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We go deep today talking about:
- What is the ultimate way of living to stay optimally healthy as a father?
- How do you manage and balance keeping the finances growing while continuing to be enough for your family?
- How do you get your family back on track after years of poor leadership when you’re in your 40s?
- What questions should fathers ask themselves to create a massive vision?
- How do you balance ambition and contentment?
- What are the challenges of stepping into fatherhood from a lone wolf mentality when you’re someone who gets things done?
- How do you navigate a marriage where you each have vastly different ideas of fun and what brings you joy?
#165. AMA: Building Your Vision, Staying Healthy, Balancing Finances and Family
[00:00:00] Then schedule family time in your calendar. Honestly, guys, if it's not in your calendar, it's so easy to just put stuff on top of it, work more here, waste two, three hours on your phone or watching Netflix, don't do that stuff. Be simple, live a simple life and go back to what you are supposed to be doing.
And as a husband and father, that should be raising your family and leading your family. You will also get so much more satisfaction of life. If everything you do is aiming towards your highest calling.
Welcome back to the DadWork Podcast. This is Curt Storring, your host and the founder of DadWork. Guys, first of all, thank you for listening. It's been a massive blessing to me to be able to do this every single week because of you listening, because of your support, because you want to become a much better father, a much better husband, because you know, like me, that this is the most important work you can do and you're not willing to settle.
Curt: And I know that for me and for a lot of you guys listening, you never really had that role model growing up. So that's what we're trying to do here. We're trying to navigate how to become that [00:01:00] elite family leader when you probably never had that. So let's try and do that here. I continue to share what I am doing in my life, how I have seen my life improve, because remember guys, the reason I'm doing this is because I was a terrible husband and father.
I would yell at my kids. I was angry. I had no leadership skills. I was fighting with my wife. Things were on the rocks constantly over the first few years of marriage and fatherhood. And by the grace of God alone, I figured it out and I turned it around and it's my job now to share with you. What worked and what didn't honestly, because there's a lot of stuff along the way that I wasted my time doing.
So I just want to give you guys a huge props for being here listening. And I also want to ask you if this has been valuable to you, would you do me a solid and let me know. And the thing is, the only way I'm going to know about that is if you are leaving reviews, if you're liking and subscribing. On YouTube.
If you are leaving a review on Apple, if you are sending with your friends, if you let me know on Instagram or by email, I would love to hear from you. We'd love to share this with more men. My goal in the coming years is going to be focusing on [00:02:00] this podcast, much, much more having even better conversations with amazing guests who are leading their families and who are experts in all the things we're trying to get good at here, guys.
So with that being said, we are doing an AMA. Podcast episode today. I put out a call for questions and you guys delivered big time So we're going to jump in if you want any more of your questions answered Let me know and I will drop you a form To drop that question into and we're just going to keep rolling with these we've got much more interview content scheduled I've got a full docket we've got almost all the way to january booked because we are just Crushing on the podcast.
So let's get into the questions on today's AMA episode. The first question here is what is your ultimate way of living to stay optimally healthy? Nutrition, diet, exercise, keeping strong faith and managing stress. This is a no brainer guys, because it is the hard to kill portion of hard to kill, easy to love, equip to lead, which is what we do here at dad work as elite family leaders, these are things that I think make you a balanced, mature, [00:03:00] masculine leader in your household.
And so. Being able to be healthy is a huge part of that. no, I've gone through a journey in the last couple of years with health and fitness and all that kind of stuff. And I'm going to give you what works for me now and probably go over a little bit of what didn't work for me over the last little while.
So for me, generally, the basics have to be in place every single day. If you're not exercising and eating intentionally at the very least, every single day, You're leaving a lot on the table, not just because we need to be jacked. We need to be super strong. We need to be ripped all the time, but because this is going to make you feel better, not only in your day to day, as you get up and as you feel ready and fired up to go every single day, but because your mental game is going to be so much stronger when your physical game isn't bringing you down, it's also a very important thing to do.
So that you're providing a great pathway for your kids to follow when they're looking at you. What does it mean to be a man? Who should I be trying to become as I grow up? Do I want to be the guy who's sick and overweight and can't run and can't play with me and, is [00:04:00] tired all the time? Or do I want to follow a father?
Who is absolutely crushing it alive every single day with vitality, with fire can run around with me as a kid. That's who I think we need to be. Now, I think there are a couple of ditches we can fall into here. One is idolizing fitness, including going all in at the expense of everything else. The other one is saying, well, it doesn't matter anyway, because my spiritual house is in order.
I'm good to go.
And so my general fitness health routine right now looks like I get up early, almost all the time. I've started to experiment with waking up a little bit later on weekends just to continue to get that rest to catch up on sleep, because I have learned that that is so vital. You can go for a long time on almost no sleep if you're crushing it for the right reasons.
And how much better is it for your health and longevity for actually recovering? Now, I still like to make sure on the weekends, even that I'm getting up before my family. So that I can get my habits stack in so that I can prepare myself for the day and make sure I'm not taking time away for them to go to the gym or to do my [00:05:00] gratitudes or to do my scripture and prayer and stuff like that.
So I do all that stuff. First thing in the morning, I get up early, I stretch, I hydrate, I go for a walk. And that's like a 10 minute, 15 minute walk around the block here where I just pray and give thanks, do my gratitude, set my intention, and just try and start the day off right, speaking to God and just hearing from him as I start.
And then I'm five days of the week going to the gym on the weekend. I like to. Play with the kids, but I also like to go for a bit of a longer walk in the mornings just to make sure every single day I'm moving my body and doing something to keep me healthy. What I want, I think I heard this on Tim Ferriss's podcast years ago, is to compete in the centenarian Olympics, which means I want to be able to squat.
All the way, ass to grass, by the time I'm a hundred, I want to be able to pick up my great great grandkids, I want to be able to play with them, I don't want to be an invalid basically, and even the basics, stretching and some mobility work, as well as lifting weights because muscle mass is a big indicator of longevity, I want to do all those things so that I'm I can be healthy and have a long, [00:06:00] health span, not just a long lifespan.
So that's generally what my framework is now in that I'm going to the gym. I am currently working with a strength and conditioning coach, and, , that is just, lifting it's plyometrics, it's sprints and stuff like that. That feels great to me. It keeps me feeling good. It makes me feel as though I'm moving forward nutrition.
I am eating whole foods 95 percent of the time. I'm very blessed that my wife cooks almost every meal. And we just make sure we're eating mostly organics. We're eating grass fed beef. We get that delivered from a local farm out here on the west coast. And that is just most of the diet. Now, I don't go so crazy anymore.
I used to be like perfect on my macros all the time. And I think there's room to play there because a friend of mine who actually had on the podcast, Omar, he told me that he is not interested in going so hardcore like I was going because one of his values is hospitality, breaking bread with friends, and he doesn't want to be looking over his shoulder all the time going like, Oh no, I can't actually go out for that.
Coffee and breakfast or I can't go out for [00:07:00] that dinner or whatever because I've got to hit my macros So that's been really impactful for me. Just thinking about how that can work in my life Now I still track my food every single day. I use my no not my fitness pal. I use chronometer and you can use either one of those, but I just want to make sure that i'm not Overeating.
I want to make sure I'm getting my protein in, especially and enough fats. I saw something the other day that said the average American eats like 3, 600 calories or something. And if you think like 2, 000 calories for the average, 5'10 5'11 180 pound dude or whatever it is, is roughly what you need to sort of maintain.
And you're telling me that the average in the states is like 3, 600 calories. That's insane. No wonder people are so overweight. Now, if you don't know what you're eating, if you don't care to look at the packaging, if you don't care to look at the ingredients, you're going to have a really hard time knowing, am I actually eating enough?
Am I eating the right stuff? And if you start inputting it, And if you start tracking that in an app like chronometer, for example, you're going to find out real quick. Oh, what I thought was a well balanced meal was like, I'm actually snacking a thousand calories a day. Like a couple of handfuls [00:08:00] of peanuts is a ton of calories.
So I just like to make sure I'm not really overeating. I like to make sure I'm getting my protein in for me. That's roughly a gram per pound of body weight. So I'm eating like 200 grams of protein at most days. And, that's sort of the general. basis for it. I like to make sure like my, I'm not a scientist, obviously.
I know there's guys who know a lot more than me, but my wife and I really like to keep things as natural as possible. I'm of the belief that part of the enemy's plan is to disrupt us with the environment. Especially right now, things like testosterone are really under fire and that's important for me, but it's also important for my sons.
Like I don't want them to grow up with a ton of this. estrogen from the environment. So we like to just keep things as natural as possible. We go out of our ways to get things that don't have additives. The deodorant I use doesn't have like anything in it, it's just basically like homemade stuff, things like that, right? Like we can go down to a rabbit hole on all of this stuff, but generally for most people, if you move your body every day with some hard activity. And you eat mostly whole foods [00:09:00] most of the time, you're going to be way farther along than most people.
I also think it's important to get a lot of sun. I think it's important to be outside I think it's important to get your feet on the ground people call this grounding You can look into all that kind of stuff There's a guy that I know on instagram who's in one of our men's groups who's really big on light I haven't gone that far.
Although I do use a red light slash near infrared red light therapy device. I've been using that for testosterone, been using it on injuries, and it seems to do a pretty good job, but at least it feels like something's happening. It, anecdotally, it feels like it's working. , I got mine from Boncharge, which I can drop a link to if you guys are interested in that.
And, yeah, I just try and keep it super natural, move a lot, try not to sit too often, get my steps in, and generally just hit the basics while also avoiding all the crap coming in, trying to distract. Me and ruin my hormones and all that kind of stuff. So again, that's a whole podcast in itself. That's not the aim of this podcast, but if you are interested in any of those things, definitely use what I just said as a jumping off point, and just make sure you're doing something.
It doesn't need to be [00:10:00] perfect. Now I will say you will have noticed if you guys are a long time follower or listener that, I think it was a year and a bit ago, maybe a year ago, I got really into. Losing weight getting ripped and doing all that kind of stuff. Now. That was an awesome experience I don't begrudge that at all, but the particular diet that I was on Was I don't think healthy for me.
It was very low in fats I was like perfect on all my macros all the time and I was cutting calories big time now the results spoke for themselves Of course, I was very thin. I didn't have a lot of muscle mass, but I looked Ripped and that was cool for me. I've never done that before. So if you can do that healthily and maintain that that's awesome But I don't think it was good for me In fact, it led to me having to get some blood work done because I noticed my testosterone is low Just anecdotally with like low libido and all this kind of stuff Wanted to get it checked out curious about you know All that kind of stuff with hormones and the blood work came back and said bro There's something wrong like way more wrong than you think and I started freaking out So at [00:11:00] the beginning of this year, I went through a whole bunch of blood tests and looked at specialists and talked to a whole bunch of doctors, and thankfully, now whether or not God healed me, whether or not there was nothing wrong in the first place, maybe I just had a virus, maybe there's just, fat hormones interrupting whatever blood work or whatever blood promotion or, , whatever you want to call it, but.
I don't know what it was, but over the course of three or four months, I really thought I was on the verge of like near death. And I haven't shared too much about that, but it was extremely scary. I see it now is God really using that to bring me nearer to him because in that I had to accept mortality.
I had to wonder if God was good. I had to go through all of that with the fear that My wife was pregnant and I wasn't sure if I was going to make this. And so that really drastically changed my outlook on health and fitness and how I was going about doing it. Realizing that like, for me, that's not the right diet.
For me, I don't need to be going that rip that, crushing it all the time. I need to be healthy rather than just shredded. [00:12:00] And that was a huge difference. Now I started eating more. I started eating fats. I started eating what made me satiated rather than just, well, the numbers say I'm done today. I went more into my own body, what felt good for me, and I think that's important physically, but it's also important emotionally because when you feel your body more, when you're not just so numb to everything, like, well, I guess I just sort of feel hurt all the time.
I feel inflamed all the time. Like, no, that's not how you're supposed to feel. But if you notice that you can start doing something about it. And emotions have a physiological response. Talked about this a lot. Okay. You can feel in your body. When you're getting angry, when you're upset, when something bad is happening inside of you, you should be able to have the awareness to check that and notice it in your body so that when you get to like a 3 on the anger scale, you notice like that feeling in your chest, you notice the tightness, you notice your shoulders coming up, you notice your hands clenching.
If you don't notice that, and then you get to like a 9 on the anger scale. Like you could have stopped that if you noticed your body better So these things play [00:13:00] into each other so much the hard to kill the ease of love the physical and the mental and emotional They all play into each other. So long story short I got some results a few months after the third or fourth blood test and the specialist was like Oh, you're fine.
Like there's nothing to worry about. And I pressured him and I was like, what about this? What about this? And I was like, I'm pretty sure I'm dying, dude. That's what this guy said or suggested. And that's what these numbers look like. He's like, no, you're good. And so obviously you're going to be monitoring that, maintaining that.
But I feel anecdotally, I feel much better just doing things that I know are healthy for me, that makes sense with who I am as a human. I should be eating, full parts of the animal. I should be eating things that come from around me. I should be eating. Whole foods. I shouldn't worry so much about limiting my fats and cutting super, super hard just to get the abs that can be done over a much longer timeframe.
And is it even what I want? So I think it's important in all areas of life to know what you're optimizing for. And at the time that was cool. I like to have abs. It was awesome. But it wasn't as important as feeling good and [00:14:00] feeling strong and having the energy. And again, , my energy levels are up.
I feel on fire all the time, so I'm feeling good now. But it's really important that you know why you're doing what you're doing and then listen to your body rather than just doubling down on the numbers. So I think that probably covers it. We could, like I said, we could go on for hours and hours about this kind of stuff.
I really like this, but let's move on.
The next question is how do you manage and balance keeping the finances growing and continuing to be enough for your family while being present enough with your wife and or kids and keeping your own cup full and happy? The comment on this question says sometimes you have to make hard choices between needed quality time and your goals and commitments to provide for your family now and for the future.
How do you do that well and keep a healthy emotional state for yourself? Uh, this is one of the things that I think is so important on having leadership and I'm talking about leadership in your own life. You cannot lead well your family if you're not leading yourself well and that comes down to deciding what you're optimizing for.
Like, where are you going in life? What do you want to feel like? What is most important? What are your [00:15:00] personal values? And how are you aligning those with your actions? And so when it comes to balancing finances while also being with the family, for me, I think just, just personally, it may be different for you, but integrating much of that is really helpful for me.
So I know that. Overall, yeah, I could go hardcore. I could work 16 hour days. That's how I started in business. I was working out of necessity all the time. The season that I'm in now, I realized that it's much more important for me to forego some of that. Some of that potential financial success to be with my family because these moments are precious.
I had Rory Groves in my podcast recently. He moved from the city to a farm and he started farming basically, with no, no information, no background in that, no knowledge, no wisdom in that. But it's because he made this choice to leave his software job. And he said, it's because he only gets this time once.
He's never going to have this time with his kids, this first 10 ish years. Of [00:16:00] really impactful time with his kids. And so he'd rather go all in on that, understand that it might be hard. You're not going to get everything you want with money and all the rest of that kind of stuff with status or finances, whatever.
And if he wants to chase the money game later, he's like, I can just do it then. Even though I'm probably not going to want to. And so differentiating the importance between family and finances, depending on where you are, I think is important. That brings to mind something that I see a lot of guys struggle with, especially in the West, which is like, we use someone else's opinion of what we should have to dictate our life.
So why are you continuing to work? Why are you continuing to have a, more and more? Why are you moving into the bigger house? Why do you have debt? Why do you have two or three cars? Why do you eat what you do? Why do you buy the bigger TV? If you didn't do all those things, Which you don't need, by the way, you could probably save a whole bunch of money and have a much more balanced life.
And that is sort of where we fall into now on the West Coast, the Pacific Northwest in Vancouver, specifically, things are pretty expensive. And we've thought multiple [00:17:00] times about moving elsewhere to save money, buy a home, buy some acreage, whatever. And we've continually come to the point where we're like, you know what?
We are good here for the community and the family and the lifestyle and it's okay to us Even though it wasn't before because we long we coveted that house that land all this kind of stuff We used to covet that so much but right now being intentional asking those first order questions, which are why do we live where we live?
Why do we do for work? What we do for work? Why do we raise our kids this way? By asking those questions, you can start to develop your own idea of what you want and why. What's important, what's, what you're optimizing for in life. So if you haven't asked those questions yet, don't ask me. Go and ask yourself and your wife what those questions, what the answers to those questions are.
What your expectations are, your hopes. And then really drill down to go like, Why do I want those things? So obviously not everyone is in my position. Not everyone is like creating online. Not anyone has an online business. Not everyone is even an entrepreneur. So you'll have to have these [00:18:00] questions answered in your life.
But I think that really understanding what you were like number one North star is, which for us right now is we're just in like baby having season. We're in kid raising season. And so there are going to have to be sacrifices now on the flip side of that. You obviously do need to protect and provide. I know scripture says that not providing for your family is worse than being an unbeliever, basically, which is insane.
So dads obviously protect and provide. Obviously, if you're not making ends meet, go drastic and move or get another job or work overtime or whatever you need to do to make ends meet, but then just be intentional about how you're spending the rest of your time. Like if you're, on fantasy football all the time and you're like, Oh, I just, I'm tired, man.
I don't have any time. Like, no. Stop that and go work more. Like that's partly what you have to understand is that in the seasons that we have in life, some will require you to work more. And that's maybe another tip here is understand what season you're in. Are you in moneymaking season? Cause you've got an awesome opportunity or are you in sort of contentment?
We're just going to be at this level for the next three to five years because we've got kids and that's going to [00:19:00] be okay too. Let's just make sure we're not playing into the cultural narrative of more, more, more all the time for status reasons, honestly, and that we're doing things. Actually from where we want, what our soul is calling out for us to do, rather than, being at the, the beck and call of anyone else who thinks that you should do something else.
So, yeah, I mean, doing all this stuff, emotionally healthy, doing all this stuff to have quality time for your wife and have some quiet time for yourself, you just need to prioritize. Make sure you got a morning routine, make sure you got an end of work day routine, so you don't bring work home with you.
And then schedule family time in your calendar. Honestly, guys, if it's not in your calendar, it's so easy to just put stuff on top of it. Work more here, uh, do, do nothing and, waste two, three hours on your phone or watching Netflix. Don't do that stuff. Be simple, live a simple life and go back to what you are supposed to be doing.
And as a husband and father, that should be raising your family and leading your family. So I think you will also get so much more satisfaction of life if everything you do is aiming towards your highest calling. And for me, obviously that's husband, father, it's all [00:20:00] of those things. And that is not being a billionaire right now.
As much as I would like more sure, first of all, I trust God to provide. I'm learning how to trust God to provide. I don't want to get ahead of myself because I'm like you guys, I'm, I'm not there yet. I'm, I'm constantly looking for ways to make more money and I constantly fall into these ditches of like, well, if I just work a couple extra hours and I don't come up quite on time for dinner, or if I work a little bit in the morning.
That's fine. That's a common struggle. I'm sure. But if you constantly audit your life and come back to why am I doing what I'm doing, I think you'll find that there will be a natural balance if you remove distraction. And if you only do that, which you are aiming to do, which is why it's so important to have a vision.
And a legacy roadmap, if you will, which I think we'll cover in one of these upcoming questions. So, hopefully that helps. I talked a lot about, my sort of entrepreneurial journey on a podcast. I did recently with Luke of the narrow way, man, I think his podcast is called the path. So I've posted the full episode of that [00:21:00] on this podcast.
If you go back a few episodes, you'll find that you'll hear me talk more about my journey, with all of this kind of stuff.
Next question is how do you get your family back on track after years of poor leadership when you're in your 40s and kids are teenagers? 46 haven't led my family intentionally daughter's disrespectful son is passive. They're both in high school So first of all understand I'm not there yet. So I would look for someone who has been there Who can provide actual information from wisdom, lived experience, , that would be able to help you here yet.
I think there are probably some basic foundational things that are going to be true here. And I'm only going to give a very brief overview just because, like I said, I'm not there yet. But in working with the guys I work with and in generally thinking about fatherhood, it's sort of a foundational level.
The only thing you can do right now is start and repent. And what that means is, you need to start leading. And so what are you going to do? Wait because you didn't do it in the past? It doesn't make any sense. Just start right now. But it's going to take a lot of humility, a lot of repentance, and a lot of [00:22:00] apologizing and making things right.
And I don't mean grovel. I don't mean don't accept forgiveness. I mean, look back, forgive yourself, acknowledge the fact that you do want to lead now, which is wonderful by the way, because how many guys get to your point and don't do anything? Cause they're like, either they don't even notice or they think it's too late.
So number one, give yourself that grace and then start today. Now, what might that look like? Go and apologize to your children for the way that you've acted so far and explain a little bit to them. If they're teenagers, they're going to have a little bit more understanding than sort of young kids like I've got sort of under that 11 year old mark.
But I think they'll be able to understand more if you just go out there and apologize. You can ask them for their forgiveness for anything that may have caused them harm or pain or disconnect. You can name some of those things like not showing up, not being emotionally available, not seeing them for who they are, not supporting them, not providing boundaries. Let them know that. Things are hard and the boundaries that you want to set might be hard, but that you're willing to be gracious and merciful and [00:23:00] train them along with yourself as you go, but that your core driving need and value right now is to connect with them so that they can have a better life than you had.
You probably didn't get this from your father and. And also it's still your responsibility to do something about it. So go into it with massive humility, ask for their forgiveness, make sure you're acting in a way that shows that you truly are repenting and turning towards the right way. And then continue to learn the skills.
Listen to more of this podcast, join one of our groups, join some of our courses, go talk to a coach, get some training, literal training. Like if you. were at a, at a job setting and you need to learn a new skill. You'd go and get training. And yet fatherhood and marriage is the most important thing and nobody gets training like it drives me nuts when I see guys who I'm like we've got the courses, we've got the community, we've got the coaching and this is the most important thing and you're telling me that you'd rather spend a thousand bucks on like a workplace thing to make you better at like programming or something than you would [00:24:00] on spending the money to make sure you're an amazing husband and father that leaves a legacy like That doesn't make any sense.
So I'm calling out everybody who isn't where they want to be. There are men out there like me, like the guys I work with who have gone through stuff, who at least can share wisdom, who at least can condense everything that they've learned. Like the amount of books and trainings and workshops and courses and coaches that I've gone through, I can at least distill that and then discern what worked for me in my own experience and give that to you so that you don't have to suffer for as long as I did.
So if you need to learn, if you don't know where to start, that's what I would recommend. Read books, listen to podcasts, get some courses, get some coaching, and then repent and then move forward and look for their forgiveness. It's not going to be perfect, But again, one of the things that Rory Gross said, who I mentioned just previously, he said to me, like the redemption arc, the story of redemption in my life is perhaps going to be more powerful in my children's lives than if I was just a great dad all along.
So show them your genuine change, show them your genuine humility and vulnerability, and then [00:25:00] get to work. I think it's awesome that you're doing this at this stage because too many guys would just pack it in. You're not going to do that. So there's great hope.
All right. Next question. As fathers are working on creating massive vision, what are some of the questions they should ask themselves?
How does a father create a vision that is not only inspiring, but can gain traction in everyday life? So one of the things I work with our clients on is creating what I call the leadership and legacy framework. This is basically a family business plan. This is how you want to run your family, where you want to go, what your vision, what your values, what your goals are, where you are now, how you're going to get to where you want to go.
And it's this whole program. It's this whole experience that gives you basically a map. To follow and it's super helpful. So some of those things are number one, where do you want to be at the end of your life? Like, who do you want to have become? What do you want your life to have stood for? What do you want to have accomplished?
Get very clear. Like when you're on your deathbed and you've got that moment where your life flashes before your eyes, do you want it to be full of regret? Because you didn't do anything and you were unintentional and you just like wasted all your time on distraction and work. Or do you want to be like, man, [00:26:00] there was nothing I could have given more.
And I am so satisfied. Well, what would satisfaction look like? Start there. The end of life, the biggest vision you could possibly have. I also like to break this down into like chunks. So the next one I would do is like a 10 year visualization. Where do you want to be 10 years from now? If everything went right, what could you accomplish all the way across the board?
Family, finances, where you live, your faith, all those kinds of things. Where would you be 10 years from now? If everything worked out really perfectly and then take that back and go, what do I need to do a year from now? 10 percent at a time. How would you get to that 10 year vision that would lead you to the longterm lifelong vision?
By taking action today, eventually you'll pair that with the habits every single day that you'd need to then make that one year result true and then make that 10 year result true and then make that lifelong result true. So we're pairing the lifelong vision with the daily habits and they have to inform one another.
And that is how you don't fall off habits. And that is how you become the man you want to become at the end of your life.[00:27:00]
You also need to ask what your goals are for parenting and marriage. What are you doing as a father? Who are you trying to make your kids become? What training will they need? What virtues and characteristics would you like to instill in them? Not, Oh, I hope they're a doctor one day. Like, no, whatever. That doesn't matter.
What matters is, are they going to be good human beings? Are they going to have these characteristics, these virtues? Same thing with your marriage. Take a blank slate, imagine for a second, what an ideal marriage would look like for you, not for anyone else for you. What do you want out of marriage? Who do you want to be as a husband?
How would you love, serve and sacrifice for your wife ideally? And then start playing that out. If you don't know where you're going, you're never going to be able to get there. So literally. Write down on a piece of paper or like a thousand pieces of papers, because that's typically what I do is I just journal, just get some paper and write and ask yourself questions.
Why this? Why that? Why do I feel this way? Why do I want that and get down to the absolute nitty gritty values, which comes next. You've got your goals, you've got your longterm vision. What are your values? What informs [00:28:00] what you're going to do next? You should have a list of say five core values that you can use as a decision making framework, like a matrix almost where you're like, Hey, I want to start this new business and I've told this story before I want to start this new business, does it align with my top five values?
Number one, does it give me the freedom of schedule time and relationship that I want? No. Okay. Well, I'm not doing that. And then everything else you do in life starts to fall in alignment with who you actually. Okay. So those things are so important. You've got your values, your goals, you've got the long term vision.
I also like to have things in here, like, family rules, family mission statement, family story, bring your family into it because yes, you should have these values and vision and goals for your life. You should also, as the family leader, have them for your family and. They might not be the exact same.
What are you able and willing to sacrifice for the good of your family? When you bring everybody else into it, what does your wife need? Who does she want to be? How are you going to help her get there? What are your kids need? How are you going to help them get there as a family unit? And how are you [00:29:00] going to make sure that your family?
It goes on for generations on the path that you wish for them to go. That takes intentional action, leadership, and planning. So all of these things just need to be thought about written down at the very basic core of it all. Use some of what I've just said for like launching off points, then just write it down.
Find out what skills you need, find out what actions you need to take and then get to work. It doesn't have to be fancy. It just needs to be there and then acted upon action is the antidote to average. Hopefully that helps. You guys can get a start on your vision plans for your family.
There's another question here that's kind of similar to the second one, which is how do you balance ambition and contentment? The comment on this question is that I've found great joy in cultivating an appreciative contentment with my life in the present, but it feels like that can reduce the energy or fire with which I pursue wise ambitions.
Generational vision for my family, impact on the world, spiritual growth and personal mastery, et cetera. I think the world will genuinely be weaker if I stay satisfied with how things are instead of how they could be, but I'll sacrifice joy and presence [00:30:00] and reduce my capacity for sustainable effort.
If I'm not drawing from deep wells of contentment. Best answer so far is appreciate what's good. Appreciate the process and maintain the vision. But I'm curious about your thoughts. Is it okay or good to remain dissatisfied with the current state of things and let that drive me? Is there a way to be genuinely, deeply rooted in contentment without losing my fire?
I asked this question to someone once I said, like, how do you maintain the ambition, the fire, but also like, be really aware, be really intentional. And the answer was like, be intentionally ambitious, be aware of your ambitions. Like, oh, okay. And that's actually a pretty good answer. Because if you're aware of it and you're not looking at it as though it's a dichotomy, like, Ooh, contentment or ambition, why do they have to be different?
For me, like I said before, I try to align everything based on values and goals and visions. And so if I'm doing something that doesn't bring me fire, I'm like, wait a second, is this actually in alignment with what I want? And so I would ask yourself, like, are your ambitions actually what you want based on being a family?
Have you [00:31:00] died to that immature version of self that puts you first Or are you still trying to live out childish dreams? Like who cares about the impact on the world if you are not serving your family? I think that it would be great if you had an impact on the world, but not at the expense of your family.
Our families, our wife and kids are like our most direct disciples. If we're not leading them to Jesus, if we're not leading them in the path that they should go, then who cares what we do with the world? And I think about that a lot. Like I'm obviously doing the work I'm doing. In the so called public spotlight, I got to make sure that everything I'm doing at home is aligned.
otherwise I'm going to be a fake, So how do I not be a fake by showing up? Well, it's by doing the things I know I need to do and pulling back from showing it by actually doing it.
If I help all of you guys change your family's lives and my family suffering in the background. That doesn't make any sense. I don't care about that. I will sooner turn off Instagram podcast, email everything. If my family is suffering because I'm not putting my energy where it needs to go. So again, guys, it's all [00:32:00] about this prioritization.
Ask yourself for everything. What am I optimizing for here? If it is not family, you're probably doing it wrong. Okay. A lot of us still have these selfish, immature, childish ambitions that we want to do this, we want to have this. You cannot have it all. Okay? That is one of the things that Western Society has told us is, Hey, you can have everything you want.
Be whoever you want. Choose whatever you want. Do whatever you want. If you don't, well then like you got an old ball and chain. Or the family is not conducive to independence, which is the highest virtue. That's bunk. You are going to be so much more content. You are going to be so much better as a man by the end of your life, but also every single day.
If you put other people first, how much can you serve? And that starts with family because that is who you are responsible to In this life, you made the commitment to your wife. You ought be loving her like Christ loved the church, which is sacrificial to the point of death.
That is what you selected when you married her. Your kids did not ask to be born, and so you are then [00:33:00] responsible to raise them up in the way that they should go. If you suffer on those things, you're doing it wrong. So again, it doesn't make it bad that you've got ambition. I think men have a drive to create and do more and do new things and adventure and go out into the world and do amazing things.
But if it's just because like, Ooh, I want to feel important, then go feel important at home. Because if you don't feel important at home, you're doing something wrong in the first place. So try to balance those things by just aligning everything you do with your values, with a All that work I just talked about.
And then, yeah, man, if you're ambitious, great, but bring your family along with you and make sure that you know what season you're in and make sure you know intentionally what choices you're making so that you're not just going out there to make yourself feel puffed up, feel good, feel prideful, feel arrogant.
The last thing I want to say on this is so many of us seek glory in the world because we were never affirmed by our fathers.
And that's something that is tragic. That is why doing this work, it's so hard because it's a double edged sword. We see, Oh, our fathers didn't [00:34:00] actually give us this stuff we need. And so we're trying to fill this father sized hole with money, with fame, with being slapped on the back by other people saying, Hey, good job.
We're looking for that good job. We're looking for the affirmation, the love and the identity of the father. And then we also see if we don't do that to our kids, our kids are going to have the exact same thing and we can see it happening when we, when we fail. And so for, for anyone out there listening who didn't get that affirmation from the father, who is looking at porn or sex or drugs or workaholism or fitness or whatever to fill that father sized hole in your heart that you can probably feel if I point it out.
The only way that that gets filled. Is by finding a perfect father who can do that. And that's going to be God, the father through Jesus Christ. So if you don't know Jesus, that's the only way you're ever going to get that father sized hole filled. Trust me, I've looked everywhere. I've tried it myself.
I've tried to be that father figure for myself. And yeah, you can do a whole bunch of stuff to make yourself feel better. You can become internally referenced, but unless you know that [00:35:00] the creator of the universe. Loves you and created you the exact way you are and will never forsake you and cannot be taken The love cannot be taken from you between death or this life or demons or whatever like there's so much that goes into this you'll never fill that hole.
So if this ambition is coming from a lack You've got to fill that lack and the only way to do that is through Christ. So I would encourage you to do that. If you have any questions, obviously ask me. I'd be happy to help with the tiny amount of stuff I know just because this is my own story as well. So hopefully that answers some of it and we're gonna move on to the next question, which is as an executor and someone who likes to get things done for men, who's been in that lone wolf identity.
What are the challenges that you faced stepping into fatherhood? How do you think about the next 12 to 24 months of your life? All right. All right. It's almost like there's a couple of questions in there. The lone wolf identity, stepping into fatherhood, you cannot be a lone wolf. Like lone wolves die. I don't know if you've ever read about what happens to lone wolves in reality, but they don't take down big game. They don't thrive. They're not going to do very well because they're alone and wolves have to operate in a pack.
And it's much like men [00:36:00] fathers, especially need brothers. They don't need bros. They don't need someone to like watch the game with and drink a beer with. They need brothers who can see them, who can hear them, who can support them and love them and challenge them. And so as a father especially, you cannot be that island.
Your kids will need to hear from other men. You will need to be given wisdom from other men because we do not have time in this life, even if you live to 150, to gain all the knowledge and wisdom that you need to raise a good family. It doesn't work like that. So surround yourself with men immediately.
Bite the bullet to be vulnerable and authentic and honest and share the things that you think nobody else can hear because they're so shameful. They're not, people are not as unique as you think your story is not super special. I don't say that disparagingly. I mean, like if you share with a bunch of other men, you'll realize.
Your problems, other people have dealt with them. Other people can help you with them. Other people can support you in that. And especially something as life changing as fatherhood, when your kids are going to bring stuff up on you, when the new responsibilities are going to challenge who you thought you were.
You need other men who have been there. You need other men who can [00:37:00] have your back. You need other men who can support you in this. So don't go it alone. No matter what the world tells you, you absolutely need a brotherhood. So join a community, join a men's group, get a mentor, do something to do that. And when you're getting stuff done, yeah, you want to put everything else first.
Sometimes it can be hard to just sit and be with the family and do nothing, quote unquote. You're not actually doing nothing. You're literally doing the most important thing, but it can feel like nothing because you're not working. Okay. So that was a challenge for me is how do I do the next thing? Okay. I felt this feeling.
I'm, I'm doing this work. Now what? How do I do it? Even like trusting God, I'm like, okay, God, your timing. Now, what do I do? It's like, oh, just rest. Like, well, I can't like, what do I do though? No, you just rest. So there's a lot of that action that you will have to take for the right reasons. We've talked a lot about that on this episode already.
But you're also gonna need to learn how to like chill out and be with your family because they need your presence. They need you to be there with them and for them. They need you to see them and love them and, and take them along [00:38:00] this journey as the leader that they can trust and feel safe with. That safety piece is huge.
And if you're constantly a go-getter who can't slow down at all, You're not going to develop that psychological, emotional, spiritual safety for them. So there's a ton of challenges stepping into fatherhood. Obviously a a lot of us also don't know what to do because we never got taught that.
I've already talked about that. get a mentor, read some books, take some courses, hire a coach, listen to podcasts. There's a lot of stuff you can do. Now the second question of that, how do I think about the next 12 to 24 months of my life? Well, it's mostly baby having season. It's child rearing season. It is solidifying everything season. It is continuing to develop my relationship with God season. And it's a season of doing what I want to do. Away from what everybody else expects of me, not that anyone even expects anything from me, but my conditioning, my past, whatever, my, my belief system is still conditioned to think that people want me to do certain things that I should be doing certain things so that I can get the result that is acceptable to other people, [00:39:00] because that's still where I fall.
Now, a lot of work has been done on that and things are just falling away. From, my life, bad things are just falling away. Praise God for that. And I'm just moving into what do I want to do? I wanted for a long time to be everything to everyone so that everyone would like me so I can help everyone.
And that's just not okay. That's just not who I am. It's just not what I can do. And I've noticed that in trying to do that, I have had a very difficult time keeping up on everything and performing and then doing everything I've just talked about, by showing up at home. And so I'm going to be really stepping into this next 12 to 24 months of what I want to do and not like in a selfish way, not like I'm just going to do whatever.
I'm going to go on a bender. Like, I don't want to do that. I want to serve. I want to bring glory to God. I want to love my family. I want to continue to grow this movement of fathers who are not willing to settle for mediocre, who didn't have a role model, but who want to become a role model. That's all going to be what I want to do.
That's all going to take many, many years. And so, yeah, it's going to be. Yeah. The long, [00:40:00] slow ballgame that gets us there, but it's going to be the way that I am gifted to do it. I thought for the longest time that I had to be everything because I was pretty good at everything, and I was, a high performer, whatever, so I'll just do everything.
But those aren't like the true things that hit my values. And what if I just operated inside of my values? What if I just did what I wanted to do? And what if I gave up the earning potential of doing what everyone else says is the right thing by just doing what I want, and maybe it's not perfect. Maybe it's not everything to everyone right now, but maybe it's really good for some people who need it.
And so that's like, I love talking to this podcast. I love having conversations. I really love doing this. And this is where I want to spend a lot of my time. Now, podcasts are so hard to grow. There's no like built in search engines. There's no algorithm. It's like, Hey, I hope that you tell your friends.
I hope that you leave a review because that's the only way it seems to be, getting in the, the, ears of more men who need it. And so please help me out on that because yeah, we're going to be going hard on this cause I just love it. And I think it's super helpful. But we're also going to be doing things like creating a community and, sort [00:41:00] of an all access pass for the courses we've got so that more men can get in. Because right now I'm only really working with guys inside of our group coaching program, which is a, pretty high ticket for, for the average guy, I would say it definitely worth it.
I've, you know, had guys make significant, sacrifices to be able to join us because it is life and marriage saving. But I know that some guys just. Aren't ready for that. So probably what we're going to do is create this sort of like all access pass that'll include all the courses, a community, and it's just going to be guys that gather together who like this stuff, guys who buy into what we're doing at dad work, guys who want to be like epic multi generational family leaders.
Who are doing their best, but probably never had, again, that role model, that father figure, to teach them how. So through the collective wisdom of everyone, I think it's going to be an incredible community. Maybe even do some live events, get together, have a way to do that. And is it the most efficient thing?
Is it the most profitable thing? No, but it's what I want to do. I want to spend my time there. I want to develop relationships. Want you guys to develop relationships with [00:42:00] each other because I know what a brotherhood can do. I know what like a group of men can do, what fellowship can do. It is absolutely life changing.
And so my big vision here, my, my ultimate vision is basically like everybody in the Western world, English speaking world knows what dad work is if they're a father in the same way that they're like, Oh, of course I've read. What to expect when you're expecting like whatever, whatever the book is that everyone read, right?
I want all the dads to be like, well, of course I took a dad work course like duh everyone does , but that's super long term, right? So in that in that next year or two I want to start laying the groundwork for that so that we get this really natural flow Of guys who are like, hey, there's four or five of us in vancouver Hey, there's like 10 of us in New York.
Let's meet up. Hey, we're going to come and have like a once a year meet up with all of our families, or we're going to have like a once a year weekend where the dads get together and brainstorm and plan for the next year and just get edified by speakers and, and time together. So anyway, I'm just riffing now on what I'm looking at in the next year or two, but, we're gonna spend a lot of time raising our kids.
They're going to be. Let's see over the [00:43:00] next year right now, they're 10, eight, three and seven months. So this is like a pivotal time in all of their lives for all different reasons. And that's, we're going to be focusing on. We're going to come up on our 12th year anniversary in a few months here. So, focusing on that as well, and just really building the local community for us has taken a long time, but it is starting to bear fruit.
And that's a beautiful thing. So, , anyway, that's me next 12, 24 months. Last question I think we'll get into here, which is my wife and I don't share the same interests. This is tough to balance. We love each other and love spending time together. She's so gentle, peaceful, caring. I'm an adrenaline guy, love the outdoors, high energy stuff.
She hates when I want to go away backcountry camping or hunting. She much prefers hanging around the house while I have a deep, deep need to be outside, interacting with other people, interfacing with the world. We enjoy how we balance each other out and provide opposite perspectives, but also the differences in joy seeking is a sticky point.
So this is something that I think you're going to have to work out with your wife and it's going to take conversations. Obviously. I think that if you're doing this right, you're probably being respectful. You're like, Hey, babe, it's really important to me [00:44:00] to do this. I'm going to need, X amount of times to go out.
I know that you don't love that. So let's make sure we have X amount of times to stay in and together. This is going to be the best, because if I don't go out, I will perform worse. And I'll do my best not to do that. But I just know in my heart and my soul, I've got to be outside. I've got to be interacting.
So if you don't want to come. That's totally okay. We'll make sure that this works and I'm not going to take away from the family as much as possible. And yet I need those couple of recharges. I need my soul to be filled up throughout the year so that I can actually perform better when I'm at home. So yes, it might seem like a sacrifice if I'm gone for like a couple of days or a week sometimes.
But actually, if you look at the longterm perspective over the course of a year in our lifetime, we're going to have a way better marriage and family if I can make sure that I get my soul filled that way. Now, of course, I understand. Honey, that you want to be connected with me. You want to stay in, you want to do those things and really connect again.
That's awesome. We're going to do that as often as possible. And those are my expectations. Could you honey share what your expectations are here? How [00:45:00] can we work together? Because if she's saying like, well, you can just never go out. Okay. Well, is that a reasonable expectation? I would say no. And so what are you going to do about that?
Are you going to be like, okay, honey, well, I'm just going to be, I'm just going to do that. And then you're going to get angry. You're going to get resentful. It'll drive you apart. You're the leader, you get to decide what the actual outcome here is. So be respectful, have the conversation, ask for each other's expectations.
Explain why it is so important to you. Ask why it is so important to her that she has her viewpoints and then come to a decision based on like a mutual understanding, this is one of those ones where I would just lay it all out. And if it is a sticky point, then I think that you're just not in agreement here and that's okay, but it's time to put in the work to get to that agreement. Now, if you are completely unable and unwilling to get to an agreement that points to a deeper issue, either one of you guys has an expectation that is unreasonable. You have an unsaid assumption about what marriage should be or what the roles in marriage should be, and you've got to hash that out at the end of the day, if you are not willing.
To sacrifice some for your [00:46:00] wife, then yeah, you got to look at yourself. But if your wife is also not willing to make some sacrifices for you, I would say that's not a well ordered marriage. And you're going to have to both do some work to figure out how to get on the same page. It's going to be potentially messy.
It's going to be uncomfortable. You've got to learn how to rock the boat, while maintaining respect and service and sacrifice and love.
But yeah, I think the difference here is that if she hated going with you, that would be one thing, but the fact that she hates that you go, , I would just, I would poke on that a little bit and be like, Where are you getting caught here? What does it feel like to you when I go away? How can we get on the same page here? What are you expecting here? Why are you frustrated when I go away? And again, like if you're going away all the time, then yeah, check yourself. But if she's like, Oh no, you can't go away even once.
Then you got to have those hard conversations. You got to lead and be like, I am going to go away and it's going to be the most accessible time. It's going to be the time that is least impactful for you. So that I don't screw up the family. But I do need to go and with enough lead time, I'd like to make sure we work together to set this up for success.
So then you make sure you go out of your way to set her up for [00:47:00] success. So basically I'd open up the lines of communication, I'd try to get on the same page in terms of the expectations, the assumptions, and just understand that it's okay that you guys are different, it's okay that you have different ways of communicating and experiencing joy, and that you should both sacrifice to serve one another in this as long as it's not to the detriment of the family as a whole, and that includes resentment.
So if you're like, okay, well, it's, I'm just going to sacrifice because she doesn't want me to do this, but then you like get upset about it, that's not good for the family. So make the choice like. So that's how I would at least think about that. And again, have that conversation, just navigate through that and just don't let it fester.
Don't let it sit. Don't let it go unanswered. Just keep going for it until you guys come to an agreement that you both understand.
All right, we've got a lot more questions, so I'll do another Q and A episode in a while in between some of these interviews. But if you guys have listened to here, I appreciate you. I hope that was valuable for the time that you've spent listening. I know that you could be listening to many other podcasts and I truly appreciate that you guys are here.
So again, if you want to be supportive of this work, if you want to support the dad work [00:48:00] movement, if you want to be sort of on the ground floor, would you please leave a review wherever you're listening? Would you follow and subscribe wherever you're listening? And if there is. Something in here that you think would help someone that you know, Or you have a group of people that you could share this with. Would you consider doing that for me so that we can get this into the ears of more men, if it's been benefiting you, if you think that even just, if we don't even have the right answers, but we have the right convictions, would you just share that so that we can all grow together?
This is going to be something that I cannot do alone. This is something that I want all of your support. And this is something that I want the world. To see and to push back against what's happening. Fathers have become so weak and that is not our fault for the most part. And yet it is our responsibility to do something about that.
We've got to push back against a culture that is discipling our children into evil. And if you're not willing to step up and do that as a father, who's going to. And I think it's just so tragic that we see people not knowing what to do or how to do it. And so they're letting their kids be, again, discipled by school, by classmates, by culture.[00:49:00]
And they're coming back with identity issues. It's just like. A child who knows their identity through their father and hopefully through Christ will not have issues wondering who they are, who they're meant to be. So that is our role here. Let's do this together. Let's continue to grow this thing together.
And I appreciate you guys. Let me know if I can do anything else for you. Follow along dadwork. kurt on Instagram. If you're not on our email list, I've been sending a weekly newsletters. You can sign up at dad. work slash challenge. That is our 10 day elite dad challenge. Not only will you get signed up for the newsletter.
But I'll send you 10 days of emails that will go into exactly how I think you can become a better man, husband, and father in just 10 days. All right, guys, thanks for listening. That's it for now. Enjoy the rest of your week. Peace.
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