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Today’s guest is Blake Brewer.

We go deep today talking about:

  • How a dream vacation turned into a nightmare for Blake and his family
  • How he rebounded from the devastation without losing himself in drugs, alcohol, or destructive behaviours
  • The life-changing impact a letter from a father has on a child’s life
  • How staring death in the face has impacted Blake’s life as a father
  • How you can leave a legacy that truly matters by writing a Legacy Letter (including the most important parts to include, and a free outline to help you)

Blake Brewer is on a mission to help 1 million dads write at least one well written, meaningful, lasting Legacy Letter to their children.

Blake has a wonderful wife and loves being a father to his three children, all under 5.  As he leads his family, he draws from many mentors, but none more important than his late father Larry Brewer.

Find Blake online at:
Free Legacy Letter Template Download: https://dad.work/legacyletter/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/blakecbrewer/

Resources mentioned:

Unknown Speaker 0:00

If you are the foundation of your family, you are the firm footing. They build their lives on. You carry a glorious burden and you never dream of laying it down. You carry it with joy and gratitude. You show up, even when you don't feel like it. You lead, serve, love and protect. You are a father. This is the dead word podcast where men are forged into elite husbands and fathers by learning what it takes to become harder to kill, easier to love and equipped to lead. Get ready to start building the only legacy that truly matters, your family

Curt Storring 1:00

welcome back to data or podcast guys, this is your host Curt Storring. And I am pleased to be joined today by Blake Brewer Blake is on a mission to help 1 million dads write at least one well written meaningful, lasting legacy letter to their children. Blake has a wonderful wife and loves being a father to his three children all under five. As he leads his family he draws from many mentors, but none more important than his late father, Larry Brewer, you can find him on LinkedIn, Blake C. Brewer is the name on that. You can also get your free legacy letter outline at Dad.Work slash legacy letters. You're gonna be learning through this podcast What a legacy letter is how to make one. But Blake has set this up such that if you just go to Dad.Work slash legacy letter, you'll be able to download for free the actual template to use because guys, this is a life changing letter that we're going to get into here. It might sound like what are you guys talking about a life changing letter a legacy letter, like doesn't make any sense. I promise you, Blake is going to get into his story and the letter he received from his father, that probably changed his life forever. So guys, you're gonna want to listen to this. And by the end of it, you're absolutely going to break out the pen and the paper and get ready because this is a gift that you can give your children that will last a lifetime and will leave a true legacy. It's insane. So we talked about how a dream vacation turned into a nightmare for Blake and his family. That's his story that I just mentioned how he rebounded from the devastation without losing himself in drugs, alcohol or destructive behaviors. The life changing impact a letter from a father has on a child's life, have staring death in the face has impacted Blake's life as a father and how you can leave a legacy that truly matters by writing a legacy letter yourself which as I said you can do going to Dad.Work slash legacy letter. Alright guys, that's it for the intro. We're gonna get into this conversation with Blake brewery. Here we go. Alright, welcome back. Dads. We are here with another episode of the deadwood Podcast. I'm joined by Blake Brewer today. And dude, I am very excited because our missions are actually very similar. And you have a very specific way of getting guys to do the work to leave a legacy. And that's one of the things I've been talking about a lot. The legacy that truly matters is your family. Not some name on a university building, not whatever cars you've got. So first of all, thank you for doing this. Thank you for speaking up because this is a it's a dramatic story, dude. And I almost feel bad asking you to rehash it. But first of all, thank you welcome. And how are you doing today?

Blake Brewer 3:13

Curt, I'm doing great, man. Thanks so much for having me on. I am excited because as you said, we really want the same thing. We want to help men, we want to help dads live for what truly matters. And so I am excited to dive in to what we're going to talk about today.

Curt Storring 3:29

Nice and no wonder like, here's the thing I know you've told this story a million times before, but the guys that listen to this podcast, probably haven't heard it. So this all starts with a tragic event. And I wonder if you want to just recount that for us as best you can. Because I think this lays the groundwork, both from you as the child's perspective. But now you as a father, I can only imagine there's like this massive wealth of lessons that you've taken from this that's really spurned an entire industry of sorts that you have created or spurred, I should say, but would you just start us off with where this all came from?

Blake Brewer 4:03

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I mean, my dad did something really amazing for me with his words, which I believe the most powerful words spoken on the planet are spoken by a father and my dad did something to increase the impact of those words and really make them lasting. So when I was 19 years old, I got a call from my mom. I was a freshman at university, and she said, We're going on a trip to Hawaii and I said, Heck yeah, let's go. I'd never been firstly that we were there. We were all out on the beach and everyone laid down except for my dad. My dad said we're in Hawaii. I'm not laying down. I'm going back out in the water. And so I ran to catch up with him. My dad was a really a good dad. He wasn't a perfect dad. And but he was really my hero. And so as I was as I was standing next to him on the beach, I told him I still felt like a little kid standing next to my dad, even though I was 19 years old. Part of that well As my dad was a really big guy, so he had been drafted to play tight in for the Atlanta Falcons. But his main claim to fame is that he was Terry Bradshaw is tied in at Louisiana Tech. And so they were best friends and roommates. And if you know anything about Terry Bradshaw, you can imagine some of the stories that came out of that. And my dad was a really humble guy, though, so he hardly ever told anyone that he was Terry Bradshaw was tied in. But I told everybody, it was like my claim to fame growing up, my dad looked at me. And when with a big smile on his face, that I'm glad that you're out here with me. And it really made me feel like a million bucks. So we put on our snorkel gear, we head out into the water having an amazing time, but we kept going further and further out. And we ended up in an area that I now know, it's called witch's brew, which is known for its treacherous waters, and it was treacherous that day. And so there was a point where I realized I didn't see my dad anymore. And so as I was scanning the water looking for him, I, I saw him through the waves, and I can tell that he was not doing well. He was treading water. But he began to yell for help. And my dad had this really big, deep, booming voice, but as yell for help, was more like I could look for when he was looking right at me. And he said, Man, I need help. I need help. And so I swam to him as quickly as I could. By the time I got to my dad, he was underneath the water, and he was unconscious. And so my mind is racing, but I knew I had to get my dad to shoulder as quickly as I could I put my arms around my dad. To the best of my ability, I tried to swim with him holding his head above water. Luckily, some nearby snow, snorkelers saw what was going on, they showed up and helped me get my dad to shore. And the lifeguards are doing CPR to my dad, and I was on my hands and knees next to my dad, just crying out to God, like God, would you please save my dad's life. And I really thought that it was going to be like, in the movies that he was just going to come to at any moment, like the water is going to come out of his mouth, his eyes are going to flicker open and everything's gonna be okay. But it never happened until my dad ended up drowning. And it went literally from one of the best moments of my life. And in a matter of minutes, it's it's the worst moment. And I'm sitting there asking myself, like, how are we about to make it without my dad? No, how am I going to make it without my dad and just thinking man, like, I'm never gonna see my dad smile again. So it was a few hours after that, that we're back in the condo, and I'm sitting at the edge of the bed, still just in total disbelief. Sitting on the edge of the bed, and my mom walked in to the room, she appeared in the doorway. And she said I was going through your dad's briefcase, and I found something, found something that I know he was going to give you on this trip. I had no idea what she was talking about. But she gets these sheets of paper in her hand and she walks across the room and hands it to me. And I look at the top and it says Dear Blake now. And Marcus goes a letter. And that's my sister and brother's name. And apparently my dad had been working on this letter for several months, two or three months, having no idea that he was going to die having no idea that this would be his final words to me. But as I began to read this letter, man, it was it was everything that I needed. In that moment. Even before I was halfway done with it, I just I felt so loved. Like, like, like, don't tell me my dad didn't love me. Like my dad was a hospital administrator. He reffed football games for fun. He was very involved in our church. Like he was a really busy guy. And now that I'm a dad, like I see how busy you are. It's hard. It's difficult to do like things like this. But yeah, my dad took the time to write that letter. And to put on paper how it felt about us to give us some advice. Part of the thing that my dad did in this letter, he really helped me understand who I was, in my identity. Like I am the son of Larry Brewer. Like this is what it means to be the son of Larry Brewer. And it just gave me a sense of confidence. And then my dad was it was a man of faith. And so my really the best thing my dad did for me as my earthly father, he connected me to my heavenly Father. And so I believe that only God could have allowed my dad to write this. But the last line of this letter, my dad wrote, as you're being faithful to the Bible, you're often going to find yourself in the minority here on Earth, but I can assure you that in heaven, you'll be in the majority. Love your dear old Add in. So I read that thinking, I'm gonna see my dad smile again. You know it, like get it, I just started thinking about my time here on Earth and how short it is compared to eternity. And so my dad's letter, one of the things that it did is it provided a sense of purpose for me than it really redirected my life to live for what matters, and to live to serve other people and to help other people. And so I was in an immense amount of pain. I mean, I was, I mean, that next year, I would like almost every night, like I'm reliving that day in my life. And I could have easily as I was having thoughts of me, and is this Was that my fault? Like, like, could we have done something different? Like, do I need to be responsible for this, but I never felt that. Like, I never felt like Like, honestly, my dad's words, just protected me from from going down that that road and feeling any shame or anything from that. And so as I got to the end of that year, I had several therapists and counselors say like, like you've, you've dealt with this in a very healthy way, compared to most people. And I attribute that to my dad's letter, I mean, I could have easily been trying to escape the pain that I was feeling with drugs and alcohol, or girls, like I know myself, I could have, but I didn't To be honest, like I linked in more and my relationship with God and LinkedIn more to my friends and family. And I had some mentors in my life that I'm very thankful for. And that next year, I honest, I came, came out stronger than I was before. And I attribute it all to my dad's letter. And so I'm just so grateful. And then as I started graduating college and started my career, and then started, got married, started having kids, like my dad's letter has continued to be they're continuing to guide me and continue to enhance him. I mean, I literally don't know what I would do without my dad writing that letter.

Curt Storring 12:01

Well, man, thank you for sharing that. That's like I got, I got the tears behind my eyes, I can feel them. Because both the empathy to hear what you went through, and also almost the desire to have that from my father. And it's interesting. My dad died when I was I think 25 was like eight years ago or something like that. And I wrote him a letter afterward to help clear the pain, because it was very sudden was a heart attack. And he just died immediately at age 50. So like, I can't imagine was like to see that and be there. And I'm so sorry, had to go through that. But so thankful for what it led to. But could you just touch on like the first year or two or five? Even like, I know, you said, you lean on the letter, you lean on the Lord? What else did that look like to process? Because, you know, surely there was some? I don't want to say action. But processing might be the best word like did you simply have to talk to other people? Did you just have to cry? Did you write anything down? Like, what was your? I don't want to say getting over. But I think you know what I mean there so that maybe other guys were struggling with this who don't have that letter? Is there anything else beyond that? That did help? I mean, what a blessing to have that letter, but it was there anything else you did in that time?

Blake Brewer 13:15

Yeah, I think it was really valuable, valuable for me to have people in my life that I could talk to about it. And what I learned through it, I mean, I wanted to talk to if someone was willing to listen, then I was more than willing to share. So I actually learned through that, that when I do encounter people that are hurting, for whatever reason, like something painful has happened, that if appropriate, it's okay for me to ask them questions. And give them that opportunity to to talk about it. It was really healing for me to be able to do that. And I was able to talk to my, my mom and my dad's mom. I mean, we're all feeling the same pain together. Like we're all missing my dad together. So. But I think also, too, I had some mentors in my life that as I wanted to now live for God and live for His purposes, they began to help me talk to other people about their relationship with God, which I had never done before. And I was scared to do it. And I remember the first time I did it, and I shared the story of my dad. And I was like, man, and I could tell that it really helps this person as I shared the story of my dad with some of the things that they were working through in their life. And I was like, Man, that was awesome. Like to talk to this guy about honestly, where he was going to spend eternity. And so really, for the next while, I would say ever since then, but especially those next few years, I was in college, like that's where I spend a lot of my time kind of mentoring other people.

Curt Storring 14:49

Yeah, that's so good, man. And that is, those are always the hardest things I found is that a lot of guys and a lot of men don't ever get to that point where they're like, oh, I should actually talk to people about this and from II and sounds like for you like a lot of the acceptance of that being important was through tragedy. And so I hope guys listening don't have to get hit by the Mack truck before they're like, oh, I can actually just talk to other good men. And I think that's probably important too, that it's good man. But when your dad is writing this, like, Do you have any idea? Do you know where he got the idea himself? Because this is like, what what was this? 9020 years ago? I think you said, like, this is not the sort of thing that most dads are doing. Where do you think he came up with this?

Blake Brewer 15:28

Man, I have no idea. And I get asked that a lot. I would love to know if there was a person in my life who encouraged him to do it. I would love to go thank that person. Now, and I think we'll get into it. But no, this is what I do. I help other people write this letter, I encourage them in the intro part of the letter to talk about why you're writing the letter, but also talk about where you got the idea. And also, especially if someone's going through my program to say, Hey, I got some help writing this letter, because there's no shame in saying you got some help. Because the things that matter the most to us in life, like in business or you know, whatever, like you get, like I tell, you know, Tom Brady has a quarterback coach. He's the best quarterback of all time, but he still has a coach to help him. He still has this fitness coach. I don't know what this guy does. But he helps Tom Brady look like he's 22 Even though he's 45. And Tom Brady's not doing that on his own, so might help him? And why does he hire someone to help him because it matters. And so for the things that matter to us, like we get help. And so when you're writing this letter, and you say you got help, what are you saying, Hey, you matter and this letter matter? And I want to get it right, so I guess I got some help.

Curt Storring 16:37

Man, that's such an important point that I try and tell the guys that I work with as well. And obviously the ones that work with me get this but there's so many guys who are like, I got a golf coach, or I got you know, what a finance coach, I got a business coach. Okay, what's most important your life? Oh, my family? For sure. It's like, okay, well, what kind of investment are you making with that? Oh, well, like I read a book 10 years ago, it's like, come on, this is the most important thing you could do.

Blake Brewer 17:01

All of a sudden, the budget is tight, too tight. Yeah.

Curt Storring 17:05

Oh, yeah. My Netflix and Disney plus, oh, I don't think I do the car payment. It's like, No, dude, this is literally the most important thing you could do is invest in yourself. And before we get into that specific piece, I want to hear where else this has impacted you, as a father now, and as a man throw, because you said the first few years it was like, man, you're able to lean on that and what a gift or an absolute gift for any child at any age. But you lean on that the first few years. How else have you come back to this letter? Or have you like, do you read it every year? What does that look like in your life now? From this whole, you know, terrible beginnings, but there was really a gift.

Blake Brewer 17:38

Yeah, I think about there was a time in my marriage. Like, I'm happily married, I have an amazing wife. But like anyone that's married, like you have some ups and downs, and you have those hard moments, right? And so I remember like a really hard moment. And, and, like, we just disagreed on some things like we were still happily married, but it was just kind of like, oh, man, this is frustrating. And I think my wife and I both at the same time, were wondering, like, why did we marry the right people? Like, it just seems like we're so different here on on our personality here. And we did. But you have that thought, and you're like, and then there's my dad's like, words, like I just like hearing in my in my ear, saying, hey, persevere, like keep fighting for this, like it is worth it. And so there's been things like that throughout my life. You know, I go back, and I went and read my dad's letter this past month. And there were some things in there that I had never read it in that way before. And so you know, as, of course, I'm going to read it different now. 39 versus when I was 19. And so that's really the power of a letter. And when you put your words down on paper, like it becomes lasting, you can keep coming back to it. And here's another example. When I graduated college, I had my accounting degree. And people were I got recruited to come work for this nonprofit. And I wasn't going to make as much money. But I knew I really knew that God was calling me to go do that. And so I had people in my family saying, Oh, if you're, you know, they're encouraged me not to do it. And they said, If your dad was alive, you and me going to do this. And I remember just thinking, don't tell me what my dad would say, if he was like, I know what he would say, because it's right here in the letter. Like, if God is calling you to do something, like, go do that. And so, you know, you can't put words in my dad's mouth like I know what he stood for.

Curt Storring 19:33

Man, that is incredible. And the reason that I'm like getting so many of these details at the start is because of what you do today. You've got a mission now to help a million men I think, write a legacy letter to impact someone in their family, their children. Man, do you want to just like talk about the transition from Wow, this is like super important. And this is awesome to being like, Oh, I bet everyone else could use this too. And then what that spawned because man, you've helped so many guys now. And I love this idea so much. So can you just walk us through like the origin in the beginning and up to like present day in terms of what this legacy letter actually is in its current form?

Blake Brewer 20:11

Yeah. Well, so over the years, I've as I've shared my story with people I meet other people who say they have a letter from their dad. It's in the minority. Like, there's, it's, it almost feels kind of like this exclusive group. But there's this kind of sense of pride, like, Yeah, my dad wrote me a letter. And so then when my children were young man, I wanted them to be in the club, like I wanted them to be. And I got a letter from my dad club. You know, really, anyone knows the value of a letter from their Dad, it's me. And so as I go to write this letter to him, I'm staring at a blank sheet of paper, and I'm like, What the heck am I gonna write like, and it just hung over my head, like it took me a long time to get it done. And so but I knew I had to get it done. And so I finished the letter that honestly, it felt amazing to finish this letter, like it was one of my milestone moments in my fatherhood journey. Like I knew I'd really done something. And I actually decided to go ahead and read my daughter when she was four. And each night, I'm normally reading her a book like a princess book. And that night, I said, Hey, my name is Gracie Kay. And I said, Gracie, Kate, Teddy's got something for you tonight. And so I go to read this letter to her. And I totally forgot to take into account how emotional I was going to be reading this letter. I mean, I put my heart and soul in this thing. And so I'm looking at her and I'm trying to get through this letter. You know what? She'd never seen Christ. I'm like, What is she thinking right now. So then I get to the end of this letter, and I look up at her. And she looks back at me. And those of you who are listening who have daughters will really appreciate this. But she looks at me and she says, Daddy, can you read me that Princess book now? Yeah, again, read the princess book. But the next night, she went up to my wife and she said last night, Daddy Read me a message. Can he read me that message again tonight. And so my daughter while she didn't understand all the concepts that I wrote about in that letter, she will in time as she gets older, but she got the main one. She's got a daddy that loves her. And so it was around that time that I met another guy who was in the I got a letter from my dad club. His name is Victor Marx. He's doing amazing things around the world rescuing women and children out of sex trafficking. But he says when he was 25 years old, he was looking at hellish life just got out of the Marines and he gets a letter from his biological dad. And it has been they didn't know that. Well, if that had abandoned him. He had four step fathers who all beat him and verbally and physical physically want him left him to die in the freezer in this letter starts off dear son, and Victor says he was ticked. He said, Who does this man think he is it he can call me son? Well, because it's his dad. He goes to meet with him. His dad had actually had a complete life change, and he had actually become a Christian. And so now he was trying to reconcile with his son. Victor goes to me with him long story short, the Victor and his dad become best friends. His dad is his best man at his wedding. In Victor's life, he's telling me he has no idea that I have a letter from my dad. He's just telling me the story. And his life completely changed. And it all started with his dad and a letter from his dad. So then a couple more months go by and meet another guy, and he has a life changing story. And it was like lightbulb moment, man, what am I doing here, I got to help more people get a letter from their dad. And so that's really where the mission started. But I knew that dads were going to be like me looking at that blank sheet of paper. And so that's why I created a free framework. And I really had I went into research mode, I had books and articles, I looked at the elements, my dad's letter, and we really just said, Okay, if we're going to help dads do that, right, those letter mail, let's put the best stuff in there. Like the things that everybody that just wants to hear from their dad, but like, needs to hear like, I love you. I'm proud of you, I believe in you. And when a person has all these things from their dad, I mean, you're just you're set up to be more successful in life. And so finish the program the process, dads from all over the country started signing up to write their legacy letter. And so that's what I do full time. The last two years I've helped guys in the military professional athletes business guys, blue collar guys, religious guys, non religious guys, like all over the map here. And man, it is amazing. Like I love helping dads write this letter.

Curt Storring 24:32

Man, it's so incredible. Hey, just like just a letter, just a letter. And I know it's not just a letter, but when you go to sit down and write that it must be daunting because I have done some letter writing I said to my dad, but I've also written some to my kids and other family members. And it's like, there's nothing so rewarding as to just be brutally transparent about how or what someone means to you. And are like, I know, I think actually will give guys a sort of a free outline to do this for themselves. which you can find a Dad.Work slash letter le TT er, and we'll get you guys hooked up with that free outline. But are there any sort of general topics or themes that you'd like to see in a letter? Because I have a couple questions for you in terms of like, I was thinking maybe this would be a good idea. But I don't know if it's like do you give when I don't necessarily want to leave it till they're dead? But then you read it to your four year old? Like, when's the right idea? So walk us through at least what you can give us without going all the way through the process in terms of like, what are the important points to touch on? And like, when do you give it to them? Like, what what's the general framework here?

Blake Brewer 25:33

Yeah, also, it's interesting. You talked about writing a letter to your dad after he had passed, right? Well, one of the lessons that I have in the program to help a dad kind of prepare his heart and mind to write this letter, one of them was to have that valuate the vision for your family? And what do you want to be true, which is a really powerful exercise just to put on paper, like what you want to be true of your family 510 20 years from now, most people don't ever do that have a hard time doing it. But like, what do you want, because once you define what you want, you're more likely, like, you'll probably get it. The second thing is I help dads write a letter to themselves from their dad, the letter that you wish your dad would have written you, it's really powerful exercise, really therapeutic. But then I do encourage dads to write a letter of gratitude to their dads and give it to him. And this happened the other day, I got a call from a guy and he's like, Man, I sent it to my dad, my dad was not a perfect dad. But I found it in my heart to like, look at the positive things that he did. I wrote this letter of gratitude, my dad's on an emotional guy, but he called me on the phone, he had just received my letter in the mail, in tears, saying this is the best thing that ever gotten. And so I'm hoping one day that I get that letter for my kids. I mean, I'm trying my best to be a great dad, I'm in that space, right? Like you, you are too. And yet, we're still gonna make mistakes. And, you know, we're gonna come up short, but we're doing the best we can. But then on the actual letter, you know, what, there's a couple really powerful sections in there that really help a dad connect with their, with their heart, and all of our children are just begging us to connect with my heart dad. And especially in the world that we live in. Right now, with, there's so many just outside influences. I saw a stat yesterday, there's 14 million social media influencers out there. And, you know, some of them are good, like you, you're a good one. But then at the end of the day, I mean, I need to be the number one influence on my terms, like my wife and I. And so I can connect with my children connect with their heart in a way that nobody else can. And so a couple of ways that we do that is we apologize, and we say that I'm sorry. So I help parents say that. And then a couple other things is to communicate. I love you and not to reelect me I love. There's nothing you can do. Like to make me love you any more any less. I gets unconditional i i love the story that Kobe Bryant shared a year but he shared this year before he died in the helicopter. But he said that his dad or when he was 12 years old, he was playing in a summer league in New Jersey. And his dad and grandfather had both played in this league. And so he felt the pressure to like he wanted to do good. He said he got to the end of the summer, he didn't score a point the entire summer. And he said he was so frustrated. But he said that his dad walked up to him, put his arm around him and said Kobe, I don't care whether you score zero points or 60 points. I'm gonna love you no matter what. And Kobe said that that was literally the best thing that could have ever told him. Because at that point, he was just he was freed up to go for it. Like, what did he have to lose? Like he couldn't fail? Like his dad was gonna love you no matter what. And you know, that was playing through his mind the rest of his career. I mean, he's telling the story, you know, when he's 40. So, that's what we weren't playing through our children's mind. Like, like, hey, no matter what happens tomorrow or today, like like, my, I know, my dad is gonna love me. And when you know that, like, there's just a sense of confidence that comes over your life like, Man, I can go do anything. And so, you know, whether you're a dad who I mean, dads verbally tell this to their children all the time. Some are on the other end of the spectrum where they don't communicate it a lot. And a lot of people would say that that's true of their dad. Like I didn't hear my dad say that a lot. For if you're somewhere in the in the middle. Like this is powerful for you to write it down. Because when your children read this, it's like dad chose these words. Like there's no doubt like, like, my dad loves me, and then it's lasting. Like I look at my dad's letter. Like if there's ever was like, a doubt in my life like Did my dad Yes, my dad loved me like it's right there why? How can even doubt that. So that's more of my most favorite section of the letter most powerful. And then the second one is to communicate, I'm proud of you into a firm your children. So, and I really hope that you think through, you know, not what your children are done, but really, who your children are, like, who are they made up deep down?

Curt Storring 30:29

Oh, man, that's a lot of good stuff. And I really love how you said and how Cobis story illustrated that is this freedom of pressure to perform, and to instead just know, unconditionally, like, that's one of the greatest gifts I can imagine receiving as a child, but also giving as a father. And also very difficult for guys like me, who are, you know, still struggle with perfectionism? And like, Oh, you got to do this. And no, I want to see you do this. And I don't want to see you suffer. Are there any ways just touching on this now that as a father, you're trying to give them that unconditional love? And obviously, like you said, screw up all the time. But what does that look like? And then I will have like, I don't know, three or four specifics about the letter that I want to get into, because my mind is racing now. But yeah, how are you sort of making sure that your kids know that it's not about what they do? It's about who they are.

Blake Brewer 31:15

Yeah, that's good. I will do a couple things is when I discipline my children, and they've messed up. Even after I discipline, man, I do my best to call them over and say, and give them a huge hug. And let them know how much I love them. Even even when they mess up. A daddy still, there are a couple of things that I've communicated to them. And I like when they go to bed at night. I'll say, hey, how much does daddy love you again? Hike like this much? And they know the answer like No, it's not this much. It's like that much. And so I'm getting it into their head. And I one day, my son, Molly was comparing everything to the Eiffel Tower. And like the Eiffel Tower is the biggest thing in the world to him. He's four. And I said, I said Bo. I said, you know how much I love. I love you. I said, My love for you is bigger than the Eiffel Tower. And his eyes got really big. Now, and I actually put that in the letter as well. But he did discover outer space. So I now get updated outer space.

Curt Storring 32:31

That's awesome. Yeah, I love those, like little impactful things you're doing with the kids? And how old are your kids now?

Blake Brewer 32:38

So six, five, he actually just turned five last weekend and to

Curt Storring 32:43

know nice. Okay, and so each of them get a specific letter. And then at what point of their life are you giving to them? I know you read it at four years old, but is that generally how you do it? Like, what's the game plan for that? Yeah,

Blake Brewer 32:55

so the first letter was addressed to all three of them. And at the time, that was my third one was still my wife's womb. And so but now I'm working on their individual letters. And so they're gonna get those x ray for Christmas this year. And then as they get older, I haven't committed yet to writing them one every single year, although I might end up doing that. But for sure, like in the main major, right kind of transition periods of their life. And so my mission is to help dads, right, at least one you gotta have one written down. But then a lot of parents like as you know, they know they're gonna write some more, especially when you enter the teenage years or go off to college or getting married or, you know, whatever that is.

Curt Storring 33:39

Yeah, yeah, that's

Blake Brewer 33:42

the answer your question specifically, some of the, you can write like one letter to all of them. But there are specific things that you need to say to each child. And so you can have different paragraphs for each one. I will say in some parents do that. I will say probably most parents end up writing like unique letters for each one. And you can have some of the same things like there's no, you're sharing some advice. And so you could have the same advice and all the letters, like you have to feel the pressure to come up with new advice for each of them.

Curt Storring 34:09

Okay, that makes sense. And I one of the things that I was thinking about this is like the way that I have started to write his letter, I wrote them one for Christmas two years ago. And it was short and sweet. And it was just like, I wanted to add that on, because I was just feeling called to do it. But one of the containers in which I've written a more recent letter is in this thing that I called the in case of documents. So if I die, they've got something that's not like, you know, well, at least data life insurance, you know, like, I want them to have something else. And maybe that's like, a more broad vision where, you know, it could be when they're 60. It could be when they're 50. And hopefully not, you know, whatever it is, but at least they have that. But in my thinking, I'll update this letter as we go. But one of the things I wondered as well as like, I want to put things in there, like here's the top 20 books you should read in your life. Here's like the men in my Life that if I die over the next 10 years, I want you to go ask some questions of, have you ever thought about like action items like that in case you're not the one there to guide them at the different paths? Like if you if you died? or heaven forbid, like, how would they get through the next 1020 years of their life is anything like that come into play?

Blake Brewer 35:18

Well, so in the advice section of the letter, I encourage dads to imagine themselves on their deathbed. And you've got 30 days to go. In, you're thinking about your children's life, and you know, they have the rest of their life in front of them. And so what are those pieces of advice that you could share with them like, like, knowing that your children are going to face difficult times, like they're going to have a moment in their life where they failed? Like, we all failed? And so like, what can you share with them to help them get through that failure? But part of that is to say, hey, if there's some books, you know, that have been impactful to you are some quotes like, you know, share that with the Lord. I mean, one of the best things, as I mentioned, my dad did for me, so my dad had a lot of Bible verses in our order. And so my, my dad, in his letter, like, he believed that the Bible is true. And so he didn't have to put every single single thing in the Bible into this letter. He just said, go read the Bible. And so that was one of the best things that my dad did for me. And I'll say this to you know, as I was thinking about, you know, how could God, how could a good God, let my dad die? And that was one of the like, the way he did and I was contemplating that, I knew that the answer was not that God was not good. Because my dad believed that God was good. And he did believe that and it came across in his letter as well. And so I mean, our words have weight to them. And depending on the age of your children, they might be at an age where they act like they don't want to listen to you. But they do. They have wait.

Curt Storring 37:02

Man, that's a great reminder, especially as I get my oldest is almost 10. So I'm coming up to that period of transition and independence and stuff like that. And I can see it already. There's, you know, the desire to be close to so there. But there's also that desire to be self. Which, yeah, that makes me feel better than that, that it's always there an add on to that, too, because when I was, you know, mid 20s, forever, I wish that I had this from my dad as well. And it's so awesome that you're doing this work, because this, like, Man, I can't even imagine the amount of lives that will not be thrown off the rails because like you said, it could have very easily gone a different way for you, just because you're writing this letter. And I'm also curious, like, with letter writing being your thing, so to speak. Does other writing fall into this as well? Are you a proponent of journaling? Do you write regularly to clear your thoughts? Like what is writing look like, generally, now that this is what you do?

Blake Brewer 37:55

Yeah, that's great, I shall I should put it out there that I would not going into this would say like, I'm this great writer and stuff, like that was not my background, it's just, I see the impact of writing. And so you know, I saw that I need help writing. And so now I'm going to help other people write. For me personally, there's things that I have to put down on every single day. Like, I have a lot of thoughts in my head. And honestly, I can't move forward until I get those thoughts out of my head. And so there's some different forms what, you know, journaling, I write a lot of things, just the way that I've set up my to do list. I just write a lot of things on there. And it just helps me get it out of my head. And it's, it's beneficial for me to write that write those things down.

Curt Storring 38:44

Now, you see, that's very similar to me. I just can't operate if there's too much in there. So I'll just clear it out like a dump truck, basically. And I don't even need to look at it later. Most the time. It's just like okay, that's done now I can see what's important of that. The almost switching gears here I'm curious how the experience of death so close to you at such a sort of raw age and method has impacted your intentionality as a dad because I can only imagine like so many of us bury our heads in the sand. Like oh, you know, I'm just not going to think about death. People are so scared of death. But you have to be faced with it now. Do you think that's played a role in your story as a husband and father and even just as a man

Blake Brewer 39:24

Yeah, and not only to my dad dad die, like basically in front of me in my arms. I almost died trying to save him. I think I would have died if there was no course on the showed up. And so yeah, I think about that a lot. I will say that my dad like, like I go snorkeling, right like and some people might man how in the world could you go snorkeling? Like after that? I actually worked in Florida the next two summers as a beach guy. I didn't really plan for that happened, but it just happened. And I was staring at water every single day. But my dad would have hated it if I had given up in and lived in fear, because of what happened. And so, but I will say I don't take unnecessary risk. Like, I'm not trying to die early here. But I think at the end of the day, it's like, Man, I just mean life is short. And so I think in a way, it's freed me up to really go for it. Like, like, what is my life like, so most people are too afraid to just, like, totally let go. Like, they just gotta hold on, like, you're too scared. Like, I've got a really good job, I've got to make a certain amount of money. And I have this thing I want to go do. But man, I can't leave my good job. And it's like, man, what does it all matter? Like if like, at the end of the day, like, our life is like that, man, like, like you're going for right now with what you're doing? Like, I grind and you're serving people in you're helping people and so, man, it's, it's totally worth it.

Curt Storring 41:00

Yeah, that I actually, it's so funny, you said that I just shot something on Instagram that was like, I'm just so fired up. You know, like, there's this thing that I don't care what happens with it, I don't care if like how successful it is, I don't care. If it makes a million bucks. I don't care any of that. Because I would do it no matter what. You know, and like being fired up and being free to pursue that is such a revelation. And it's so wonderful. And I've been like that for a long time. I've been doing my own thing for over 10 years now. But so many people are just playing it comfortable. And I think you know, my assumption coming into this is like, Man, this guy must like just stare face and stare death in the face every day. Because of that, like haunting memory, or maybe even not haunting, because I love the way that you've now almost put like a gratitude spin on it. Like all of this good. All of this it might have been, you can easily go down the path of like, oh, this was meant for evil. But like not at all, dude, like you have changed so many lives because of that. And I love that you're sort of honoring your father's legacy in that because man, this is his legacy in a very real way too. But that intentionality man and just staring that death in the face and coming through it

Blake Brewer 42:05

saying, I tell parents as you're writing this letter, this is absolutely for for you and for your family and for your legacy. But every letter that's written does honor my dad's legacy. And so, which is pretty awesome.

Curt Storring 42:19

Is there anything else like I know that you talk a lot about like, all these different sections of writing this letter, and honestly, I'm listening to you go in like, Dude, we could be teaching the same program because I do these things, you do these things? And I think maybe just for guys listening like these are, I don't know, truths, in a sense. So these are good tools, in a sense, if you're seeing them used in multiple ways. So I'm really excited about that. But is there anything else that this has sort of helped you with in parenting? Because actually, maybe the way to look at this is you've written the letter, you're super intentional. It's gonna be hard for you to fall off track as a good dad. I imagine you're thinking about this stuff all the time. Is that true?

Blake Brewer 42:56

Oh, yeah. Yeah, hit dad's right, write this letter. I mean, they tell me like older dads are like, dang, I wish I would have done this sooner. Because it really does help kind of organize your thoughts in your values and the things that you want to teach your children. And you can't help but begin to live out this letter that you wrote. And so yeah, this letter is for your children, but you're the one that's impacted, you know, the most immediate and so that's a little secret there.

Curt Storring 43:26

Yeah, and I found the same thing, man. Like, I tell the guys, my programs like, I could give you nothing, you could come in here, you could look online, you could come to our coaching calls, and I could just zip my mouth. But you would become a better dad, because you're committed to it. You're now weekly coming into our meeting going, Okay, I'm doing this to become a better man, husband, father. And then like, you just can't get away from it. Because you're always thinking about, Oh, I gotta make the meeting with Kurt or Oh, we talked about this last time. And the same sort of thing. You write that letter, suddenly, everything gets clarified. And you can't get away from it. You can't unsee what it looks like to love your kids from the bottom of your heart and tell them like, Dude, you just, it's like a superhero power. It's crazy.

Blake Brewer 44:06

When we live in a very individualistic society where it's all about us. And so for most of our life, right, it's all been about, okay, what college you're gonna go to one day, or what's your career going to be in? It's all about us and not, you know, historically. Like the thing that men cared most about was their family and their legacy. And we've kind of gotten off from that. But man, I don't think there's anything more fulfilling than to live for your family and to live for your legacy. And I mean, once you really start, you don't see yourself as like, okay, my wife's not taking care of the kids that I'm the babysitter. It's like, No, you're not the babysitter like there's like I am coaching my children. I am teaching my children. I am thinking about my children's children one day like when I'm teaching my like, five year old son like, Okay, I'm helping him be a good dad to his kids one day in the generational impact and it's it's exciting.

Curt Storring 45:03

Yeah, that's so good man. Is there anything else that this has inspired you in terms of parenting any principles, you live by any last sort of thoughts that might encourage guys, as a father as a husband, even as a son? Any maybe final thoughts before we direct guys to where to find out more on how to write their own letter?

Blake Brewer 45:22

Yeah, I mean, my final thought is just to it's just encouraged me to live without fear, just just to go for it. And, you know, like, Yeah, I'm gonna make mistakes along the way, but I'm not afraid of failure actually encouraged my children, I want to put this in the letter. Like you, you want to make mistakes, like you're not really living unless you make mistakes, because that means you're not really going for it. And you learn so much through your mistakes. So, you know, keep trying, keep trying until you're making mistakes, and then you're failing, then you're doing well.

Curt Storring 45:58

I love that. Yeah, that's one of the things that I think is a good part of a family rule system, or family motto is like, we're good at failing. But what I mean by that is just what you said is like, you're not learning, you're not growing unless you're actually at your edge, making these failures. And dude, that was so hard for me, personally, because I was super perfectionist, if I failed, therefore, I was a failure, nobody is going to like me. So it's been a hard for me to get that as a parent. But I actually thought recently that like in my pursuit of perfectionism, earlier, as a father, I was molding my kids into what I needed to feel perfect. And that was hurting them, it was like causing cuts that they needed to heal from. Whereas if I was just more humble, which I've got a large dose of humble pie in the last number of months here, like I would be able to raise them in the way that they should go, but leave gaps that they'll have to fill in. So it's much better, like you say, to just know that you're not going to be perfect, you're going to make mistakes, give them some gaps that they'll have to figure out. They'll figure it out. Because you as a human being as a man, figured them out already as an adult, so will your kids it's much better to give them gaps to fill in then cuts to heal. And I love that, like just affirmation that yeah, go fail, go do hard things and go fail. But like, Man, this has been so encouraging and very emotional, actually, as I think back to who I want to be as a dad and my own father's story. So where can guys find out more? I know, we're gonna send them to a free outline. But anything else you want to point him towards is awesome as well. What have we got for him?

Blake Brewer 47:22

Yeah, I mean, Legacy letter challenge.com/dad word. And, you know, I think you're going to provide that link. But I think that's the best place to go to, you know, get that outline, download that outline, there'll be an option if you want some more help and go through the masterclass to write your legacy letter, but start with that outline.

Curt Storring 47:42

Nice. Are you on Instagram or anywhere else?

Blake Brewer 47:44

Yeah, I'm on Instagram. I don't post there all the time. And I've also linked on LinkedIn a lot. But my Instagram is gift of dad.

Curt Storring 47:53

Nice. Okay, I'll make sure that that's in the show notes as well. Dad.Work slash podcast, any of the links, the one that he just said Dad.Work slash letter is also going to redirect there. So wherever you want to go, I highly, highly recommend this because like I said, it's part of my program. And now rather than having to walk guys through myself, I'm just going to send them to your program. So I'm actually very thankful because you've just like wiped out a massive chunk of work for me. And it's way more impactful because you've done this, you've talked to the guy. So man, thank you so much for honoring your father's legacy. Thank you for doing this work. And I really appreciate you spend the time with us today.

Blake Brewer 48:24

Absolutely, man, thanks for having me on.

Curt Storring 48:29

Thank you for listening to the dad work podcast. That's it for this episode. But if you would like to stay in touch between weekly episodes, why don't you go over to Instagram and follow me there because I draw up a number of things throughout the week that are related to what we talked about on this podcast, but usually go a little bit deeper, provide some tips you can find me on Instagram at dad work dot Kurt. That's da di W O RK dot c u r t. And please, if you have been getting something out of this podcast, if it has touched you if it has improved your marriage or parenting or your life, would you please leave a quick review on Apple or Spotify. leave a rating. If you have a few extra seconds, leave a quick review. That's the best way that we can get this work in the hands of more fathers. And I truly believe that we change the world, one father at a time, because each father that parents better that loves better raises children who do the same. And in just a couple of generations. I feel like we could be living in a world much better than the one we live in today. Your review will help along that path. And I thank you so much for being here to listen until next week. We'll see you then.

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