Saturday, February 12, 2011
We'd like to welcome the following countries that have joined our growing list of readers over the past week: Guyana, Hungary, Panama, New Zealand, Serbia!
Please check out The Story Behind The Upbeat Dad to find out what we're all about! Also, at the top of the page, look for the section: Check Out Our Most Popular Posts to see the stories that our readers like the most. Each Friday we do an Upbeat Dad of the Week feature where we highlight a father whose involvement has made his kids' lives better.
We encourage you to become engaged in our conversation by posting comments to the posts you read. Also, join us on Facebook page and follow us on Twitter.
You'll enjoy and share our excitement about fatherhood. Everybody's welcome - dads, moms, kids and anyone who believes strong, involved fathers help make strong kids.
The Upbeat Dad
Friday, February 11, 2011
On Fridays we generally do our Upbeat Dad of the Week feature. Since all our energies and focus have been on our inaugural community forum, which we had last night, we will postpone our feature this week. And next Friday, we're doing a special post on the forum. The following week, on Friday, February 25, we will resume our Upbeat Dad of the Week feature.
The forum was a great success as we had a very good turnout and a wonderful program. I will share much more about the event on Sunday. For now we exhale after a great kickoff to the new phase of our organization.
Today’s post will be abbreviated. I’m just reflecting on the fact that we set out last October to do something meaningful for fathers, mothers and children around the world. With the success of the blog, we certainly have made a positive contribution through that medium.
Now that our first public event has come and gone, we’ve entered a new phase – one where we can touch lives in a more direct way. Seeing, meeting and interacting with persons face to face is an awesome experience and I look forward to many more events of this type. The possibilities are endless, believe me!
Thursday, February 10, 2011
As we go into our inaugural Upbeat Dad Community Forum this evening, I reflect on the entire purpose behind this event. It’s all about being of service to our fellowmen in a more meaningful way than we have before. As I shared in the post Announcing the Upbeat Dad Community Forum, I liken the live events to the ground campaign in military combat. The air campaign is good – it subdues the targeted area; but it’s in the ground campaign that the victory is won.
When we look at the crises regarding fatherhood that we highlight on our blog, we clearly see that our families are at stake; the future of our kids is at stake. With the blog, I believe that we have been quite effective in making an impact via the internet. And that will always be a staple of our vision. I love the fact that people can tune in 24/7/365 from anywhere in the world and read our posts. I believe that there is enough information available on the blog to make a lasting impact.
But when we can meet people face to face and hear their thoughts and share with them, that takes it to a whole new level. There’s nothing quite like it. I strongly believe and anticipate that something special will be birthed tonight through this forum. It’s not a one-time hit and then we go back to the norm; We plan to have them periodically. Initially, it will be local but before long, we’re taking the show on the road. And when we do, we hope to impact the lives of men, women and children from every class, color and creed.
Can’t do it any longer; I keep lying to myself.
The yearning and the hunger won’t go anywhere else.
It’s time to feed my passion; it’s time to take control;
it’s time to take some action before I get too old.
How can I serve humanity by sitting on the fence?
How can I give the best of me, living with this pretense?
I’ve got so much inside of me that I’ve got to let it out.
It’s time to give the rest of me, and that’s without a doubt.
No more procrastination; I won’t die in a cocoon.
And no more contemplation; I’ve got to do it soon.
Can’t live with all the sorrow; can’t see my dreams decay;
the fool lives for tomorrow; the wise man for today.
There’s a fire on the inside— one that I can’t contain—
that’s yearning for the outside, where it can have free reign
to lead me to my destiny; to where I long to be;
to burn for me eternally; to make my life complete.
With one look in the mirror, I know I’m on my way;
with each step I get nearer, so I must start today.
The world out there is waiting; it’s time to get on track—
this time, no hesitating; there is no turning back.
I hope that as you have read these words, you have contemplated your own life and its purpose. We’re only here on earth for a limited time so I believe that with everything within us, we ought to strive to make our lives count. I trust that the words of this poem will give you all the “whys” that you need to take the steps to make a difference.
Tonight is the night that’s been years in the making. Our community forum is at hand. This is what life is all about – making a difference in the lives of others.
The Upbeat Dad
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
As I reflect on the big day tomorrow – our inaugural Upbeat Dad Community Forum – I’ll just do this brief post today. I’ll share the words of my poem The Olympian. As you read it, think of the correlation between The Olympian and The Upbeat Dad.
Each has had the journey of a lifetime – going through challenges along the way. But still each is determined to reach the goal that lies ahead. The significance of reaching that goal cannot be understated because it is then that his lifelong vision and mission can come to fruition. One wants to become the Olympic champion. The other wants to impact the world with a positive message to revolutionize the lives of men, women and children.
Think of the significance of this moment as you read:
By Rodrick Walters
I've waited all my life for these next ten seconds.
Getting up early in the morning to train this body of mine.
Preparing it like a well-oiled machine. Denying myself
the pleasures of life - all for this moment.
This is my personal mission.
These beads of sweat dripping down my face
might as well be blood. Because I have given everything
for this moment. I don't even see the people
in the lanes next to me - all I see is that finish line.
I must be the first to reach it,
I refuse to be denied.
Ten seconds is all it will take.
And my life will never be the same.
As I stated, this will be a brief post as I now reflect on all that lies ahead. Tomorrow night will be significant – one of the most significant of my life. And it's all about empowering others in a meaningful way. This moment really makes life worth living!
Enjoy your day. We’ll speak soon.
The Upbeat Dad
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
As we prepare for our Upbeat Dad Community Forum, I have had the privilege of interacting with so many people. Some have heard me on the BBC radio interview I had last week. Some have heard me on the radio here in South Florida. Others I have met at different local events. Just yesterday I was at a political event for a cousin of mine who was recently elected as a City Commissioner in a neighboring city.
That was one of the most difficult days of my professional career. Yet, I did my presentation and shared good information. I injected humor and got some good laughs and all went great! When the seminar ended at 4 PM, I was so relieved. When everyone departed I went back to my room and had to deal with the reality of my situation.
I can attest to just how real these emotions are. Have you ever heard the expression, “It cuts like a knife?” Well that, it does, believe me.
When relationships are broken and kids are involved, it makes it so hard. Sometimes you have such anger and resentment towards your former spouse. Yet that person is the mother or father of your child(ren). It just doesn’t seem right, I know. But that’s reality.
If you’re in the South Florida area, please do come out to our community forum. I think that you’ll find encouragement in a supportive setting. Dads, moms, singles, divorced, everyone’s invited to this event. And that to me is a beautiful thing. People with varying life experiences will be present and it’s all for a good reason – to highlight the importance of fathers in the lives of children.
If you’re present at the event, do take the time to introduce yourself. Over 10 years ago when I just began speaking professionally, one of my mentors told me, “Always be the first to arrive and the last to leave.” I try to live up to that responsibility because people make major decisions based on information that you share with them. I want to be attentive to each individual because, to me, everyone’s thoughts and opinions matter.
I very much look forward to our forum. It’s the kickoff of the new phase of our organization – live public events. To me, that’s when the fun really begins. Stay engaged along the way. And hang on with us for this beautiful ride!
Enjoy your day today and every day.
The Upbeat Dad
Monday, February 7, 2011
The NFL season ended on Sunday with a classic showdown between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Green Bay Packers in the Super Bowl. That countdown to kickoff has come and gone and the Packers are champions!
As I mentioned in the post Announcing the Upbeat Dad Community Forum, I liken the blog to the air campaign in military combat. The work is done from a distance but still it’s effective. So whether I type each blog post from the office or from home or when I’m traveling, it doesn’t really matter – the connection is through the words that I type and post.
Here are the details of the event:
I’m very much looking forward to this event. Representatives from the Miami Dolphins will be present. Some elected officials and members of the media will also be present. It should be a great event. It’s our first but it certainly will not be our last. This message is too important to have only a one time go at it.
So the countdown is on. Thursday, February 10 should be a day that, years from now, we will look back and say that that event was a key inflection point as we chart the meteoric rise of our organization. And as I always say, our kids are the ones who will gain the most. To put it another way, they are the beneficiaries of our collective efforts.
Hug your kids when they come home from school today – they’ll appreciate it much. Enjoy your day.
Sunday, February 6, 2011
Last Friday was one of those magical moments that every new organization hopes for. Each new venture has its goals and ideals; there’s an overall philosophy that guides it. When that vision is clearly established, the visionary takes steps to see it realized in a real sense. Along the route to realization, there are certain key moments that help to affirm that the vision is worthwhile and ought to be pursued to fruition.
Having said that, I believe that years from now, Friday, February 4, 2011 will be looked at as a key inflection point in the history of The Upbeat Dad. You see, on that day, our vision got a huge boost with an interview on BBC radio – live from England. I had a nice chat with radio personality Sarah Gorrell on her show. It was about a 6-7 minute interview that was made easy by Sarah’s warm personality. She’s a true professional and I am honored to have had that conversation with her. To hear the interview, Click Here for the archived version of that program. I came on the air approximately 38 minutes into the broadcast. (IMPORTANT NOTE: Program is archived for only 7 days after date of recording.)
Having lived in the United States for most of my life, I realize that much of my perspective may be from an American’s standpoint. But since the topic of fatherhood is worldwide, from the outset I have sought to emphasize the international nature of our vision.
Having learned so much about fatherhood through my practical experience, I got to the point where I decided to share what I’ve learned with others. And through the blog, and social media tools such as Twitter and Facebook, I have developed a group of contacts, many with whom I have developed friendships.
I believe strongly in the proverb that says, “A man’s gift makes room for him and brings him before great men.” I think I’m a nice guy and generally get along well with people. But the reason that these doors are opening now has less to do with me and more to do with the message that I share. Sue has been gracious enough to share what I do with many others. Even her blog post today is about my work – Click Here for The Sue Atkins Inspiring Sunday Saying. So Sarah Gorrell is one with whom Sue shared my vision. And as they say, the rest is history.
As I write this blog post, we have over 11,500 hits on the blog. In the past 7 days, we have gotten hits from 8 countries that have never previously visited our blog: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, Columbia, Lithuania, Morocco, Uganda, Venezuela and Vietnam. Our post Welcome New Countries - February 5, 2011 gives these new readers a brief overview of what we’re all about.