I felt inspired to write this for Father’s Day.

Maybe you idolised your dad and thought he was the most amazing person in the world.

Maybe you despised him.

Both are your own personal stories based on the judgements you made about your experience of being brought up. I have stories about my dad, too.

I missed him when I was growing up. He had his own business and even though he was around, he worked a lot.

Throughout my childhood, he’d tell me with remorse how he wished he’d spent more time with me and my siblings when we were growing up.

He provided tangibles like a home, food, holidays, clothes and much more.

He also provided the things I couldn’t see, the intangibles, through his way of ‘being’.

I remember being inspired by him as I sat in on various meetings with employees, suppliers, and customers (he had a home office). Wanting to be just like him — a businessman.

I ‘get’ the world of the entrepreneur. I’ve grown up around it and have had a few businesses myself.

The majority of my clients, who I love deeply, are entrepreneurs or high-level managers. They invest in my services to guide them towards closing the gap between where they are in life and where they want to be. A lot of them want more balance and less overwhelm.

I’m writing a book called ‘Where’s Dad?’ to help people create more balance in their life.

I wouldn’t be coaching, or writing this book, without my experiences growing up in an entrepreneurial house and being an entrepreneur.

These are benefits that, at one time, I couldn’t see.

I remember being on holiday in Lanzarote at around the age of 10 having just finished a family meal in a restaurant called ‘Neptune’. We ate king prawns.

An African man approached us, his arms full of fake Rolex watches, sunglasses, jewellery, and other stuff he was trying to sell to tourists as he ambled along saying, “do you wanna buy a Rolex? Good price …”

As he got closer, the restaurant owner came out and tried to usher him away as we sat outside having a coffee. My dad stepped in and said, “it’s ok, Juan, he’s our guest.”

He invited the street seller to sit with us and asked him what he wanted to drink.

The man, who looked exhausted, was shocked. When he realised my dad was being genuine he humbly said, “Fanta, please.”

I watched them both, over the next few minutes, as my dad talked to this guy who was doing his best to create a better life for himself. He opened his heart and just spoke to him human-to-human, whilst the owner of the restaurant stood in the background with steam coming out of his ears like in one of those old ‘Tom n’ Jerry’ cartoons. He was in complete disbelief that my dad had invited this guy to sit down.

I’ll never forget that moment. Experiencing non-judgemental loving human kindness in motion. Intangible and Inspirational at the same time.

Small moments can make a big impact on a child.

I remember being three years old and being held by my dad, feeling his warm breath on my hair whilst he cuddled me with love.

So pure. So natural. Didn’t cost a penny, only time.

I’m not sure what stories you’re running about your dad.

Or, if you are a dad, what stories you’re running about yourself being a father.

What I do know is that, no matter what the stories are, there are always two sides.

If you see something as being ‘bad’, for example having a workaholic dad, remember that he’s human too and did what he believed was the best thing at that time.

He’s coming from a place of serving his own values and also providing for his family.

Although you may have some resentment, there are many latent benefits you may not be conscious of — hidden away like 24-carat diamonds in the mine of your unconscious.

You can learn how to discover these gems by slowing down and asking the question, ‘what were the benefits of that situation?’. Meditation helps. And journaling. And being coached, for me, anyway.

Every father in the world is doing what they believe to be the best thing. The same way every human is operating, moment-to-moment, in their own self-interest — driven by their unique set of intrinsic values.

Every father in the world is a hero and a villain.

Every father in the world is a saint and a sinner.

Every father in the world shares the same 4,126 traits we all have as human beings (thanks, Dr John Demartini for teaching me this).

I know I am no angel.

At times, I am the best father in the world, and, at times, I want to be far, far away from my children because I’d rather focus on other things in my life. Both are stories sitting on my mental bookshelf, created by thought.

And, that’s ok. I’m a human living my own life by my own values in a perfectly imperfect way.

And, I’m sure, that no matter what I do my children will grow up with judgements about me as a dad, and that’s ok. They are allowed to create their own stories, we all do.

To transcend any judgements you may have and to see your father as a perfectly imperfect human being (just like you) is freeing for the soul.

The stories you’re selling yourself are the only things that make us different.

Deep down, we are all the same. Just like one of the world’s best coaches, Michael Neill, shares in his latest Ted Talk.

And, if you want some science to back how we are all connected you can watch this great Ted Talk by Tom Chi, one of the top guys at Google.

Slow down to take a moment … see if you can see the full picture of your upbringing … not just the frame. The masterpiece of your life, as you see it. It makes for much better art.

If you’re a dad, I know you’re doing your best. I know it can be challenging at times.

From my own experience, even if you’re not around your children as much as you’d like to be (or as much as other’s expect of you) consider making the moments you do have with your family as being really present. These moments will be the best gifts you can give.

A cuddle.

Connecting heart-to-heart with your child and listening intently to what they are saying.

A play fight or wrestle.

Singing along in the car to a song you all love.

Laughing. Lots of it.

Drawing together.

Taking them for a haircut followed by a bit of lunch.

Going to pick a new reading book together.

Going for a walk in nature.

Looking in their eyes and tell them you love them.

Not judging them for making small mistakes and telling them that you have done the same and not to worry, mistakes happen, it’s how we all learn.

Simple things make all the difference and create memories you’ll look back upon with warmth and fondness because there was pure love in those moments, not judgment. Just human-to-human connection with the only investment being your time and presence.

Ten minutes of pure presence trumps five hours of disconnected time because children want your presence, not just your presents.

And, the wonderful thing is, not only will your child love the experience, so will you.

Be vulnerable, be love.

Remember, just like you looked up and copied your father when you were young, your children are doing the same.

They pick up much more of your way of ‘being’ than what you ‘do’ for them.

Even if you have limited time, consider how you want to ‘be’ with them.

This is where the best stories come from. The ones that take pride of place on your mental bookshelf.

If your dad’s still around make contact to thank him for all that he did, tell him you love him. If he’s not, say it too.

He did his best in a perfectly imperfect way. Just like you are each day.

Just like Baz Luhrmann said in one of my favourite songs, ‘Sunscreen’, from the late ’90s:

“Get to know your parents, you never know when they’ll be gone for good.”

Happy Father’s Day.

Love and wellness,

David.

“Every father should remember one day his son will follow his example, not his advice.”
Charles Kettering

Ps. This song, Nizlopi’s JCB song, is one that always moves me to tears and takes me back to my childhood and this is the guy actually singing itwhich I love, too

Pps. I wrote in detail about Baz Luhrmann’s song and made comment on each verse in an earlier piece here.

(Thank you, Trix, for allowing me to experience being a dad. You, Rocco & Enzo are the three best gifts of all x).