8 Things I Did to Become a Better Parent

 

Lately, I’ve found myself asking the same series of questions. What does being a parent mean to you? How would you define your job as a parent? Naturally, in the most basic of terms it is to raise my children to adulthood, but being a parent in my eyes means much more than that. Being a parent is a job unlike any other, with no specific job description and no job requirements. To me, being a parent is creating a space for my children to grow into who they were meant to be. Not mini versions of me, but the best, most authentic versions of themselves. People who are capable of giving something to society and capable of thinking, acting and making their own decisions. People who will work hard, do their best and be considerate of others.

I have three children between the ages of 5 and 18, and I can honestly say that they are different, unique in their own ways. Therefore, anything I learned with my first child needed to be amended for the second and then the third. Only parents know how to amend advice we see, hear and read to meet our own individual circumstances and kids. Below are eight points that I feel helped me to become a better parent:

1. Set boundaries

Setting boundaries for your children and saying “no” to them isn’t being mean. Despite the pouting or the tears or the wobbling chin, all designed to make you feel terrible no doubt, children need boundaries. Boundaries with your children show that you are there, that you care, that you’re watching. That is why, once the boundaries are set, children will frequently test them. They want to know that they exist.

2. Know that quality and quantity are equally important

In my early years of parenthood, there were times when I wasn’t able to spend as much time as I would’ve liked with my children because of work. But I made sure that the time I spent with them was special. We created family traditions, which included pizza nights, breakfast for basketball and Daddy-Daughter dances. Family traditions are something my children still participate in and will carry with them throughout childhood. Fun traditions often provoke a warm sense of well-being and are always looked forward to. Just as important as quality time is the amount of time you spend with your children. Create the space in your life where the time you spend with your children is prioritized and valued.

3. Show them empathy

Try to teach your children how to think of and see the humanness in others. Understanding why someone might have done something differently helps a child to understand that, although they are important, so are others.

4. Respect them

The best way I teach my children respect is by respecting them and others. Give your children the space to grow and the right to make their own decisions. In turn, they learn to respect other people’s thoughts, ideas, wishes and belongings.

5. Encourage them

Everyone needs encouragement at times, and a child trying new things even more so. It doesn’t mean overindulging your children or doing everything for them. Encouragement means offering support and allowing them to fail while teaching the importance of giving your best effort. For a child, just knowing that you are there to help if need be can be all the motivation they need to try something. New experiences help them grow.

6. Show gratitude

Being able to show appreciation and gratitude for something or someone is a great quality to have. I teach my children to celebrate what they have as opposed to focusing on what you don’t have. It helps children accept failures and disappointments while being proud of successes. It gives children a sense of inner calm and satisfaction rather than turmoil, anger and dissatisfaction.

7. Listen to my children

When talking with your children, really try to listen to what they have to say. When they voice their fears, it means that it is something that concerns them. Try and tackle their worries with attention and compassion.

8. Say “I love you.”

Three simple words, yet words that a child needs to hear again and again. As much as I may believe that my actions show my children that I love them, they still need to hear it and feel it. I take time out to verbalize with the hug and the kisses that accompany it in the mornings, daytime and especially at bedtime. Love can be shown anytime, including when showing sympathy, encouragement, or even when setting boundaries with your child.

As parents, we realize that each child is different — the rate they grow, the things they learn and the games they are ready to play differ depending on who they are. Have fun, make mistakes and enjoy the journey!

I would love to hear your feedback — please leave a comment below.

This article originally appeared in Huffington Post.

5 Ways to Lead a More Fulfilling Life

 

At some point in our life, we’ve all asked the question, “Is this it? Was I put on this planet just to pay bills, work long hours and never have enough time in my busy schedule to have fun?”

If you ever felt like the opportunity to live a fulfilling life was passing you by, you are not alone. A few years back I remember feeling this way soon after I received a significant promotion. Although the new assignment came with more money and a better title, I no longer did the work that I was passionate about.

On top of feeling dispassionate, the job required longer hours. Longer days impacted quality family time, gym days became infrequent and my eating routines fell by the wayside. This is not what I envisioned as an ideal way to live my life and new I had to make a change. I’m sure you can relate to a time in your life when it felt like you were going through the motions with little room for passion and reward.

I often hear people say, “Once I get the ________ (raise, promotion, house, car, etc.), then I’ll be happy.” This way of thinking couldn’t be further from the truth. It actually prevents us from living life to the fullest.

However, the exact opposite is true. Focusing on creating a more fulfilling and happier life will actually increase our pay grade inside and out. Sound too good to be true?

Research has shown that satisfaction and fulfillment are key components to a successful career. Optimistic thinking leads to increased performance and accomplishment which sets us up for a more prosperous career.

Our brain performs best when we are in a positive mindset. When we feel optimistic about our future, we are more energized, focused and better problem solvers. On the other hand, when we are consumed with our problems, we are drained of our focus and energy needed to perform optimally. High performers add more value and thus take home bigger paychecks.

Living a meaningful and fulfilling life goes way beyond the monetary gains. It centers us on becoming the best version of ourselves. Leading a happier life allows us to show up more fully at home, work and in the community. As a result, we show up more powerfully as better parents, spouses, friends, and employees.

It’s never too late to start creating the life we want. We all have the power and everything needed to alter our destiny. The key to doing this successfully is letting go of all of our inhibitions so that we can start working toward building a life that we absolutely love every day.

If obstacles are getting in your way, here are five ways I used to start creating a more fulfilling life:

1. Keep Healthy

A healthy mind, body, and spirit is key. Treat yourself to the gift of your own attention by eating well, working out and meditating. All will help you increase optimal functioning.

2. Leave Your Comfort Zone

Seek out new opportunities. In the process, your confidence will increase allowing you to take more healthy risks. Transformation only happens beyond your comfort zone.

3. Stop Complaining

Complaining reinforces a negative state of mind and offers no solutions. Take ownership of your happiness. Next time you feel frustrated, take a few deep breaths and focus on something positive.

4. Show Your Gratitude

Write a thank you card, pick up the phone, volunteer or send someone a book they would enjoy. Tap into your heart and let others know how much you appreciate them.

5. Be Valuable

Instead of focusing on your personal success, focus on being of value. Bringing value to a relationship, business or community increases abundance and fosters reciprocity – the more you give, the more you receive.

Are you ready to create a life where you wake up energized and excited about the day ahead?

You have everything that it takes to create a life complete with happiness, abundance, and fulfillment. Looking back that promotion actually was an opportunity in disguise that transitioned me to a life beyond my wildest dreams. You can do the same. These are five ways that will help you on your journey in achieving your own happiness and fulfillment.

5 Winning Lessons From the Golden State Warriors

 

The Golden State Warriors basketball team is in the midst of a historic and record-setting season. The team had 73 regular season wins, breaking the NBA record previously held by the Chicago Bulls.

But it didn’t happen overnight. They planted the seeds to their current achievement during a time when the franchise suffered in mediocrity.

Flash back to 2006 and 2007, to what the Warriors dub the “We Believe” season. Leading up to the season, the franchise broke the NBA record for the number of consecutive years without making the playoffs (12). Head coach Don Nelson traded most of their big-name players for a band of journeyman and misfits to play “small ball,” a strategy that favors increased scoring, agility and speed over height, strength and low post offense and defense.

Up until that point, all NBA rosters looked the same. Each team was anchored around a 7-foot center surrounded by traditional positions—power forward, small forward, shooting guard and point guard.

Nelson decided to create a fun, fast-paced style of play designed so that players were interchangeable parts. The entire team rallied, highlighting each other’s strengths while also having fun playing a game they love. The result was astounding and marked a turnaround that led to an improbable playoff run, which shocked fans and experts alike. The changes continue to pay dividends.

The “We Believe” season not only revitalized the franchise but also its fan base. The Warriors fans continue to be the most supportive and vibrant fan base in the league. Why? It’s simple—the franchise has transformed their failure into success. Fans love cheering for a team that plays the game with joy, passion and celebrates each other’s success each and every game.

But on a deeper level, the Warriors’ success can be applied off the court—in your business, relationships and personal life.

1. Create your starting lineup

None of us reach our goals alone. Personal development guru Jim Rohn said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” The Warriors are committed to being a successful team. Each player has their own set of unique talents and skills, and they work together to utilize their contributions for the overall good of the team. Who is your starting five? Make a list of supportive people who will help move your goals forward.

2. Celebrate other people’s success

In last season’s playoff finals, regular season MVP Stephen Curry wasn’t named the Finals MVP. The award went to teammate Andre Iguodala. After the announcement, Curry was seen jumping for joy, celebrating his teammate’s accomplishment. Your inner game will improve exponentially when you shift toward abundance and celebrating other people’s wins. Pick one person today and acknowledge their achievements—big and small.

3. Focus on your strengths

Many people doubted if the Warriors could win playing “small ball.” They ignored the skeptics and perfected their own style based on their strengths as individuals and as a team. Instead of focusing on improving your weaknesses and becoming mediocre, develop your strengths and become great. Identify one to two strengths and decide what you can do to make them even better.

4. Make it fun

Have you noticed the Warriors high-fiving on the court, cheering from the bench and being high-spirited during the game? You can experience greater success and joy by playing the game of life at the highest point of consciousness. When you have fun, life becomes easier and less stressful. What are three ways you can incorporate more fun and joy into your life today?

5. Be the best version of you

It’s no coincidence that Curry, the Warriors star point guard, and this year’s regular season MVP (by a unanimous vote), is also their hardest worker. Every year he commits to improving his game and becoming a better player. Whether that means staying after a game to work on his jump shot or arriving an hour early before the game to get a competitive edge, he is focused on being better. Give yourself the gift of your own attention and work on being your best self through personal growth and development.

You don’t need to be professional NBA coach or player to transform failure into success. You have all the skills you need to start changing your life right now. Begin by scheduling time in your calendar in the next three days to focus on practicing one of these principles. Keep note of how your life changes while understanding that change takes time. Continue to add additional principles as you see progress and celebrate those milestones.

You don’t have to be the most talented to achieve greatness but you do have to be willing to make a commitment to change and put in the work to make it happen. With your “roster” of supportive and influential people, an attitude of abundance and remembering to have fun, I believe you will achieve your best self. Take it from the best team in the NBA, the transformation from mediocrity to record-breaking success only takes a few shifts in your game plan (a good jump shot doesn’t hurt either).

This article originally appeared in Success Magazine.

Shift Happens!

manual gearbox in the car

My 10 days in California has come to an end and I’m super excited about the shifts that occurred during my trip. What started out a business trip ended in some amazing shifts both personally and professionally.
BTW you will be hearing my California influence in the language of my post. Don’t judge love it 🙂

This post comes from the best, most vulnerable place in me. It’s kinda scary but super cool at the same time because I have no attachment to how it is received. Just straight no chaser.
The ability to slow down, be present and co-create has allowed for even more clarity in how best I can be of service and alignment with purpose.I know that I am in purpose and my gift shines when I’m being of service to others. Helping them transform their lives that may never have seemed imaginable. We all have gifts that are specifically for us to shine and give to the world.

Ask yourself if you are living up to your potential and sharing your gift?

This gift isn’t meant to be hoarded it’s meant to be developed and then shared with others.
My alignment to service has opened the door to do even more with people and be a part of real life miracles in their lives. And I’ve realized that I still need to BE MORE, DO MORE AND CARE MORE! I need to play ALL OUT and give of myself even more than I have. My gift is to be shared in loving service of others and help them transform their lives.

I have some BIG announcements and ideas that I’d love to co-create with others. I want to be more accessible….If something comes up in you while you read this and it resonates, it’s probably time to listen to that.

Maybe it’s a dream you’ve had but told yourself it’s too BIG.
Maybe you’re ready to leave a job you’ve been miserable at for years but cling to it because of “security”
Maybe you want to have a better relationship with your children and spouse
Maybe you have no idea what-what you want and are now ready to explore that
Maybe you want to be clear on your purpose but want help finding it
Maybe you just want to create more
playfulness in your life and relationships

The wonderful thing about life is all we have is this moment. The gift and magic happen in the here and now. Not in some imagined future.
If you’re ready to stop waiting until the “right time” to create something amazing in your life let me know. Share with me what you’d like to create and let’s do it. The space I hold is amazingly abundant and enough to go around.
Share your gift so we can create a place for your to shine and share it with the world.
Let me know what your BIG dream is and how I can help. We can’t keep it unless WE give it away.
Are you ready? Let’s go….

If you want to see what we can create in your life and are ready to PLAY ALL OUT email me at devon@deonbandison.com and let’s explore what coaching together may look like.

Onward and Upward
Devon