Andy Samuels

“Well-behaved women rarely make history.” –Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

Parenting Manual

Posted Dec - 2010

(Excerpt taken from here)

David & Nicole Jackson

My wife Nicole and I are proud parents of three awesome girls: Morgan (17), Blakely (15) and Taylor (13). Three teenage girls and yes, I still have my hair and we both have our sanity!

Parenting has been referred to as the ‘hardest (and most important) job in the world’ and while I understand the sentiment, I choose not to buy into it. Nicole and I both believe that when you love something deeply, when you are passionate and engaged in it, that it’s never a job but instead a rich experience to be created, nurtured and enjoyed.

Easier said than done right? Parenting is hard. Life can be hard. But there is a secret that very few parents know that makes the entire process of parenting so much easier, so much more enjoyable and so much more effective.


No, I’m not referring to manipulation, authority or gaining a superior position over your kids! The secret I’m talking about is using leverage in every area of your life to be the best you possible which is the only way you can in turn be the best parent you can be.

We all want to have fantastic kids and be proud parents. The challenge is, in a crazy busy world, how do you get that job done? How can you use being a parent to help you become the best you possible, which in turn makes you an even better parent?

The answer is leverage.

You have a serious advantage here. You have a Lifebook. Use it to dive into every one of the 12 categories and get clear on exactly how you can kill it in each category by tying your results to your kids.

Here’s a few personal examples to get you thinking:

  • Health and Fitness: I have three beautiful teen girls. I’m guessing I’ll have more than my fair share of boys around as well. I use this as leverage for my own health and fitness; I will always let them know that I can out-surf them and kick their butts if need be!
  • Career and Finance: I’m writing this article at 30,000 feet on a plane heading to Italy, France and Scotland for 3 1/2 weeks. My wife is next to me and my three girls are directly in front of me. I use the desire to show my kids the world as leverage to nail my financial goals. It works.
  • Love Relationship: I often joke with Jon Butcher that I’ll arm wrestle him to see who has the more epic marriage! After 20 years, all I can say is it just doesn’t get any better than what I have. And that’s not luck. I know that the best thing I could ever do for my girls is to love their mother and to set an example of what an amazing relationship can be like. I seriously love my girls. I use them as leverage to take my relationship with Nicole to new heights which is so cool in and of itself, but it also has a secret effect… it makes us both better parents.

This is fun ‘work’. We all love our kids and want the best for them. Take the time to dive into your Lifebook and look for leverage in each and every category. Find it, add some thoughts in your Lifebook, and watch the magic happen!

Introducing Maddie & Scarlett (Andy’s daughter & grandbaby).

Categories: Parenting

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