He may not be ready for the title of “Grandpa,” but Cliff Townsend has found a powerful teacher in his son’s son.
Sometimes it’s just hard to believe. It seems as if it was just yesterday that I was changing my sons diaper And today here I am changing his son’s diapers.
My son having his own child technically now makes me a Grandfather. There I said it, moving forward we will no longer use that word. From now on we will just describe him as my son’s son.
My ex-wife loves being called a Grandmother, and she doesn’t understand why I told her I have no problem with my son’s son calling me “Cliff” when he’s able to speak.
Maybe it’s because I am still single, and the title of Grandpa is not exactly a chick magnet. Maybe it’s because I think that the title of Grandpa implies that all my fun days are behind me, and as a Grandpa I should go buy a Condo in an old people’s community and wait for death to come calling. I am just not ready to accept that as yet, I still want to be called Cliff.
As much as I dislike the title, I absolutely love what he brings into my life. I look forward to seeing him like I do no one else. I look forward to babysitting, and taking him to the beach while I write and he just lies there, and I look at him in amazement. His laughter and smile lights up my world like nothing else.
The more time I spend with him the more I realize that I am actually learning some valuable lessons from him. Lessons that can be applied not only in my personal life and my business life also.
LESSON # 1
HE KNOWS EXACTLY WHAT HE WANTS AND WONT SETTLE FOR ANYTHING ELSE.
Because he is only a few months old, and cannot speak as of yet, like most babies his way of letting me know what he wants is by crying. He will start with a small outburst, and a few pauses in between, and if and when I ignore him for a prolonged amount of time those small burst with pauses will then turn into full blown screaming bloody murder.
He will scream bloody murder to the point where he no longer breathes, it just becomes one continuous scream with no pause. The kind of screaming that would cause most people to pick him up, however I love all the noises that he makes, even when he cries.
He will not stop until he gets someone’s attention. Believe me I have tried. My record for letting scream unattended so far has been about twenty five minutes before my neighbor knocked on my door, and told me that if I did not stop him from crying she was going to call the police.
However once he has been attended to, that is still not enough. He will not stop until his need has been met. I can pick him up, give him his pacifier, change his diaper, burp him; it doesn’t matter, because until his specific need has been met he will not stop.
I have met so many people who have given up on the things that they want in life. The things that they knew were in their best interest, both personally and professionally.
I recently did a consultation with a prospective client who is fifty nine years old, and after talking to her for a few minutes we both came to the realization that she had absolutely no idea what she wants out of life. Unfortunately this is a problem for a lot of people. They do not know exactly what they want and later in life they realized that they simply settled for whatever life threw in their direction.
My son’s son know exactly what he wants, and will not be sold on anything less. He will not compromise for less than what he wants.
HE DOES NOT CONFORM TO SOCIETY’S RULES.
There are millions of people who get up every day and go to work, and do other things, and they have no idea why they are doing those things. They are doing those things because they have been told this is what they are supposed to do. They have no central purpose in their life that drives them, therefore they conform. They have been programmed, and have never taken the time to question their programming, or even worse they do not know that they have even been programmed. They believe living a mediocre life is the best that they will ever be. They do not believe that we all have greatness within us.
It could be you. If you are reading this and you are getting offended, because you believe that a mediocre life is what you are designed for, and that not everyone has greatness within them. If you do not believe in stepping outside of your comfort zone. If you are restricted by society’s rules that says that you cannot be this or that, and that certain people are supposed to be a certain way, and that is all that they are limited to being or becoming, then it could be you.
My son’s son does not conform. He lives by his own rules, because he is too young to be restricted by society’s rules that tell us what we can or cannot be.
He does what he wants, when he wants regardless of where he is, or who is around. Spending time with him as thought me to question myself anytime that I find myself being restricted by society’s perception of what and who I should become.
HE HAS SHORT TERM MEMORY.
When I watch the Miami Heat my favorite basketball team, and its midway through the fourth quarter and Dwayne Wade has only made three out of fifteen shots. I am not mad if he misses his next shot, because I understand that in order to be great one has to have really short term memory.
His next shot could become the game winner, and at that point all the shots that he missed are now irrelevant. The great shooters keep on shooting, because they do not dwell on the last missed shot.
Successful people will continue to be successful because they do not allow challenges and obstacles to become a long term hindrance. They keep on chasing their dreams even after they have encountered unimaginable tragedies. They have developed the ability to have short term memory, and move on.
My son’s son will go from screaming bloody murder, and in the next second he will be laughing and smiling. He is a master of leaving one emotion behind and moving on to the next in a split second. He doesn’t allow the fact that I let him cry for an extended amount of time affect the next moment.
He does not approach the next moment with any per-conceived notions, he allows the moment to determine what emotion is needed.
I know that over the next few years, until he has been trained and programmed to conform to society’s rules, I have lots of life lessons to learn from my son’s son.
Photo: Flickr/Yoshihide Nomura