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I mean can you be a Radical Dad when you are NOT MARRIED?
But, not married?
What does that even mean?
Of course, I know what it means on the surface, in the currency of words. But lets deconstruct that thinking a bit more shall we?
I cant think of anywhere else in life where you would define yourself by an absence of something.
Hi, Im not blond.
Hi, Im not tall
Hi Im not Australian.
Hi Im not informed
The statements and thinking are more a symptom of a line of thought that brings many men, married, engaged or single or Its complicated undone.
Its simply a low level of confidence.
Now note that I didnt say a lack of confidence?
Because everyone has confidence.
This difference is how you apply that confidence and how you believe in and perceive of yourself.
Yes its important to know your limits, but its also important to be clear about what you are playing for.
Your kids rights?
Now, what about this;Hi Im not interested.
When you dont want to do something Hi, Im not available.
Someone does something you dont approve of: Im not impressed.
If its raining outside and you were going to go for a run, Im not going (at which point I would call you out on that, but you get my point!)
Perfectly acceptable ways to communicate a resistance. All ways to avoid something. All ways in which a lot of people speak.
But did you note a theme?
What do those styles of phrases all have in common Community?
They are statements of selective objection. They are immediately recognisable as low interest or low or zero motivation. Well no one ever has zero motivation, its really just a priorities redistribution.
No, these statements all point to one thing a scarcity mentality.
Some of you may have heard of this before but for the uninitiated its what I call the strange religion of belief that I call the Cult of the Lacking. Yep funny name but it really exists.
You know that the Cult of The Lacking is practised by many disciples and has many many fans.
And when I say practiced I really mean worshipped. But its not the Church of the Radical Dad.
I mean there is a certain romanticism around the Cult of the Lacking. What could be more romantic than the unrequited approach to the world? The approach where you have a go. Now thats a great Aussie tradition, the have a go.
And it gets people to start things but where is the other bookend to that statement? Why dont we say have a go and persist of have a go and win of have a go and keep going till you get it mastered?.
Perfect practice makes perfect even?
I see too many people Community throw in the towel too quickly on their passions and goals. But then justify it by saying they had a go.
Well the Cult of the Lacking is linked to the Have a go mentality and if you are doing it you need to uncouple from that train wreck.
And we will talk about the Cult of the Lacking in a minute.
The statement defined by a lack of something are linked through a perceived absence. A perceived lacking. Scarcity.
Something isnt available.
Is it talent?
Is it resources?
Is it time?
Is it skills?
Is it a support network?
Is it family?
And what the Cult of the Lacking encourages more than anything is mediocrity.
The common man.
And for the statistically minded its called a reversion to the mean.
Think about it. All going in the wrong direction.
All going nowhere to Shitsville Central.
Does anyone really want to live there?
I mean the land of the bland.
The land of the same.
Kingdom of Conform?
Who wants that? You would expect no-one right?
Well you would be mistaken.
There are millions of Cult of the Lacking followers. They are everywhere.
They are all around you.
They are at work.
At the shops.
On the road.
In the queue.
You see, thats the majority of people.
Rolling through life never really challenged or allowing themselves to be challenged. Avoiding challenging situations. Who am I to achieve my dreams and goals?.
Well Community, Im going to call that because who are you not to? What gives you the right to deny the world your energy and your flow that comes from pursuing dreams?
Who gives you the right to deny your children the opportunity to see what true happiness looks like and how to live a life worth living?
Now, a change of pace to show you something.
Think about the way you feel when you are doing something you love, that you enjoy. Whether thats sporting, academic study, holidays, reading a book or a favourite author or anything that ever mattered to you.
Thnk about how it makes you feel. Think about the experience. What is happening for you? What does the rest of the world seem like?
I will tell you and if Im wrong, please tell me.
I will bet that everything seems to move so slowly, but you have never been so excited. Its all connected, you, the environment, your mind, your spirit, your body are all as one in unison. Its euphoric, and enlivening and enlightening.
This is what the psychologists call a peak experience.
Its where you are completely at one with your environment and with yourself.
Most people who have played sport have had many peak experiences.
And you know what? Peak experiences are a sign of a happy healthy outlook on life, that you can release yourself from your daily flotsam and jetsam to indulge in a purely experiential moment in time, connected.
So what is a Peak Experience?
It can be super easy to spot one.
Think about those times when you have been just walking down the street, just taking it all in. You are absorbing the environment, you are not questioning, you are not engaged in logical or intellectual thought. You are simply being.
You are simply at one with yourself, your surroundings. You might even be smiling but it just feels like you are riding along the pavement on a cloud, just strolling and you make even have an extra spring in your step.
Its pure joy.
Its pure elation at being alive and not taking anything for granted.
Being grateful for what you do have.
You are not aimless, but actually very centred and directed.
In these peak experiences you are fully yourself. And that attracts good like minded people too.
You are at one with yourself and everything around you. Its a natural high. Its like you almost cant even remember what you have been doing the last 5 minutes.
Now walking along the street is just one simple example of a peak experience. You can get them anywhere or doing anything.
All it requires is full engagement in what you are doing mentally, spiritually and physically. It all comes together.
I know I have peak experiences playing with the kids, driving to work even making dinner, doing the washing or mowing lawns, feeding the dog, patting the cat, anywhere!
All it needs is full engagement.
Now as I write this I am on my way to Auckland New Zealand.
Im probably 6,000 metres above sea level with 300 other people but Im having a peak experience right now because my mind, spirit and body are focussed on one task-bringing you the best insights to transform you into a Radical Dad.
Nothing else matters in this moment in time.
Of course the imporant things like family are always important and present, but I am in a peak experience zone when Im writing this.
To quote Metallica, Nothing Else Matters.
But really, the best part about Peak Experiences? Well one, they are free of course but two, ANYONE can have a peak experience!!
Yes thats right.
You dont need to be an elite athlete, a professor, a CEO or even a community leader.
All you need is one single ingredient; a mentality of abundance and the dew
You need to be open.
You need to genuinely believe that you are deserving of everything good life has to offer. If you have that mentality then you are pretty much there.
You should be peak experiencing all over the place!
Its so simple if you allow it to happen. And thats the key. You have to trust yourself and your life in order to allow it to happen.
Now if you have low trust in yourself or your environment then you wont be gifted with a Peak Experience.
They just wont come and they just wont happen.
So you can see what this inevitably means for those who have low trust in themselves, their plans, their friends, their lives. Those that dont risk anything. Those that dont allow life to unfold they way it should be.
Thats right. They dont have as many Peak Experiences.
The Cult of The Lacking ARE missing out on these alignments of mind, body, spirit and environment.
And what is even worse, they probably dont even know about it.
I mean how would they? How could they?
To paraphrase Roosevelt, these poor souls who neither enjoy much nor suffer much know for they live in the grey twilight that know not victory nor defeat. Sounds super exciting not!
If you are in that space right now, then getting into that abundance mindset is what I would consider your primary goal.
Now, only you know what your goals are but Im betting that being happy is one.
(Or maybe not happy but kind of happy or something looking like happy. Just go for happy you deserve it).
And if you are agreeing with those statements, then you need to reconsider your approach because you are fearful of asking for what you deserve.
Anytime you out a qualified like a bit of or some of. shows low confidence to ask for the full boxed set. You deserve the steak knives man!
The social psychologists say the more Peak Experiences you have, the more likely you are to be on track to achieve lifes goals and simply being able to be present and to just be in the space and skin that you are in. Its called self-actualising and its a good place to be.
And the happier you are. The more connected you feel.
Now who doesnt want our children to see us in that productive and centred state?
To show them the work of humankind over thousands of years to understand oneself.
Wouldnt that be a powerful lesson for your children? And its not a logical lesson. Its a lesson in BEING present and available.
There is no reason why you cant do this. Do it all.
Have great kids.
A great life.
Great relationships with the people that matter.
Great connections with family and friends.
So you can see, your success as a Radical Dad is not dependant upon your marital status but solely on your outlook on life. And you kids will pick up on this and be inspired by it. True.
And this is one real experience you can aim for to defect from the Cult of The Lacking, into a world where anything is possible.
We want what we want.
And according to most people, thats not being realistic.
See the Cult of The Lacking right there telling you your limitations?
Everything. And having it all. And you can. And your kids will learn more about success in life than you could imagine.
So you see, your marital status is not relevant when it comes to being a Radical Dad. We all have our own lives to navigate and putting ourselves into the best mindset possible is our key responsibility as a Radical Dad.
If you would like some help bringing everything together, click here to register for my online course How to bring Peak Experiences to Your Life, Peak Hard and Often for Success (without Chanting Like a Tibetan Monk for 10 Years)
For the top 5 of tools (or tips/apps) to help develop peak experiences, click here or text PEAK to 04xx xxx xxx.
Let me know if you can relate to what Im saying here. Add a comment below.
Or tell me about what gets in the way of you living the life you want. Do it now! Short, sharp and immediate is best!
Be the best Dad you can be Get Radical!
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POSTED ONJULY 8, 2016Books for Beards Ive created this page because I want to make a difference to a special group of people who are severely under the pump. And Ive called it Books for Beards.
And I have a grand beard I have been cultivating since Australia Day this year that I will shave off on Fathers Day this September exactly 32 weeks later.
Let me explain why.
I am inspired by a unique group within the Royal Womens Hospital Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
Its a Dads Group.
The Group is the brainchild of Dr Carl Kuschel, head of the NICU unit and Associate Professor Dr Frances Salo and supported by many doctors and health professionals within and connected to the Womens.
Their focus in Dads Group is to support the Dads of babies that have been admitted to the NICU unit.
There are many reasons a baby can be placed in NICU, like being born prematurely, have a congenital condition, feeding difficulties, infections, hypoglycaemia or jaundice.
Something that you hope never happens to any child, let alone your own.
The aims of the NICU developmental care team are to:
reduce infant stress, agitation and potential harm ex utero
promote birth recovery and energy
encouraging and supporting parents to recognise baby behavioural cues
promotion of normal growth & development
supporting family emotional and social well being
For Dads, while each experience is unique, the reality of a NICU admission is generally the same:
Fear for the life of their young baby and partner.
An unknown yet confronting hospital environment.
No one plans for a premature baby and it can create a sense of overwhelm and helplessness. Its always an emergency and its closely life and death.
Its a stressful experience that nothing in life can prepare Dads for.
Add on top of that, there are expectations and obligations of family and friends and the stress can really add up for Dads (and Mums too!). And quickly.
Click here to make a difference NOW Help a NICU Dad support his family
How I found out about Dads Group
The Dads Group had only just started in 2013 when I was a NICU dad with boy-girl twins that were born 29 weeks, 6 days thats 10 weeks and 1 day early. Way too early.
We ended up staying in NICU for 14 weeks. My wife Kirsten, Maisie and Rupert were Long Termers.
We almost lost the kids a number of times including a mystery illness and a couple of code blue incidents.
Doctors run fast when the blue lights in the NICU ceiling get switched on.
Despite all of that we were very, very lucky our kids made it home. Sadly not all babies do. And its horrendous.
A shining light
In managing all of these factors, Dads didnt have a lot of resources or direct support.
And a group of dedicated medical staff saw the heavy impact of Dads trying to do everything expected of them and stay positive in extreme circumstances.
So they created the Dads Group, which now runs weekly.
However, there is a major gap in support.
Supporting Dads Group
The face to face nature of Dads Group helps with building connections with other Dads in similar circumstances. And it works.
But there is a large pool of experience and knowledge that isnt tapped into; Dads who have been NISC Dads that are now home.
Currently, there are no materials written by past NICU Dads who have lived and survived the pain of watching a helpless child and being helpless;
The blood swabs and tests after doctors pricking your childs foot.
The eye tests.
The hospital jargon to come to terms with.
So many NICU staff and rotating shifts.
The expectations and inadvertent misunderstandings of family and friends.
And funnily enough, most premature kids are born underweight, our boy was 851 grams, but as a parent, you only ever see the child and its spirit and its will.
This is where the fundraising will focus on collecting the unique experiences and survival strategies of past NICU Dads and producing an insights and support manual.
It will be created through a large number of interviews both face to face and written as well as podcasts.
It will be genuine, honest, sometimes raw and hopefully, immensely relevant and helpful to every current NICU Dad.
Wherever they are.
Every single one.
This is what I want to document and be given free of charge to current NICU Dads in a format that they can use immediately.
And any additional funds will go back into helping more people through the Dads Group.
I am quite attached to my beard.
Ive had many comments. But it is merely a tool for good.
You see, I will shave my grand beard completely off on Fathers Day as a tribute to these amazing Dads and the health professionals that support them.
I started it on Australia Day 26 January 2016 and Im shaving it off on Fathers Day 4 September 2016.
Thats almost 32 weeks and it represents the average gestational age of premature births in Australia.
Its more a timeframe of convenience because the average premature baby in Australia is born at 33 weeks.
But its close enough for me. And it gets the message across.
You can help
Please help me to help the NICU Dads by giving whatever you can using the Give Now button.
You dont need to be a NICU Dad to contribute, just a concerned human being for the welfare of new dads with very sick but amazing kids.
I ask for your help and offer you an opportunity to have a role in supporting the Dads Group in the NICU unit at the Royal Womens Hospital by raising money to make this happen.
The more people that know about Dads Group at NICU within the Royal Womens Hospital, the greater their impact and support, so please also spread the word by sharing my page with your friends, family and your workmates.
Already Bearded or Always Wanted To Grow One?
And if you have a beard or wanted to grow a beard or wanted to get rid of one, join me!
Start one now if you havent got one and grow until you shave it off on Fathers Day!
If you have got one, make the sacrifice to shave it off for a good cause! Its only two months and the impact it will make will be huge.
Now I havent trimmed my beard at all, but feel free to trim your beard and keep it the way you would like.
Either way, your beard will to draw attention and when people ask you, talk about these amazing NICU men and your contribution will be great way to start a discussion and raising awareness.
And girls, you can make a contribution by encouraging your partner / dad / brother / friend / colleague to grow a beard and to donate to recognise your support.
Where Your Money Goes
Every $30 donated will ensure that a NICU Dad gets a book.
Every $60 donated will cover two dads.
Every $100 will cover four books.
And all donors will be specially acknowledged in the final book, will receive a full copy once published.
And all future NICU Dads will be forever grateful for your generous support.
Thank you in advance for your generosity, it means a lot!