There is nothing more pathetic than a man with a lack of strong convictions. Someone who is continually swayed by the opinions of others. Whose ‘beliefs’ falter at the slightest hint of opposition or questioning. To live in such a manner is not living, it is merely existing.
One of the critical aspects of becoming a legendary dad is to know who you are as a man. What you stand for. What you believe. That which you will not compromise on. The guiding convictions and principles you will live your life by. Having such things clearly defined gives a man confidence that he knows his place in this world.
Several years ago I started to think about these concepts in greater detail. It was a time of significant change in my life. Our third child was due, I’d just come off a failed business and as you can imagine, things were a little stressed at home. There’s nothing like being in the crucible to make one reflect on life!
I’d always had fairly clear beliefs but I’d never taken the effort to put them into a succinct set of statements. To think about not only what I believe but also who I want to be, what I want to be know for.
It was with all these thoughts whirling around in my head that I started to develop my own Personal Creed, what eventually became the ‘Legendary Dad Manifesto’.
What’s a Creed?
A Creed is a statement or summary of core beliefs. It is an idea or set of beliefs that guides the actions of a person.
Creeds are typically used in a religious context but are also associated with political, social and military contexts. For us it will simply be a term we use to mean our written set of core beliefs.
How To Construct A Creed
When constructing a Creed you need to think about the areas in your life that are of most importance. Then write out statements that cover these areas and propel you forward. For me these areas are: marriage, children, health, wisdom and wonder.
You should have roughly 5-7 statements. Anymore than this and you won’t be able to remember them. Any less and there’s a strong chance your creed will be unbalanced or you haven’t given it enough thought.
When thinking of your Creed be sure to include statements that you would want them to adopt as your own.
My Original Musings For A Personal Creed
Here’s what I originally came up with:
- My wife will know that I adore her and will do anything for her. She will know this by my actions which demonstrate this every day.
- My children will know I love them by the time I spend with them and by how I instill the principles and attitudes they will require to take on life.
- I will always be honest in all dealings even if to my detriment.
- I will speak ill of no person, instead I will look for the best in my fellow man and highlight them.
- I will actively seek out mentors and action the advice given.
- I will seek advice on all major decisions in life and will never make these decisions impulsively.
- I will make time to reflect on life and my creed on a weekly basis.
- I will not put off till tomorrow what I can do today.
- I will live a healthy lifestyle including: eating, exercise and sleep.
How My Creed Has Morphed
Since then I have honed my Personal Creed and made the focal point around being a legendary dad.
I should reiterate that being a legendary dad is not the end goal, the end goal is for my kids to be legendary. This really pushes me to “Be a legend, to raise a legend”.
Here’s part of my current Creed and the basis for the “Legendary Dad Manifesto“.
- A legendary dad should be the master of his body. He should never allow his lack of physical prowess to hinder his playing with his kids or stop him from being able to protect and rescue his family.
- A legendary dad will love his wife with passion and fervor so his kids will see a demonstration of real love
- A legendary dad should dispense practical, timeless wisdom that will ensure his kids crush everything the world tries to throw at them
- A legendary dad should be able to take a bunch of nothing and make something really cool out of it.
- A legendary dad should have one skill or talent that makes him truly unforgettable.
Who Wants To Just Be A Nice Guy?
Getting a Personal Creed will make it clear in your mind what you truly believe and provide a framework for propelling you forward in life.
To be a legendary dad you have be more than just a nice guy who doesn’t rock the boat. Sure this kind of man is generally liked. He gets along with pretty much everybody. The problem is nobody really knows what this guy stands for. When I die the last thing I want on my epitaph is “Here lies Deckart. He was a nice guy”. To hell with that!
This quote best sums up how I want to be remembered:
“Let others feel the weight of your convictions… and let them deal with it.”
It’s not about being a jerk but it’s very clear on what you stand for and believe.
So What About You??
So what’s your Personal Creed? Do you have one or have you never really given it any thought? Are you easily swayed by others opinions? If so get out a notepad, pen and start writing down some ideas.
In the comments below let me hear one statement that could become part of your own Personal Creed!