How to Handle Life’s Beanballs
Life is not easy. For anyone. Ever. But those who succeed as dads and as men have learned the secret of growth through adversity.
“I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything though him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:12-13, NIV
“While it’s true that I would never have chosen the difficult things I have faced in my life, I must admit that they have made me a stronger and better man than I was before.” Ken Y., Tokyo, Japan
Don’t be fooled by the stuff you see on TV or the enviable image of the neighbors you really don’t know down the street . . . life is not always easy for anyone. Life can and should be fun and exhilarating, and with a family it certainly is challenging. But it is never easy. Even for a trust-fund kid—and I know a fair share of them—life is at times bitter, sad and difficult. We are each going to get some serious beanballs thrown at us during our lives. That is certain for all of us. The only question for you is this: How are you going to handle them? Like a professional baseball player, the answer to that question is going to determine
if you are going to be a major league dad or not.
The reality of life is that there are many, many things outside of our control. If you disagree with me on that, just wait 10 years and let’s talk again. Injury, illness and even death can come out of the blue. Companies blow up. Jobs disappear. Family or close friends let us down. As a direct result, we and/or those around us get hurt—sometimes very badly. Fortunately, there is something powerful and important over which we have total and direct control: how we respond to life’s beanballs.
If you’re not a baseball fan, a “beanball” is when the pitcher throws the ball—at almost 100 MPH—at the opposing batter’s head. Sure it’s illegal, but it happens. Just like a professional ballplayer, you have a number of responses you can take when life throws you such a beanball, but the most important thing to do, whenever possible, is to get out of harm’s way. Any baseball player will tell you that the best way to avoid a beanball is to duck. But sometimes life’s beanballs have a way of sneaking up on you and hitting you where it hurts the most. When this happens, just like any ballplayer, you have to pick yourself up, assess the damage, learn the lesson and move on. Let’s expand on both these themes.
01 – The Importance of Fatherhood
02 – The Power of a “Noble Family Vision”
03 – Overview of the Ten Tools of Fatherhood
04 – TOOL #1: Family First/Fun
05 – TOOL #2: All-in Marriage
06 – TOOL #3: True Moral Compass and True Humility
07 – TOOL #4: Heartfelt Love
08 – TOOL #5: Empowering Servant Leadership
09 – TOOL #6: Relationship Tools that Work
10 – TOOL #7: Heaven’s Help
11 – TOOL #8: Other Good Dads
12 – TOOL #9 Optimistic, Never-Surrender Attitude
13 – TOOL #10 Dynamic, Whole-Person Support
14 – Being the Best Single Dad You Can Be
15 – How to Handle Lifes Beanballs
16 – Thirty Ideas for Long-Distance Dads
17 – Conclusion: The Ongoing Fatherhood Journey