How Dad Influenced My Thinking

My Dad's InfluenceI have been working on a launch of a worksheet to help you create your 10-year goal. Have you ever done something for so long or perhaps believed in something so long that when you try to create a worksheet or course or have a conversation with someone on that topic it seems so simple and yet the other person is like – how do you do that?

This is what developing content to help leaders and business owners create a 10-year goal has felt like to me.

This morning I was thinking about why I feel so strongly about a 10-year goal. I asked myself the question what came before what I wrote about in “What’s Your 10-Year Plan”. This morning the answer popped into my head in the form of neon letters.

It was a conversation with my Dad, many years ago. I don’t remember how we got on the topic and yet I remember the conversation as clearly as if we had it yesterday.

I asked him what made him happy. His answer was “I don’t know”. We continued the conversation and yet his answer stood – he had no answer. I remember getting in my car and driving home thinking that it was not good that Dad didn’t know what made him happy.

I did not have the awareness then to fully understand the conversation but at that moment I realized that I wanted to know what made me happy and to do that!

At the time of our conversation, Dad was still working. When he and my Mom retired, they had a goal to travel to Alaska on an extended trip. This was something that my Dad wanted to do & Mom was on board. They took that trip – they were gone for about 3 months. According to them it was an awesome trip. My Dad’s goal was accomplished.

He never set another one after that trip. He did things that made my Mom happy. I never felt my Dad was unhappy and yet I am not sure he was truly happy since he never figured out what he loved doing.

Fast forward a few years and Dad was diagnosed with dementia. Eventually, he moved to assisted living. My Dad did not know who I was for the last few years of his life and yet when I told him, “love you” he would occasionally answer back “love you too”. He also used to tease the staff and pretend he was sleeping by faking snoring – it was funny, and he did it at appropriate times. Those two things seemed odd to me given his advanced dementia (each time I witnessed them they were gifts).

I don’t know if Dad had figured out what made him happy and done that if he would have avoided dementia. I don’t know for sure that dementia could have been avoided if he had continued to dream and set goals (maybe even another trip). I will always wonder – what if Dad had figured out what he loved to do and then did it – would that have made a difference?

This wondering has fueled my passion to know what I love and do it. One way is to have a 10-year goal and dream big.

So, what’s your 10-year goal?

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