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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!

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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.

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Chris is the Founder of PolitiCrossing, one of the World's Top 50 Speakers and a member of the Motivational Speakers Hall of Fame. 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-three books with three million copies in print in 14 languages and over 450 articles on success, leadership, sales and motivation.



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Faith

The New Democratic Sex Cult

They have stopped worshipping the Creator and instead worship the created.

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The Democrats have become a sex cult. Sex is their religion. They have exchanged worshipping God the Creator and instead worship sex, the created. PolitiCrossing founder Chris Widener explains in this short video and gives you the true answer on how to defeat the sex cult. Read Romans 1:18-27 below the video, then watch the video.

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From Romans 1:18-27

18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.

24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

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Faith

Unleash the Spirit Within

It doesn’t take considerable effort to engage in spiritual-type behavior that will benefit everyone

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You can practice being more spiritual in little ways that add up quickly to your being a more spiritual person. For example, there are relatively minor things you can do to start the process, although nothing is minor when it comes to acting spiritually. As an example, if you smile at someone, they tend to smile back. If you go out of your way to help someone, that person might in turn help another and so on.

Spirituality certainly does not have to be restricted to the confines of organized religion. Freed from the rules, restrictions, and impediments that organized religion may impose upon you, how and where might you be more spiritual in your life?

Each little action sets in motion the potential for greater good. So, as you proceed through six items below, do not discount the value of engaging in any of these. Each has the potential to add up to more.

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Spirituality While Driving

Researchers report that when people get in their cars, they think they’re in some type of invisible vehicle. No one sees them as they motor down the road. If you curse or scream, who’s to know? Obviously, you’re not invisible and the way you conduct yourself as a motorist potentially impacts other motorists, as well as pedestrians.

The next time someone cuts you off in traffic, fails to use their turn signal properly or otherwise engages in improper driving, practice maintaining your composure.

Don’t curse, scream, or honk your horn. If the other person is in view, look at them blankly, but not with disgust or anger, or a mocking smile.

Often, the other party knows what they did wrong. If not, venting your spleen is not likely to change their behavior.

If you travel frequently, say as part of your job, and often traverse high traffic arteries, chances are you’ll have an opportunity at least several times a week to practice engaging in small displays of spirituality. As a goal, why not establish for yourself one composed response per week?

Each time you can remain composed, you increase the probability that you will be more composed in other aspects of your life. Perhaps you’ll even be kinder to people in face-to-face encounters when they commit a transgression.

Comfort the Less Fortunate

As a small gesture of spirituality, what can you do for someone you see right on the street? It’s one thing to write a check to charity; it’s another to encounter someone who is in need and aid that person on the spot.

When you have shoes that you no longer wear, but are not necessarily in pieces, keep them in your trunk as you motor around town. Then, if you see a homeless person with less than sufficient footwear, and it looks like you might be roughly the same size, pull over.

Promptly get the shoes from your trunk, walk up to the person and say that you want them to accept the shoes. If he or she accepts, fine, bid them good day, and be on your way. If he or she chooses not to take them, that’s okay too.

Your goal in this area could be to give away each pair of shoes or other worthwhile item of clothing that you no longer want, perhaps on a monthly basis.

Participate in Group Action

If this is not for you, volunteer once a month to serve a meal at a local shelter for the homeless. If you’re a busy career type, perhaps serving dinner will work best for you. Whatever your preconceived notions about this may be, once you actually serve dinner to real live people, you’ll see that reality is different than you thought.

Perhaps you think that people would be reluctant to speak up for what they wanted. Or worse, they’d be groveling, and you would have to do your best to remain humble. Perhaps you feel like you’ll seem to be some kind of “goody-two-shoes,” dispensing dinners with an overly pleasant, “And how are you this evening? Here’s a nice dinner for you.”

Actually, none of the above usually happens. Person to person, you simply serve another, as if you were in partnership. More peas? Fewer carrots? It’s much more matter-of-fact than you might imagine. They’re appreciative but not groveling.

Note: Some people who show up at a shelter are well dressed. Perhaps they’re temporarily unemployed, or they had a financial emergency they were unprepared to handle.

The more often you serve others in this way, the easier it becomes to do it again. You start to get the notion that there are a lot more similarities between human beings than differences. The old axiom, “There but for the grace of God, go I,” is much more true than we all often acknowledge.

Look for the Good in Others

Is there a co-worker with whom you have had a nasty relationship? Is there something good about this co-worker that you can draw upon, so that you can get yourself to  say something nice to him/her at your next encounter?

Will Rogers, a political satirist, entertainer, and beloved figure in the first half of the twentieth century allegedly said, “I never met a man I didn’t like.” Many people have interpreted Will Rogers to have meant that he could find something admirable in everyone he met. So, too, can we all.

Is there a neighbor with whom you have had a continuing squabble? What would it do to your relationship if you sent your neighbor a card or a brief note that said something along the lines of, “I noticed how lovely your garden was the other day, and wanted to let you know that I appreciate the work you’ve done in maintaining it.”? Too syrupy, or, pardon the expression, too flowery? Guess again.

List five people at work or elsewhere in your life with whom you may not have a good relationship, but whom you can acknowledge. Next to each person’s name, write a dash and then what is good about them.

You’re going to be on Earth for a finite amount of time. Do you want to go through your life trading hostilities with people, never having the where-with-all to restore some semblance of civility to the relationship?

Listen More Closely

Human beings have a profound need to be heard. When you give others your full and complete attention, in essence, you’re telling them that you value them as a people. All activity and concerns in your life stop as the words and emotions of another person take on paramount importance.

Listening is one of people’s most underrated skills. Your ability to listen to another person, giving him or her your full and undivided attention, can be an act of spirituality, particularly if the other person needs someone to listen to him/her. In this rush-rush world, too often we want people to summarize everything they say.

Consider the people in your life who have mattered the most to you and, chances are, they were the people that listened to you best. Whether it was your parents, a brother or sister, a good friend, a relative, a teacher, a coach, a coworker, a mentor, or just somebody down the street, you tend to value those who value you by listening.

In Siddhartha, by Herman Hesse, the young Siddhartha speaks about his most well-developed skills. He can listen, he can fast, and he can wait.

These talents don’t seem like much to the Western mind, but they’re handy if you want to increase the spirituality of your life. As a goal, why not to listen in earnest to one person per week in the workplace whom you would not have otherwise given such time and attention?

At home, give your significant other one good listening to per day, and I promise things will go better. Do the same with each child.

Judge Deeds, Not People

Judgment is a necessary and practical skill. It’s likely that you judge things, including others, all day long. After all, if you want to choose the colleges appropriate for you, friends that share similar values, and the professional, social, and civic groups that you will enjoy being a part of, you need to make some judgments.

We all judge one another, however, sometimes harshly. Everyone can learn from each other. It is so easy to fall into that game, as psychologist Carl Rogers articulated, of “mine is better than yours.” It is too convenient to conclude that people who walk, talk, or look differently than we do, must be vastly different, and by extension, inferior.

As you might have already concluded, it doesn’t take considerable effort to be spiritual and to engage in spiritual-type behavior that will benefit yourself, and benefit others. The opportunities are all around each of us, every day. All we have to do is be aware.

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