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Fatherhood Lessons From a Major League Pitcher

One of the biggest lessons that I learned from my dad was to not let other people’s opinions have an effect on us.

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Excerpted from Lasting Impact: How to Create a Life and Business That Live Beyond You which you can find here.

I have a good friend, Todd Stottlemyre, whose story of his father and then his own children is inspiring because of the impact that his dad had on him and he now has on his children.

You may be familiar with the name Mel Stottlemyre. He is a Hall of Fame New York Yankee who played on some of the best teams the Yankees ever produced. He was teammates with legends like Mickey Mantle. Now Mel even has his own statue at Yankee Stadium. Now that is legendary!

For this chapter, I reached out to Todd to ask him what it was like to grow up with a father who was a legendary player on one of the five greatest franchises in sports history in the biggest media market in the United States. What Todd wrote was eye opening and heartwarming at the same time. Here’s what Todd says about growing up with his dad and the lessons that he learned.

“Our dad taught us a lot of great lessons. One of the biggest lessons that I learned from my dad was to not let other people’s opinions have an effect on us. You can imagine how being a professional athlete in the New York City media market, that there were all sorts of opinions about my dad and the other players. But he never let it affect him. He taught us the same thing and that has been a powerful lesson for us.

“We grew up around legends in what they call ‘the House that Ruth Built.’ We called it the School of Champions. The people that I got to meet made a profound impact on me as a young man.

“My dad was an incredible human being. He wasn’t perfect of course, but he was an amazing father. Even when I failed in many ways in my life, I always had a point to go back to. He was a set point for me that allowed me to know what the standard was, a standard that I live now for my children.

“The day that my father died it was all over the news. They interviewed teammates, his players, managers, and owners, and the one thing that was amazing was that they all talked about Mel Stottlemyre the person, not the ball player. Everybody talked about Mel Stottlemyre the person!

“People love to look up to my father as a person but what we knew as his family was that he was ten times the person privately as he was publicly. Even in fighting the war of cancer he always made sure that everyone else felt better. He was always thinking of other people. It made me want to always ask about how I can leave other people better.

“The biggest lesson that my father taught me was to ask the question is this the best that I can do? Whether it be my role as a dad, husband, brother, friend, or business person, I want to always be the best version of myself that I can, and I learned that from my father, Hall of Fame New York Yankee who was even more so a Hall of Fame father.”

What a great legacy. How can I make the same kind of impact?

Well, first of all we have to be right in order to teach right. The best thing you can do for your children is to be the best version of yourself. Make sure that you are constantly growing and becoming better.

We must also spend time with our children. I know this can be difficult when they are little because of how busy we get with work and life but it is imperative that we spend time with our children in order to teach them the lessons we need to teach them.

There’s always been a debate about quality time versus quantity time. I believe it needs to be both. I’ve always thought it would be funny to see a cartoon where a dad was sitting in his chair reading a book called How to Be a Great Father as his young child is standing there with a baseball glove asking him to go play. The dad tells him that he can’t because he’s reading a book about how to be a great father. Reading and thinking about it is not where it ends. You have to go do it.

Pick up your copy of Lasting Impact: How to Create a Life and Business That Live Beyond You right here.

Chris is one of the World's Top 50 Speakers, member of the Motivational Speakers Hall of Fame, and one of Inc. Magazine's Top 100 Leadership Speakers. He considers it a privilege to be able to speak to people, help them lead successful lives, become extraordinary leaders and, masterful salespeople. Chris has authored twenty books with three million copies in print in 13 languages and over 450 articles on success, leadership, sales and motivation.



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Business

I Refuse to Play Make Believe Any Longer

There are dozens of examples of things that are being pushed on society that we all know that they are entirely untrue, and yet they continue. They are make believe issues.

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“When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.” I Corinthians 13: 11

If you are a parent or grandparent, you have probably at one point or another had one of your daughters or granddaughters come up and ask you if you would like to dress like a princess and have a tea party. Or perhaps your son or grandson has asked to dress up and play Cowboys and Indians. And of course we all did (to be clear though, I did not dress up as a princess). At some point, however, those children stop playing make believe. Or at least they should. Imagine if your 40 year old daughter came out dressed like a princess and asked you for a tea party. It would be even more disturbing if she dressed like a princess every day and went to work that way, demanding that everyone call her “Princess.” Or if your 40 year old son wore a sheriff’s uniform to work each day. We would say that something was a little “off.”

Unfortunately we have tens of millions of people still playing make believe, pretending that something is true when it absolutely isn’t. The simplest example on this is this whole idea that a teenage boy can declare himself a girl and now join the high school girls track team. This requires everyone around him to suspend belief and pretend that he isn’t a boy. In fact, they DEMAND that we do so. Even when it is patently obvious that it is simply not true. Think about it. If they can make you go along with the idea that a human body with a penis is actually a girl, in spite of all science saying otherwise, they can make you believe anything. The make believe is designed to destroy the concept of absolute truth. (And let me say right here, so as not to be accused of “transphobia,” that I believe every transexual has the exact same rights as any other American citizen. Nothing less but nothing more either. They can do what they want to their bodies and call themselves whatever they want. I’m just not going to play along with their desire to claim something that isn’t true.)

And this is just one example. In preparing to write this article, I asked my Facebook friends what other games of “make believe” we are being demanded to play. Here are some of their answers (You will note that I have GREAT Facebook friends):

That we canceled the Pipeline project for the good of the climate but it’s ok that foreign countries produce our oil (like we don’t share all the same climate!)

Just because socialism has failed everywhere else doesn’t mean it won’t work here, because we’ll do it “right.”

You can sit inches from someone on an airplane for four hours, yet it is dangerous to not “social distance” while deplaning.

A higher minimum wage will lead to more opportunity and prosperity and not inflation.

That people crossing into the country illegally should not be referred to as illegal.

That the left can destroy monuments, burn property, destroy businesses, take over municipal and federal buildings but it is called a protest.

How more gun control leads to less violence.

That late term abortion is ever necessary to save a woman’s life.

That we should not defend our property, because the thieves need it more than we do.

That Trump is a white supremacist or a Russian asset.

That at elementary age children are old enough to give sexual consent.

That Democrats are for the common man.

That personal wealth is built on the backs of the working poor.

That young black men – or any race for that matter – are being hunted down in the streets by police.

That two million poor immigrants can be admitted into the country to be fully supported at public expense and it will have no economic impact on the people who are already here.

That science is an oracle with all the answers instead of a process for exploring questions.

That banning plastic bags and straws, particularly in cities hundreds of miles inland, will save the lives of sea turtles.

That you are selfish if you support capitalism and want to see our country prosper.

That requiring ID to vote disenfranchises minorities. The implication being that minorities just aren’t smart enough to know how to get a driver’s license or personal ID.

We need TSA security and proper identification at our airports, but not at our borders or at polling places.

That just because I was born white, I’m automatically racist.

The X and Y chromosome are irrelevant when determining male or female.

Extended lockdowns were necessary or effective.

There you have it. Those were generated from just one Facebook post. I am sure that you may be able to come up with even more. But the point is that there are dozens of examples of things that are being pushed on society that we all know that they are entirely untrue, and yet they continue. They are make believe issues.

The question is why do they continue living in their fantasy land? I think they continue because we play along. They pretend and we go right along and pretend with them.

Well folks, I’m through.

I am by profession, a speaker. I have written 22 books, I am in the Motivational Speakers Hall of Fame, and have spoken all over the world at conferences. I was having a Facebook discussion around the way people are now choosing pronouns that are not accurate at all. For example, a man now requires you to call him “her” or “she.” It is not true and it is therefore not even proper english. Especially when that man wants to be called “they.” It is absurd. One man or one woman is a single, not a plural. In this conversation a friend of mine from the National Speakers Association declared that most corporations are moving this way and if they require me to call their Male CEO “her” or she” or “they,” that he would do so.

That was the straw that broke the camel’s back for me. Why that? I don’t know, but it did. I said that I am done playing make believe. Sure, if their male CEO wants to be called Sheryl or Margaret, I would be happy to do so (although I would snicker in my head every time I did). But I will not play make believe and call him a woman.

In fact, I won’t be playing make believe in anything, ever again. You can pretend whatever you want. I won’t be joining you. Instead, I would encourage you to stop pretending – or even just being silent when they pretend – because allowing them to pretend without speaking up and challenging it has consequences. How bizarre is the make believe we’re talking about? Consider this:

The story I’m about to tell you is from a friend of ours. It happened to her. This is not a secondhand story.

She was at a major clothing retail store and was going to go into the dressing room to try on some clothes. When the person who disinfects the room after someone uses it came out, she started moving toward the dressing room but was told to stop. She was told she had to wait for two minutes.

When she asked why, she was told that it took a couple of minutes for the coronavirus to fall off the surfaces and drift to the floor. Apparently, if she went in too early, she might bump into it in the air and catch the virus. (No mention of whether or not you can catch it on the soles of your feet)

You can’t make this stuff up. And I’m not.

What have we come to?

Until those of us who are concerned with the truth stand up and fight in the marketplace of ideas, we we are doomed because there are enough uninformed and gullible people who will follow right along with the make believe fairy tales being thrust upon the masses. We cannot allow ourselves to be canceled or dismissed.

America was built on the free flow of information and the exchange of ideas. America is a place where everyone’s voice can and should be heard and the goal is that the truth will win out. We must battle for the truth and make sure that every step of the way it is heard.

One of the greatest speeches ever given in a film was Al Pacino‘s character in Any Given Sunday. Right before a big game he tells his team that football and life is a game of inches. You have to battle for every single inch you take. The other team is going to battle fiercely, and we see that each and every day as they flood the airwaves with lies, half truths, misinformation, and disinformation. All of it make believe in order to deceive the masses. We must battle them every single inch of the way. For if we do not, eventually we will lose.

Today is the day to make your voice heard. The left RELIES on your apathy. I get it. I know how difficult it is when somebody is saying something stupid to open your mouth and raise your voice and say the truth. It is a lot easier to just roll your eyes and consider them a moron.

We must make our voices heard. Quit going along with their fairy tales and speak up!

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Faith

How To Live The Best Christian Life

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What does it mean to live well in this world? For many, they root the worldly answer to this question in vanity and materialism. Fortunately, the authority of God’s word has an answer for us. Society and sometimes our own ego’s tell us how important it is to be successful. Our modern world usually defines success as earning more money, getting a big house, a nice car, a boat, maybe even an airplane. Success could mean climbing the promotion ladder at your job, or having a very successful business. For many, they define success in how many “followers” or “likes” they have on their social media platform. Yet, as people gain these successes, many of them are searching still for more happiness and meaning.

Americans of all economic backgrounds are left with a void. According to a Time Magazine story, suicide rates are higher than at any other time since World War I. A Harvard report informs us of an “Astounding increase in antidepressant use by Americans.” This type of sad news informs us that even as citizens of the richest nation in the world, more cars, boats, bigger houses, career advances, etc…. are not enough to make us happy. So what can people do to discover fulfillment and success independent of the material? Luckily, God’s word provides us with the answer. The wonderful youtube channel, The Bible Project, does an excellent job of providing succinct overviews of each book of the Bible. Their take on Ecclesiastes is an instructive guide to aid us in how to live the best Christian life.

The Book of Ecclesiastes explains three observations about our world. The first is father time:

Generations come, and generations go,
but the earth remains forever.
The sun rises and the sun sets,
and hurries back to where it rises.
The wind blows to the south
and turns to the north;
round and round it goes,
ever returning on its course…
No one remembers the former generations,
and even those yet to come
will not be remembered
by those who follow them. – Ecclesiastes 1 ( 4-6, 11) (NIV)

In the grand expanse of the universe, we are just a speck. Everything that is so important to us right now: our careers, our bank accounts, our cars, our “successes” mean nothing in the big picture of God’s eternal plan. Our earthly existence is just a quick flash. A small drop in an enormous ocean of time.

The second observation form Ecclesiastes is that we will all die and return to dust and that our concerns while here on earth are relatively meaningless.
Surely the fate of human beings is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath; humans have no advantage over animals. Everything is meaningless. All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return. -Ecclesiastes (19-21) (NIV)

The third observation we learn from Ecclesiastes is that life is random. :

The race is not to the swift
or the battle to the strong,
nor does food come to the wise
or wealth to the brilliant
or favor to the learned;
but time and chance happen to them all.
Moreover, no one knows when their hour will come. Ecclesiastes 9, 11-12 (NIV)

The lesson here is that life is way too complex for us to try and control and attempting to do so sets us up for failure and disappointment. These three observations can make life seem pretty dark and pointless. The author explains that everything in life is hevel. This is a Hebrew word meaning vapor or smoke. And like smoke, life can look like one thing, but quickly change into another form. You can reach out and try to grab (control) both smoke and life to no avail.

Modern biblical translations miss the smoke metaphor and usually translate hevel to the word meaningless. However, the author of Ecclesiastes isn’t suggesting that life has no meaning, but that instead, life can be unclear (like smoke). Just like standing in a smoky room, life can be confusing, stressful, and it’s difficult to know what lies in front of you. Therefore, while it may not always guarantee short-term success in our time on earth, we should live in fear of the Lord and have faith because his plan is eternal and beyond our comprehension.

The lesson of Ecclesiastes is that since we have no control in life, we should focus on the one thing that we do have control over, our attitude. Real success is accepting this lack of control and appreciating not the material, but the intangible things in life: holding hands with a loved one, sitting out in the sun on a warm day, your bare feet on the beach, a great meal with friends and loved ones. We should learn to enjoy these good simple moments, and the bad, because while they are fleeting, they are all gifts from a loving God.

The good times and the bad, the money, the jobs, our health, our friends, and even our loved one’s will all come and go. If we can teach ourselves to appreciate the ups and the downs of this rollercoaster of life and understand that God is the master of the entire amusement park, then learning to enjoy the ride is the accurate definition of success. This is how we can learn to live our best Christian life.

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