Tag Archive for: children

Over the last month, several fellow fathers joined me participating in the 30-day HERO Challenge, where we witnessed the value of committing to one simple, daily practice. We got to watch first hand the exponential growth possible with small iterative habit improvements, and the power of routine practice.

Whatever goal you want to reach, or behavior you want to improve, PRACTICE the things you want to get good at — even if you have to start in very small ways. If you commit to it every single day, you are bound to see transformation over time.

Take it one step at a time, and eventually you’ll find yourself in a whole new world.

One person who has really proven this for me recently is Andrew (watch below) who shares his journey sof habit change and personal transformation on his video channel Sorting Myself Out. He’s been incredibly transparent and very inspiring.

Andrew helped inspire me to set a monthly behavior change goal EACH MONTH, to drill a 30-day habit change challenge around it, and gather an accountability group of guys around me to help keep me pointed at my target each month.

So August became the Heroic Dad Pushup Challenge. Throughout September, I’ll be waking up bright and early for a cold shower each day at 7am! (Have the discipline to join me?)

But before we start our next 30 day challenge, my friend and fellow HERO Project member Brandyn Shoemaker and I promised to award the dad who made the most progress on this pushup challenge with a little gift from the Heroic Dad store. So, with that, please welcome Brandyn to the blog:

And the Winner Is…

August 18th marked the end of the #30DayHero Challenge. It was 30 days of sore arms, squirmy kids, frustration, and joy. We also did a ton of pushups.

The challenge was simple: for 30 days do pushups with your kids, or with your kids on top of you. Some of the dads even did pushups with their wives on their backs. Props to those guys.

On the surface it was a pushup and physical fitness challenge, but it went much deeper than that. While physical fitness is extremely important, the challenge was really a way to build good habits with our kids.

Traditional wisdom says “Your kids won’t listen to what you say, they’ll do what you do.” We’ve all heard it, and it’s become one of those cliche sayings we don’t even pay attention to, but it’s true. We’re all guilty of telling our kids to go out and play and be active while we’re sprawled out on the couch binge watching Rick and Morty, or to clean their room while we have piles of laundry sprawled all over our room. (I might not be speaking from experience, don’t judge me.)

So with the challenge we aimed to create something that would force us to build good habits, teach our kids the importance of building good habits, and bond with our kids all at the same time.

I think it worked.

The challenge ended about a week ago, but the pushups haven’t. Earlier today my three year old hopped on my back and told me to do pushups. My one year old got next to us and started doing his own version of the pushup. You should see it, his form is AMAZING. We all had fun while doing something productive. The best part of the 30 days was watching the habit form in my little man. There were days I would forget but he was right there to remind me.

We had a good group of great dads that stuck it out with us the entire 30 days. All of us had good days and bad days. We all had days that we didn’t want to have anything to do with a pushup, but we did them anyway. It felt great fighting through the struggle.

It was extremely inspiring to watch all of the dad’s daily photos and video check-ins. Everyone worked hard and everyone gave it their all. At the end though, one father stood above the rest. He’s even starting his own pushup challenge to build off of what he accomplished in the #30DayHero Challenge.

Christopher Wolf worked hard all month, built a strong new habit, bonded with his kids, and maybe most importantly, he won a comfortable new Heroic Dad tshirt!

heroic dad

(If you want a Heroic Dad shirt, head on over to the store. At checkout just use the code “HERO” for free shipping on anything. I won’t even make you do pushups every day for a month.)

When the challenge started I struggled to do 5 pushups. STRUGGLED. It was embarrassing. It still is. But by the end of the 30 days I was doing 25 pushups with a 40-pound wiggleworm on my back.

I hated pushups. Pushups were the enemy. I’ll be honest, they still are, but I’m not afraid to do them anymore. I can drop down with my little man and knock some out anytime, anywhere.

What are you struggling with right now? What do you want to teach your kids? Whatever it is, do it. Do it everyday and soon enough it will change from a struggle to a habit.

“I hadn’t really done any exercise in about 2 to 3 years,” said winner Christopher Wolf. “I’ve been following a ketogenic diet since October of last year, and I’ve lost about 50 pounds. But all of that was due to food, none due to exercise.”

“I’ve had a real serious battle for about 10 years with anxiety, most of it being health anxiety, that culminated in 10 to 15 major panic attacks — several of those resulting in hospital visits because I was convinced that I was having some sort of cardiac event.”

“My heart is fine, but somewhere deep in my mind I was convinced that that wasn’t the case, and that kept me from doing anything physical. I walked slow, I was very hesitant to play rough with my kids for fear that raising my heart rate to I would trigger something.”

“I saw this challenge as something I could control. It was just doing push-ups every day. I could do five or ten, and have little to no change in my heart rate and be fine. After doing that the first couple days, and then passing 20 or 30 about a week into the challenge, I started changing that deep-held belief about what I could and couldn’t do safely.”

Day 29! I did 50 push-ups a day early! #heroicdad #30dayhero

A post shared by Christopher Wolf (@aaaarrrrgggghhh) on

Chris is now launching his own September pushup challenge to increase his one-set pushup max from 50 to 80. “Just goes to show that facing your fears head-on is generally one of the most effective ways to overcome them,” Chris shared. “This is probably one of the five most important things I’ve done in the last year.”

Final Note from Cody: September HERO Challenge!

Every month at the HERO Project, we drill incremental habit change and gather accountability groups to help you connect with others and become the best version of yourself!

If you want to join me for the next 30-day HERO Challenge, we will host the group inside my mentor David’s private group The Warrior Way.

From my coach David DiFrancesco:

“I thought it would be appropriate to bring one of my favorite ‘tests’ to this group as a way of starting the initiation process. A step in proving you’re worthy and have been tested. It’s something I’ve done with all the guys I’ve trained for Navy SEALs and something I’ve personally done every New Years Eve at midnight. A cold water swim in the ocean for about 20 minutes in trunks. (one year I even got to enjoy having a shark swim with me)”

“But as I’m here and you’re, well, there and perhaps not near a convenient, freezing cold body of water, I’m thinking of the next best thing. After a great conversation with Cody today we’re putting this idea into action as a part of his next 30-Day Hero Challenge. Beginning this coming Monday, September 4th, we’re all going to take a bracing cold shower first thing upon rising. It’s probably (well, most assuredly) the last thing you’ll want to be doing, but the very practice of making yourself do something you don’t want to do, along with a little bit of physical discomfort will have a host of benefits in your mindset that we’ll be discussing over the coming weeks and certainly as we wrap it up at the end of September.”

“I’m going to be with you along the way and will be following up with you each day as we go through this testing together. Feel free to share your own experiences on what’s happening for you and what you’re discovering. As I tell the SEAL guys, you are not going to get through the days ahead relying on only yourself. You’ll get through it as a team, a tribe. So tribe, let’s get to it!”

It’s completely free to join The Warrior Way on Facebook. Join me and David here all through September for a cold shower challenge. I’ll be waking up early every day at 7am and starting my day with a cold shower for a month!

ATTENTION FELLOW FATHERS!

Join a crew of proud dads for the first Heroic Dad Challenge – a fun, free 30-day habit change challenge for fathers (or uncles/grandpas/other care providers) and their little ones to get some fun recreation together! Try father-kid pushups with us, EVERY day for a full month.

We’ve gathered a small private group of over 60 dads around the world, and we’ll help keep each other accountable by checking in with a video or photo evidence each day in our private group, or if you want to spread the fun, feel free to share YOUR posts publicly on your Facebook or Instagram with the hashtags #HeroicDad and #30dayHERO.

It doesn’t matter if you can only do 1, or if you can do 100; if your child is 1 year old or 10 (as long as they can hold onto you), but if you make it a regular daily practice, then over time you will slowly build increasing strength and provide a great example for your kids too.

Milo of Croton

We officially start this Thursday, July 20th and go through August 18th, but please don’t hesitate to post YOUR pushups anytime you’re able to participate.

5 easy steps to join the fun:

  1. Please RSVP and get the details here.
  2. Join our private dads group on Facebook here to follow all the action and get daily accountability prompts.
  3. PLEASE help us spread the word and invite your father friends using the “Share” button in the right sidebar on this event page OR by clicking any of the share buttons on THIS page.
  4. Sign up for my email updates to be sure not to miss a thing (and get lots of resources for the fatherhood journey) by filling the email form at the bottom of this post.
  5. Stay tuned for our official launch THIS THURSDAY, July 20th, and post YOUR videos and accountability updates inside our HERO Dads group for your chance to be featured!

Recommended tags include #30dayHERO #heroicdad #30daychallenge #HEROdad #pushupchallenge #HEROproject #dadfitness #30DC #pushups #fatherson #fitness

See you this Thursday!

Maxims are universal ethical rules of conduct that guide us when we encounter unexpected or difficult situations in life.

It was asked on Quora:

If you could write a rulebook for being a man, what “Man Law” would you write?

Don’t feel limited by anything. Think about what you would want to see in an ideal man. What are the qualities of a good husband, father, brother? What one thing would you want to see in your daughter’s boyfriend or husband?

Here is the wise list of guiding maxims espoused by Dr. Jordan Peterson, a psychology professor at the University of Toronto and clinical psychologist:

  1. Encourage children through play.
  2. Promote the best in people.
  3. Keep the sacred fire burning.
  4. Guard the women and children from harm.
  5. Confront the eternal adversary.
  6. Build the crystal palace.
  7. Confront death with courage and return.
  8. Dare to cut down a tree.
  9. Offer your sons up as a sacrifice to God.
  10. Protect your daughters from exploitation.
  11. Store up wealth for the future.
  12. Consult the ancestral spirits.
  13. Read great books.
  14. Speak the truth about unpleasant things.
  15. Pay close attention.
  16. Make a worthy temple for the Lord.
  17. Keep the howling winds of winter at bay.
  18. Stand up for the oppressed.
  19. Provide a warm and secure home.
  20. Be a prince of peace.
  21. Don’t be too civilized. (related video)
  22. Organize yourself with other men. (related video)
  23. Be faithful to your wife.
  24. Be hospitable to friends and strangers.
  25. Rout the wolves and chase the lions so the shepherds can eat.
  26. Establish a destination – and a path.
  27. Bring heaven to earth.
  28. Take on the sins of the world.
  29. Dig the wells and mine the gold and copper.
  30. Gather everyone to the banquet.
  31. Grow up and take responsibility. (related video)
  32. Resist pride in all things.

[source: Quora]

What would you add? Or what do you think needs more context?

For a more thorough understanding of maxims, see this video about Immanuel Kant’s moral philosophy and conscience in the film Kingdom of Heaven, particularly at 1:45

If you’re someone who’s tired of living from one paycheck to the next, want to build a solid safety net, curb impulse spending and increase your earning power, then Adam Baker at Man Vs. Debt is someone you should be listening to. He and his wife paid off about $18K in consumer debt, sold all their belongings, and were able to travel the world for over a year (with their 22-month-old daughter!). With a little hard work, they have been able to achieve some incredible things, and because he’s done it, Baker has become a huge authority in the online personal finance world who shares credible advice that will help you eliminate financial stress in your life.

I’ve known Baker since early on after he started his blog in 2009. Since then, he’s quickly amassed a loyal following, joined forces with some of the biggest forces on the social web (Leo Babauta at Zen Habits, J.D. Roth at Get Rich Slowly, and the team at WiseBread). He and I partnered together with a great team to start Untemplater, and finally got the chance to meet in person when he visited Thailand in January on his year-long location-independent world tour! I’ve been looking forward to doing a video interview with him for quite a while now, and this week we were finally able to sit down for a great conversation.

Baker just launched his first ebook guide, Unautomate Your Finances: A Simple, Passionate Approach to Money , which lays out his holistic approach to personal finance. I know from interacting with him on a weekly basis that he’s spent the last several months toiling away on this guide, he’s gotten a tremendous amount of positive feedback, and this is something that is sure to transform people’s relationship with money. Watch our video conversation below to see why you should un-automate your finances, how you can build a more conscious, simple, sustainable financial life, and get the scoop about his world travels since freeing himself from debt prison!

Click here for the full video interview.

  • 0:55 – Baker’s college experience, business background & financial history
  • 2:15 White picket fences & opting out of the template life path
  • 4:54 Unconventional approaches to eliminating debt
  • 6:45 Deliberate, effective budgeting
  • 8:13 – How to plan for income fluctuations & irregular expenses when you’re a freelancer
  • 10:20 – Couchsurfing & backpacking through Australia, New Zealand & Thailand
  • 13:38 – Traveling the world with young children
  • 16:07 – More about Baker’s new ebook Unautomate Your Finances
  • 20:36 – Cultivating a conscious mindset about personal finance & money
  • 22:12 – South by Southwest Web Awards & where to find Baker

UPDATE: For more from Baker: check out his Sell Your Crap guide to learn how his family got rid of all their belongings before they went traveling around the world, and how you can sell all your stuff on eBay, Craigslist, and Amazon to make some extra cash. Also, if you want to add a guaranteed $12,000 to your online business over the next 12 months, you might want to grab a seat in his course with Corbett Barr, The Hustle Project. Corbett and Baker are both Faculty members at Digital Nomad Academy, regular recurring mentors for our students inside the Academy, so I can speak personally to the high quality of their coaching.

I’ll be honest: I’m someone who hates to sit down with spreadsheets and budget out my finances. I don’t even like to look at my bank statements every month! With student loans, a lot of random business stuff going on, and the fact that I’m a lazy excuse for a human, my finances are a damn mess, but Baker has developed a product that has fundamentally changed the way I think about money, and he and his wife Courtney are proof that you really can get conscious about how you spend, escape the debt “game” that the rest of the world is stuck in, and start to build the lifestyle you want now! Forget dreaming about retirement, if he and his family can eliminate their debt and go globetrotting, you can get control of your finances and do whatever you dream of doing too.

Here is what you get if you purchase a copy of Baker’s Unautomate Your Finances:

  • A comprehensive 83-page eBook. In “The Unautomation Theory” section, Baker relates his experience climbing out of the debt hole and the way that has transformed his family’s lives. He goes on to explain how to avoid financial burnout and unlock conscious financial awareness by un-automating. In “The Science of Unautomation” he’ll help you take a hard look at your priorities and figure out how to budget for what you really want in life. Lastly, in the “Applying Unautomation” section, he focuses on application, showing you how to actively manage your finances with a simple 2-page minimalist budgeting system and apply his “Debt Tsunami” tactic to rid yourself of debt.
  • A 27-minute video interview with Leo Babauta of ZenHabits.net. Baker interviews Leo on how he applied the principles of simplicity and minimalism to dramatically turn around his financial life.  Powerful insights from a leader in simplicity, blogging, and productivity.
  • A 29-minute audio interview with J.D. Roth of GetRichSlowly.org, one of the top personal finance blogs on the web. J.D. joins Baker on a call to discuss his own financial recovery story and what it’s like now that he’s in the “third phase of personal finance“.
  • A 2-page, custom-designed PDF version (printable) of the minimalist budgeting system discussed in the main guide.
  • A simple Excel template for those who want to take the minimalist budgeting system digital.
  • Free Extended Updates! Get on the exclusive email list and over the next 6 months, Baker will be releasing sample case studies, FAQ’s, and exclusive interviews… for free!

At just $17, I honestly thought he was nuts for giving away so much hard work, but it just goes to show how dedicated he is to providing real value and helping those who need financial guidance. This is a truly impressive product that would typically go for at least $39 if you look around at other bloggers online, and it comes with Baker’s “as long as I have a pulse” money-back guarantee. So if you need to learn how to get the best of your personal finances, start an emergency fund, successfully get out of debt, and create a realistic budget that will let you achieve your financial and life goals, then Unautomate Your Finances is definitely something you need to check out.

My friend Dwight is slowly convincing me that I’m a philanthropist.

I’ve talked before about the impact Dwight Turner is making in Bangkok—making it easy for people to volunteer and contribute to charitable causes in Thailand. We have gone to hand out food to the homeless near Democracy Monument here in Bangkok, we’ve taken the great kids at Chonburi Children’s Center to the beach, we’ve volunteered with the infants and toddlers at Friends For All Children (F.F.A.C.) nursery, we’ve held events to raise money for an urban garden installation project here in Bangkok and for medical aide for refugees. Dwight’s hard work has even earned him the attention of CNN’s new local Asia site.

I’ve met incredible people with touching stories. I’ve made incredible friends with some of the other volunteers.

To commemorate September 11th this year, In Search of Sanuk hosted Bangkok’s Twestival celebration. Twestival is a Twitter-inspired social event where attendees can meet other Twitter users (much like our monthly Bangkok Tweetup), but also be a part of a global awareness and fundraising campaign for charitable causes around the world. We raised money for two orphanages near the Burmese border—Baan Unrak and Baan Dada.

The event was spectacular. Over 350 people came out to party on the Fraser Suites’ poolside rooftop bar and support our cause. People recorded and shared our social media-powered event live. We raised over $2400 US, which can go a long way in Southeast Asia. The founders of Digital Democracy even showed up to interview volunteers Jen, Danielle, and myself about emerging technologies in Thailand and about how the global Twitter event was helping make a social change:

So here’s the secret: Some of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had have been volunteering with children throughout Thailand.

A few days after the event successfully wrapped, Dwight and I took a 7-hour van ride to hand-deliver donations and visit the two children’s homes with our travel buddies Mark, Joel and Agnes.

Baan Unrak and Baan Dada educate and empower orphaned or otherwise impoverished kids—not only Thais but also Karen and Mon refugees who’ve been driven from their homes and persecuted by the Burmese military dictatorship. The children are instructed in playing musical instruments, sewing, fixing motorbikes, art, languages and technical skills. They’re taught to respect all people, creatures, religion and to practice vegetarianism. The homes also provide jobs for refugees and local families who help care for the children, assist with farming, construction and weaving projects.

Wandering through Sangklaburi farmland with the Baan Dada children

Hanging out with kids like these is a transformative experience. They are some of the poorest people in the world, often living in crummy conditions, many have lost their families, yet they are the most cheerful and gracious little people you’ll ever meet.

Words cannot describe, so I’ll let this video do the job for me. This is a montage of many of the great kids I’ve had the opportunity to share time with while helping out at Baan Dada, Baan Unrak, F.F.A.C., Chonburi Center, and more.

Whatever you do, watch this video.

Spending time with children in need will change your life. Once you begin to understand the loss some of them have experienced, the disadvantage they are at—and yet they still exude love—it should cause you to reevaluate how you look at your own life. You can’t help but smile around some of these kids.

The only activity I’ve found yet that is guaranteed to keep a smile on my face.

Find children in need (they are everywhere, unfortunately). Go and give generously with your time and any other resources you can share.

Some of the awesome kids at Baan Unrak

Some of the awesome kids at Baan Unrak

This message is dedicated to a gracious, playful little tyke who lost his life way before his time. Ali Baba lost a battle with disease on Thursday, September 17th, just two days after we said goodbye to him and the other children at Baan Dada. The loss was unbearable and affected a lot of us. Rest in peace, friend.

Cody with Ali Baba

If you’d like to make a donation on his behalf, the home is building a new medical clinic and needs your help. You can sponsor a child’s food and healthcare needs for three months for only $187. Donate to Baan Dada.