MENTORED BY HOMELESS MAN
My family and I went to lunch with some friends yesterday. We were sitting and enjoying and true to herself, my daughter wanted out of the high chair and wanted to walk. I finished my food and took her out so that my wife could eat in peace.
We started walking around the restaurant holding hands and she kept pulling me outside. My daughter is an adventurer, so we went up and down the ramp.
Outside was a homeless man sitting on a bench with a huge duffel bag. He was wearing dark glasses and all black clothing except for some brown shows.
My daughter kept peeking through the spaces between the ramp rails and kept saying say to the man. After a couple of times, the man turned around and said, “Wow she is cute how old is she.”
I told him her age and he started waving at her and saying hello. My daughter would hide and then say hi, making the man laugh and smile.
We kept playing like this for a little bit when the man blurted out that he had two daughters.
He told me that he has not seen them and misses them. He also admitted that he wasn’t there for them growing up.
He then said.
“Time waits for no man”
He had a sad look on his face even though I couldn’t see his eyes. He told me to take care of her and spend time with her and closed with,
“May God Bless Her.”
I thought about two things after the chat with the man on the bench.
1. PROVIDE WITH PRESENCE
I remember as a child not caring what my father did for a living or how much he made. All I cared about was him coming home to play.
There is a huge misconception in the world of business and especially with men. We tell each other we are out providing for our families that we work so hard for their future.
We tell each other to work harder and more hours, like if we win a badge of honor working so much.
Is that the case?
I know I do work to provide but some ego is in their as well. I want others to see I’m successful, I want my wife to see a man she can respect, and I want approval.
I would often say yes to things taking time away from family just for that approval.
The truth is PROVIDING isn’t just about money, but it is about presence and love.
Madeline Levine talks about a study in her book, The Price of Privilege, saying that 60% of 11–12 year olds felt distant from their parents.
60% of those kids had the distance translate into depression, anxiety, and substance abuse.
Holy crap, these families have money and the kids are still depressed.
The man on the bench may not have had any money, but his daughters didn’t need him to be rich, they needed him there.
That just proves that it’s not the amount of money you provide but it’s how you provide it.
2. TAKE ACTION
“Time waits for no man”
I kept repeating it in my head.
If we let time just pass by without being present or taking action then we might sit there one day and regret.
The action doesn’t have to be perfect and you will make mistakes but take step by step to reach the goal.
I sold my company last year and took time off to be with my wife and daughter.
The truth is I am stuck. I have these grand visions of creating a legion of leaders and in my mind, it works out but somehow I am pausing.
I have changed company names 3 times and I have changed my profile summary 4 times.
The worst part is that I have doubted myself during the process.
It’s about taking massive action.
Or as some of my coaches have said, “Take Imperfect Action.”
Take a moment today and introspect on what would make you and your family happy.
Take a moment today and take some imperfect action like I will.
Manage your time so that you aren’t always BUSY but are productive instead.
Leadership isn’t just about business, it’s about leading your life and your family by taking action and being present.
I realized that in that moment the homeless man was a mentor.
And remember, “Time waits for no man”