Fatherhood: The Balancing Act

Fatherhood: The Balancing Act

This is not how I thought the story would unfold.

Back in the days of ignorant bliss, I had a "story" of how fatherhood would play out. A steadfast pillar of strength, consistency, grit, worth ethic and a catalyst of growth for all things.

It was a relatively simple dream... just be the "roof" you want to live under. While my core truths of fatherhood have not wavered, the storyline is deeper than being a constant force of nature. It all comes down to balance. The ability to be flexible in the sun, wind, rain and snow over decades, not moments.

When I reflect on my journey as a father and entrepreneur, I realize that strength isn't just about physical endurance or the ability to push through challenges. True strength comes from a balanced and well-nourished mind, body, and spirit. It's about being whole before you walk in the door.

The Balancing Act of Fatherhood
Being a father means wearing many hats and juggling various roles. There are moments when the demands of work, family, and personal aspirations feel overwhelming. But amidst this whirlwind, it's crucial to remember that taking care of ourselves is not a luxury; it's a necessity. It is what allows you to "hold a line" & a "source of comfort" in the same moment.

The Power of Routine and Mindfulness
One of the most valuable lessons I've learned from my wife, Kelly Heath, and her work as a Deepak Chopra Certified Coach, is the importance of routine and mindfulness in maintaining strength. It is what gives us our roots. Engaging in mindfulness practices, such as meditation or simply taking a few moments of quiet reflection, helps me stay centered and focused when I am playing at my best. Furthermore, carving out time for regular adventure, even if it's just a short walk or a quick workout, has made a significant difference in being the "player" I want my kids to remember. 

Leading by Example
As fathers, we have the incredible opportunity to lead by example. By prioritizing balance, we teach our children the value of taking care of oneself. We show them that it's okay to set boundaries, be vulnerable, rest when needed, and to pursue activities that bring joy and fulfillment while we also possess the character defining traits of grit, work and the ability to celebrate our wins. When our children see us investing in our well-being, they learn to do the same for themselves.

The Balance Dashboard
A wise friend once shared with me a simple self-care dashboard that has become a guiding principle in my life:

  • How am I doing in my own body? Regular exercise, proper nutrition, and sufficient rest are the cornerstones of physical well-being.
  • How Much Depth is in my EcoSystem? I am fueled by community, but as I get older I have come to appreciate that my best fuel comes from the depth of my relationships at home and among friends. Consistent watering of our relationships creates the deepest roots.
  • Am I Doing Epic Good in my Career? Finding fulfillment in our work and community while maintaining a healthy work-life balance ensures long-term success and happiness.
My 70/20/10 Rule: To achieve a harmonious balance in life, I've adopted the 70/20/10 rule:
  • 70% of our time should be dedicated to fulfilling our responsibilities and caring for those who depend on us.
  • 20% of our time should be invested in personal growth and learning, exploring new hobbies, skills, and experiences.
  • 10% of our time should be devoted to personal innovation, ensuring our own body, mind, and spirit are continually evolving and thriving.
    • Pro-Tip: Save 1% of your awake time to pursue a crazy dream. Nothing a P&L Statement would ever support. Something that allows for your own "moonshot" without risking it all. Science shows these little investments have the greatest return on investment over the next decade.  We often overestimate what we can do in a year, but under forecast what we will do in a decade. Being a father is about decades not years.

A Father's Legacy
Ultimately, the legacy we leave as fathers isn't just about the milestones we achieve or the material success we accumulate to build a bigger "roof." It's about the strength we cultivate within ourselves and the sustainable "rings of growth" we instill in the tree-trunks of our children. By prioritizing balance, we ensure that we can be the best versions of ourselves for our families, creating a legacy of strength, resilience, and love in all the days, not just the big ones.

This Father's Day, I encourage you to reflect on your own balance. How can you nurture your mind, body, and spirit to be the strong, present, and loving one your family needs while leaving room for your own sustainability?

Bend Don't Break: Balance is the Great Differentiator as a Father of both a business and children. #DeepRoots

-Joel, Father of Two Boys (15 and 11), FluidStance (9), the Mountain Games (23) and many lemonade stands along the way. 

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