Tag Archive for 'discipline'

A father’s tough love is the harder job

As the father of an adult daughter and son, plus the grandfather of four knucklehead boys, I’ve learned some things about love.

All the hours logged as Dad and Poppy have often caused me to contemplate how different are the roles of mother and father, especially in the overt demonstration of parental love. It’s fascinating how the manifestation of this love differs between mother and father - biologically, emotionally and experientially.

A mother’s love, at once sweet and fierce, is observed in almost all animals, not just humans. No doubt you’ve heard this metaphor: “… as sweet as a mother’s love,” and this warning: “Don’t get between a momma bear and her cub.”

I have been the recipient of this kind of love and have witnessed it, and there truly is no other force in nature like it. But it has troubled me that there are no corresponding references for a father’s love. Could this be why Father’s Day is not quite as big a deal as Mother’s Day? I’m just saying …

A human father’s love is more often associated with words that are unfortunate, like “tough” and “discipline.” As a teenager, my own father sometimes apologized to me when he thought his demonstration of love might seem “hard-boiled.”

Mothers occupy the pinnacle of parental love - with justification. And not to take anything away from them, but a mother’s sweet love is as primal as the miracle of life; they don’t have to work too hard to deliver it. But there’s a uniqueness about a father’s love that deserves a better rap. Here are two reasons:

  • Unlike a mother’s sweet love, a father’s tough love, as we know it, does not exist outside of humans.
  • When a father’s parental toughness is required, especially when applied to an indignant recipient (read: teenager), it requires a love that has found the courage to endure a negative response and a willingness to defer gratification - sometimes for years.

No one is more keenly aware of the distinction between these two demonstrations of love than a single parent, where both kinds are required of the same person, perhaps within minutes.

So, mothers, forgive any paternal bias you may detect, but here is my conclusion about parental love: The only force in the universe that comes close to a mother’s sweet love is a father’s tough love. But the latter is the harder job, and the return-on-investment almost always takes longer.

I talked more about fatherhood recently on The Small Business Advocate Show. Take a few minutes to click on the link below, listen, and leave your thoughts on the toughest job you’ll ever love.

A father’s love is like no other with Jim Blasingame

Small business survival through humility and discipline

Surveying the economic landscape in front of us and trying to imagine what the near-term future will hold, I recognize that, while hard work and stick-to-it-iveness will be critical to small business success this year, we should also assume an attitude that we can default to, especially in the most difficult hours. I use the unit of hours because, while the leaders of larger organizations may wonder if they will survive the year, sometimes small business owners wonder if they will survive to the next hour.

As I worked on a useful attitude, I allowed that for any idea to establish itself it must be presented in a way that helps the memory, so it should be short and sticky. That’s when I came up with the Small Business Attitude for 2009, which is:

“In 2009, I’m going to win by surviving.”

You may have heard me say this before on my small business radio program or when I’ve published the “Attitude” in previous blog posts. The reason I’m revisiting it here is because of a conversation I had with Cliff Ennico, Brain Trust member and author of “The ebay Seller’s Tax and Legal Answer Book.”

Recently, Cliff joined me on The Small Business Advocate Show to talk about the state of mind of small business owners in 2009. One of the things I like about Cliff is that he’s a cut-to-the-chase kind of guy, and during our interview he did just that by offering a very short and sticky thought. He said that small business owners should post two words on their computer monitor: discipline and humility. What an important insight for these times!

Discipline will help you make the tough decisions you must make this year. And humility will help you make those decisions with the appropriate speed - because you’ve told your ego to take a seat - and with the appropriate humanity - as your decisions impact others, like employees.

So, here’s your new assignment: Tape my 2009 Small Business Attitude, “I’m going to win by surviving” to your morning mirror; and tape Cliff Enico’s 2009 words of wisdom, “humility” and “discipline” on your computer monitor.

But first, take a few minutes to listen to my interview with Cliff Enico. I think you’ll find it time well-spent. And, of course, don’t forget to leave a comment.

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