we’ll include them in future emails!)…. 

This Week’s Image

“Breeder Mohammad Hasan Narejo displays the very long ears of his kid goat Simba in Karachi, Pakistan, on July 6, 2022.” via The Atlantic

This Week’s Riddle

Here’s this week’s riddle — the answer is at the bottom of the email!

What can cut like a knife, sting like a bee, bite like a lion. Carry truth and lies but never move or speak. What are we?

This Week’s Journaling prompt

Take some time to think through the following journaling prompt. 

What are a few things you want people to say about you when you die? Make a list. What does your list say about the things that really matter to you? 

This Week’s Challenge

Read the “Your Eulogy” section of this email and set aside an hour this week to write your own eulogy. This exercise will help you define what you really care about before it’s too late. 

Until next week, 

Mike & Alec

Riddle Answer: Words

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