The other day I took my 5 1/2 year old son rock climbing.  We had 3 hours without my daughter and wife because they were selling Girl Scout cookies.  I told him I would take him to do whatever he wanted to do because that was “our special time”.  I was pretty shocked when he said he wanted to go rock climbing as that was not even close to being on my radar of what he may want to do.

When we got to Main Event, I told the attendant we wanted to go rock climbing and he asked if we wanted to do it for a half an hour or one hour.  I asked my son and he said “let’s do an hour Daddy”.  When my son said this, the other attendant looked at him and said in a whisper “can he do THIS”?  The other attendant (who had apparently seen him rock climb at a recent birthday party) chuckled and then said, “Oh yea, this boy is awesome”!

If you could have only seen my smile.

You see, my son is in the 10th percentile growth for his age.  He is almost 6 years old and just reached 40 pounds which finally enabled him to graduate from his”baby carseat”. (his words, not mine) However, size means nothing to my son. His “girlfriend” is a head taller than he is and he plays baseball like he is a giant. He believes he can do anything and truly is fearless.

When we started climbing, I was just amazed at his ability.  His first attempt he made it half way up the wall.  When he came down, he looked at me and said “Daddy, this time I am going to ring the bell”.  There is a bell at the top of a 25 foot rock wall.  The climber must navigate their way and scale the wall to reach the bell and ring it.  I looked at him and said, “go for it man”!  I never thought in a million years he would actually ring the bell, but he did it!  Did I mention the wall was 25 feet tall?!  He then proceeded to come down.  I was so proud.  He looked at me and said “I told you I was going to do it”.  I said “Yes, you did son.  Great job”!

My son proceeded to ring the bell 15 more times.  I was rock climbing too, and I climbed some of the same walls he did. I struggled to climb and he just zipped effortlessly to the top. Teenagers around him weren’t able to get to the top.  At one point there was a small audience actually watching him and whispering to each other about his ability.

As a father, I learn things from my kids every day.  Part of what keeps me young is watching my children.  My daughter is no different than my son.  I am so proud of them both.  There are lessons I have learned about courage from my kids and I think you can learn too.  Here are 5 lessons that you should think about the next time you say you can’t do something.

  1.  You Won’t Know Until You Try-  As we get older, we all get a little set in our ways.  We have it in our head that things are too difficult or we are going against insurmountable odds.  Sometimes we can’t complete a task.  Sometimes we will fail.  But sometimes we will be great and succeed!  If you succeed, it is truly the greatest feeling on earth.  It is called growth.  Sometimes rookies do win. (Ironic that Trace is wearing Tony Romo’s shirt because Dak Prescott sure showed that rookies win in his first year with the Cowboys.)
  2. Size Doesn’t Matter-  Who cares that my son is small.  He certainly doesn’t. In fact, sometimes being small has it’s advantages. He is killer at hide and seek, I can still carry him around on my shoulders when his feet get tired at the theme park and he is the perfect size to snuggle. As a small business owner, I am reminded that there are advantages to being small.  I am my own boss, I get to work from home, I get to spend more time with my family.
  3.  Tenacity is What it Takes to Succeed-  So beyond the rock climbing, my son could ride a bike without training wheels at age 3.  Every time he fell off the bike, he got right back up on the bike to try again.  As adults we give up too easily.  We are going to have some bumps and bruises, but sometimes we just need to keep going.  I’m in sales, and I need to be reminded of this daily. Determination and drive will make you succeed.
  4.  Ignore the Critics- People sometimes are quick to judge.  Don’t let someone else tell you how impossible the task may be.  Try it yourself and you can be the judge.  If I listened to the critics, then I wouldn’t be where I am today.  I never thought I would run my own business.  Neither did anyone else.
  5. Give it Everything You Have-  You won’t get anywhere in life by just doing something that is half as good as what you really can do.  Go for it!  My son used every pound and every inch of what he had to climb that wall.  Remember, you are capable!  Use all of your assets to complete the tasks!

So, the next time you think you can’t do something.  Remember these five lessons.  Take a look at your children or someone you love and smile.  Let them encourage you to do what you thought could not be done!