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People think having kids is a big deal, but it simply isn’t. Pretty much anyone can procreate. It’s not about producing a child that is significant, it’s the way in which you influence that child that is. Check out my video to get a new take on this subject.
My big thought for you to help you boycott what you thought this week is about having kids.
Now, many years ago, I had a friend say something to me I will never forget. “Stuart, having kids will be the most significant thing you ever do.” Which was a pretty big statement considering the fact that this guy was very successful in business and he was well travelled and he had done quite a few things in life. But here is the thing, he had kids and I didn’t. So when people say these kinds of things, they pretty much have the upper hand. Because it’s not like you can come back and say to them “you are wrong” or ” you are right” when you haven’t done it. It’s kind of like the astronaut Chris Hadfield coming up to me and saying “Stuart, going to outer space will be the most significant thing you ever do in your life.” I mean, come on, he kind of trumps the debate because it’s not like I can come back and say “Oh you know what Chris, well it’s lucky that you said that, because in a couple of months from now, I am actually going to outer space and when I come back, I will let you know whether you are right or you are wrong.”
So, instead, I asked my friend if he had experienced something significant that I had experienced. Which was the significant feeling of motivating a thousand people all at one time. And even though he had never experienced that, he said to me “Stuart, I assure you that if you ever want to have kids one day that you will quickly see that motivating a thousand people is not as significant as actually having a child.”
Well, since that conversation many years ago, I have had a child and in fact, I have another one on the way very soon. And I can tell you now that my friend was… yes… wrong.
Oh no, don’t get me wrong. I mean, having kids is significant, but it’s not more significant than motivating a thousand people or being a great plumber, or the significance of being a hippie traveler and just travelling the world for the rest of your life and never having a job. You see, I’ve learned that no matter what you choose to do with your life, it has nothing to do with what other people think is significant or how significant they think it is. But rather, how significant you choose to make it.
I might choose to motivate a thousand people who then go on to motivate another people who then go on to motivate another thousand people. And one of those people might be so motivated that they choose to find the cure for cancer. The plumber might choose to give his services away for free to people who can’t afford it. And the hippie traveler might dedicate her life to spend time with elderly people having powerful conversations with them because she knows those people are lonely.
And yes, some parent will have children who do significant things for the world and some parents will have children that don’t. More specifically, some parent will have children who will give to the world and other parents will have children who take.
Look, let’s face it. Some parents are awesome and some parents are not awesome. That is a truth that I did not create. It is a truth that’s been around for centuries. Unfortunately there are so many parents who think they are so awesome or that they’ve done something significant because they raised a child who went off to Harvard and got a law degree. Even though that kid now has used their law degree to represent mafia bosses who kill people for a living. You see, they raised a child who thought it was significant to chaise the money and to make millions of dollars rather than having a value system. And I wouldn’t say that’s significant. I wouldn’t say you raised a kid who is awesome. Instead, you raised a kid who because a dick.
And you can find examples of this pretty much anywhere. I mean, look at teachers. Becoming a teacher isn’t significant. Being a teacher who cultivates the lives of young people, is. Becoming a doctor is not significant. But being a doctor who takes the time to really understand their patient’s needs as appose to just medicating them, is. Being a boss or a manager or a CEO in business isn’t significant. But being a leader in business who chooses to make other people turn into leaders, is.
When I look into my daughter’s eyes, the joy I feel is mind-blowing and significant, but it won’t be as mind blowing or as significant compared to the time that does eventually happen when I watch her bring joy to the lives of others.
So all I am saying this week my friends is this. Before you start patting yourself on the back for a job well done, just make sure you did one.