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Leadership Thought #352 – What I Learned From My Mom

April 17, 2016

I was blessed to have a special mom.

Sadly, she passed away recently. I would be remiss if I didn’t share my thoughts on her and how she influenced my life. You always knew that when you were with mom, you had entered a space of love and understanding.

A mother is an incredibly special person in a child’s life and, if you are lucky, a lingering positive presence throughout your adult life. Much of what we first learn comes from her. She is often the calm amidst the many storms we encounter. She is there for you no matter what. I feel truly fortunate that my mom had so much to offer. The following lessons are just a small sampling of her overall impact on my life:

  • Love your children fully and unconditionally. I never once doubted my mother’s love for me.
  • Be your kids’ biggest defender. Life can be hard at times, even for a kid, and it’s nice to know there is someone who will always have your back.
  • Be your kids’ biggest fan. Take pleasure in the little accomplishments.
  • Make the effort to make the special moments truly special. Holidays and birthdays were always fun in our house.
  • Sing and laugh loudly. Have fun; who cares who’s listening?
  • Indulge your creative side. It is an important part of who you are.
  • Reading is fundamental. Always have a good book by your side.
  • Offer affection regularly. The people you love should be reminded often.
  • Having faith makes life easier to navigate and helps you never lose sight of what’s most important.
  • Stay in touch with the people closest to you. My mom wrote to me every other week I was in college, and it made an enormous difference.
  • Sadly, pain is part of life, but don’t get mired in it. Offer it up and move on with your day.
  • When someone is sick, take care of them and be a source of comfort. You will both feel better in the end.
  • It’s okay to get angry occasionally, but don’t hold on to it too tightly. Always forgive those you love.
  • Don’t “cut off your nose to spite your face.”
  • Know when to pick your battles and when to relent.
  • Never get caught in a lie. Honesty is an essential part of your character.
  • If you don’t have something nice to say about someone, then say nothing. My mom never badmouthed anyone to me.
  • Never worry too much about what others think about you. Be true to yourself.
  • A robust family life leads to a fuller and happier life.

If you are fortunate to have your mom still with you, please treat her well—she deserves it. If she has passed, then spend some time in quiet reflection remembering the happy times and positive memories. We only have one mother. Never forget that without her, we wouldn’t be here. She sacrificed and gave up many things to have and be with you. She was not perfect (no one is), but I am sure she tried her best. She brought you into this world, took care of you, and made sure you could find your own way. She taught you how to love and be loved—the most important gift of all.