The art of being a great dad starts with the desire to be a great dad.  If you’re reading this, you must already have some of that desire.  But what is a great dad anyway?  Is it the guy who coaches all his son’s sports teams?  The dad who can afford a car for his teenager?  The one who buys his kids cotton candy at the fair or never misses a ballet performance?  Your kids might say you’re the greatest if you do these things.

Maybe its the dad who gets up at 2:00 AM to take care of the diaper and bottle?  The one who takes the kids to the park so his wife can have some peace and quiet?  The guy who helps wrap the home made Mother’s Day gifts or arranges for a sitter on Friday night?  I know my wife might say I was a great dad if I covered these bases.

These are all things a great dad might do, but are they really what makes him great?  I don’t think so.  A dad is great because his family is his top priority.  Because he loves his wife and kids more than he loves himself.  Because he takes a long view on what’s best for them.  Because he sacrifices for them.  Really sacrifices.  He’s great because he is passionate about being a better husband and father tomorrow than he is today.  He wants to learn what it takes, to model others that have been great before him.

A great dad is not perfect.  A guy who thinks he’s already perfect will stop growing.  In addition to being wrong about his perfection, he’ll also become complacent.  A great dad is not complacent, although a good dad might be.  A great dad does not settle for being a good dad.  So many men have a passion to be the best golfer, hunter, triathlete, lawyer, executive, mechanic or entrepreneur that they will practice endlessly, read books, subscribe to magazines, join clubs, get degrees, take lessons and give their thought life over to their pursuit.  All this to come home and be passive and reactive when it comes to family.  A great dad is not passive and reactive.

A great dad is NOT defined by his actions.  He is defined by the attitude, the mind set and the passion that drive his actions.  Are you a great dad?

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