Sunday Column (348)

Another week full of travel. I am getting used to sleeping in hotels again, and somewhat enjoys it to be honest. It feels like you getting a lot of work done and making progress constantly. Being connected these days via 4G, 3G or wifi makes working on the road so much more pleasant than only a few years ago, not to mention 10 years ago when wifi in hotels was the exception rather than the rule.

Next week I am off again to speak at a conference on breaking in the offline and online silos – connecting TV to digital marketing. I am exciting.

For me, with my 5 am routine, I am up early anyway. So even if I take the red eye to Europe, I have time for my daily exercise and meditation practise before the taxi picks me up.

I often take a moment before I sneak out the door to check on the boys, to tug them under the blanket, sit at their bed or watch them for a few seconds. It is a feeling of wanting to protecting them from the cold or any evil by pulling the blanket back up. They don’t worry half as much as we do about things. Their sleep must be a lot more peaceful than ours. Sometimes they talk and you get the feeling they are awake or sense you are there. I am sure they do. Life must be a lot simpler as a child, wouldn’t you think. A shame we don’t really remember ourselves. Those moments are precious and it almost seems as if your life comes to a stand still, is put on hold, even for only a split second.

When I am out of town I miss the boys. They don’t really yet want to speak to me on the phone. I look back, to think of the day they were born for instance. Little did I know how to hold a baby then, and still today I am not comfortable to hold a newborn. I didn’t have any experience or confidence. It all changed, and now I am sitting with them prior to going to work to understand what makes their life tick, what they enjoy in school or why or if they were sent to the head office.

There are new challenges as parents. Speaking to a friend the other day, I understand that as they get older their rooms, requirements, furniture etc. will all change for them. Life isn’t static, you never finish bringing them up or caring for them. There are new things to master. Life is something I know more about than baby things. I can now help them more, to understand life, to figure out what they like to do, make them better humans and participate in their life. I can mentor and teach them, offering guidance and support.

Happiness Father

The challenge is on. The next 10-15 years I will be spending making them better human beings if they want to listen to me and be willing to speak to me. And if not, we will have different conversations. Who knows what life will have in stock for us?

What a unique opportunity is given to us parents. To influence. To engage. To love and connect. A growing connection of trust. Seeing on a daily basis how their thinking changes. How they evolve and become adults.

We shouldn’t wish life away. I enjoy it. Every minute of it. The now – when did you last press the pause button and reflect on your life to see how grateful you should be. How great is life? How much has life given you and is giving you right now? Reflect on what you have, and cherish what you have. Share it with the ones that are less fortunate. Isn’t that what happiness is all about?

And pay? Yes you get paid for your efforts. My oldest wrote me the sweetest note the other day. Without anyone suggesting it to him, he wrote a note that I am ‘the best daddy in the world’ and ‘thank you for my new bed’ (note: we got him a new bed you might have guessed). It moves me deeply to see so much understanding of the world from my own son. For him to think of this and share the love. Encouraging that behaviour, praising it, will hopefully lead to a great human being as a grown up that will make a difference. However small.

And one day they will be grown up. Coming home from college, university or visit with their own family. And that is when I want to lean back and see in my sons what I see in myself, now. The ability to influence, to enjoy life and love unconditionally.

Whilst I am thinking about this, I grab my bag and look one last time at their peaceful expression, sleeping, all tucked up. I will be back, I am back home soon. The taxi is waiting and I leave into the dark night for another red eye and the joys of travel.

Have a wonderful week. Pause for a moment and enjoy what you have, what life is giving you.

Love and Happiness from my corner of the world,
Volker