“Setting an example is not the main means of influencing others; it is the only means.” – Albert Einstein
I am fortunate.
Today, my mom celebrates her birthday (Happy Birthday, Mom!), and I would be hard pressed to think of anyone who has served as a finer example for me in my life.
My sister called her a role model, a mentor, and a best friend. She’s right. Along with those things to me, she is a servant leader, a compassionate individual, and a first-rate example of character and integrity. You feel all of these things from her if you are fortunate enough to cross her path just once.
Throughout my life, people always come up to me and say, “I just love your mom” or “Your mom is just the most wonderful person.” At first, I used to think that my mom couldn’t possibly know that many people. I was wrong; she does.
My mom has shown me what it means to be strong, gracious, compassionate, firm (when necessary) and fair (always). As a cancer survivor, she has shown me how to tackle adversity head on, fight through it, and persevere without feeling sorry for herself.
I won’t sugarcoat things. My mom was and is tough. She has always supported us to do whatever we wanted, but held us to tough standards to be at our best whenever we tried.
In more ways than I could count, she has made me a better coach and a better man simply because I get to watch her live her life. In addition, she has been my biggest supporter, my toughest critic (always fair, even if I don’t always think so at first), my devil’s advocate, and my voice of reason. She challenges me to be prepared and honorable.
When all of those people used to come and tell me about my mom, I would laugh it off and not think of it as meaning much. As I have grown up, when people tell me now, I thank them and smile.
I smile because I am instantly reminded that the best way to influence people is to be an example and care about others, just as she does. I smile because I know these people have been as blessed to know my mom as I am.
I don’t say it nearly enough, but I love you, Mom! Thank you for being that constant positive example in my life.
We should all strive to be the example for others that my mom has been for me and others.
Bring your best today!