NEW BOOK for NEW DADS: Order today & get a free e-book!

Unsaved Preview DocumentOrder your copy of The Grateful Dad’s Guide to the First Year of Fatherhood @ The Grateful Dad Shop and get the e-book FREE. (Scroll down to see the book.) Please share this with any new parents, grandparents, family members of new families, and those thinking of taking the big step. Thanks for your support!

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My New Book is Available!

My new book is hot off the press and I’m off to the 15th Annual Families and Fathers Conference in Las Vegas to talk about gratitude and fatherhood. Order your copy of The Grateful Dad’s Guide to the First Year of Fatherhoodthegratefuldad.org/shop and get the e-book FREE. (Please share this with any new parents, grandparents, family members of new families, and those thinking of taking the big step.) Thanks for your support!

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Monday: The Grateful Dad Radio Hour Final Show

Monday: The Grateful Dad Radio Hour Final Show

The time has come to say “farewell,” to put this show to bed, and to move in other directions. Please join me one last time to look back and ahead in gratitude and anticipation. I’ll take time to thank a bunch of folks and recall the high points of these past two-plus years, and I’ll let you know a bit about what I am planning to do in the future. Tune in at 1:00 MST on Monday, February 10, for one last edition of The Grateful Dad Radio Hour, on MileHiRadio.com. And thanks again for all of your interest and support for me, my mission, & guests.
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New Video of My Keynote Speech: The Rewards of Gratitude

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Recognizing & Remembering

Image 1Spending time with my teenage son is like déjà vu for me, as I grow to recognize my younger self in him more and more each day. His awkward self-consciousness, the inward turning, less communicative stance, his attraction toward friends and away from family, and his idealism, all strike a familiar chord.

My son is me at that age – less messed up because he’s growing up without the chaos and dysfunction that I endured early and often. Yet the teen he’s becoming is very much a mirror of myself.

It gives me empathy and appreciation for him at this point is his life, even as I feel my buttons pushed by some of his unbecoming behavior. This recognition of myself in my son should help me to be less triggered, more tolerant; yet I do hope he passes through this period somehow swiftly and with relative ease.

I am also reminded of another mirror, the one that was so evident in the presence of my own father. How I channeled his voice and mannerisms, at the same time I resented and reviled him at various times. My goal has been to live my life differently, while accepting his legacy as one I can never completely escape.

As I think about it, I am recognizing and remembering both my father and my son, for how I am reflected in who they are, and how they show up in everything I am and all that I do.

The teenage me that I see when with my son is a reminder of the simple yet extremely challenging aspects of those years of my life. It’s my job to accept and support him the best I can, and offer guidance and set some boundaries to help my son navigate toward adulthood.

All the while I am also charting my own course through middle-age, using the memories of my own, late father as a map for how to and not to live my life.

I am so grateful for these teachers, young and old, and the simple wisdom that I recognize, remember, and continue to struggle to understand.

…and that’s the full-circle fatherhood report. 

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Transformation Through Gratitude Begins in January!

THE GRATEFUL GROUP MASTERMIND
January – April 2014

ARE YOU READY TO HARNESS THE POWER OF GRATITUDE?

REGISTER HERE

How would you answer these questions?

  •  Are you hoping for more happiness?
  • Do you need to get healthier?
  • Would you like to feel more loving, forgiving, joyful, enthusiastic, and optimistic about the future?
  • Do you appreciate & celebrate the gifts you receive every day?
  • What would it take for you to fall in love with your life?
  • How can you spend more time enjoying what matters most?
  • Do you want more money, friends, time, or just a greater sense of joy, contentment, motivation, satisfaction, and confidence?

THE ANSWER MAY JUST BEGRATITUDE
THE GRATEFUL GROUP 
is your fast track path
to making every day a grateful day.

REGISTER HERE

The Grateful Group is an intentional community of gratitude-minded folks who dedicate time daily, weekly, and monthly to being grateful, together and independently, with appreciation for the many rewards and benefits it brings to themselves and others. Specially designed by Doug Gertner, Ph.D., The Grateful Dad®, The Grateful Group is a four month mastermind group coaching experience beginning in January of 2013, running through March, meeting virtually, to learn and support the rewards of gratitude and help you get more out of every day and fall in love with your life. Doug has personally experienced and harnessed the power of gratitude through his ‘year of living gratefully,’ emerging from a difficult period to thrive with the use of a gratitude journal.

When you register for THE GRATEFUL GROUP, you will get:
-  Four Mastermind Group Coaching Sessions 
~ 2 hours each
-  “5 Spot” during every meeting 
~ five minutes focus on you
-  Bonus Content ~ learn something new about gratitude
-  Three One-on-One Meetings with Doug ~ between sessions
-  Private FACEBOOK Group ~ access to this on-line community
-  Grateful Dad’s Journal of Gratitude ~ Free 12 month supply
  (A $6,163 value, offered at rock-bottom introductory pricing today!)

REGISTER HERE

MORE DETAILS about THE GRATEFUL GROUP

  •  The Grateful Group Gratitude Mastermind meets together in an on-line session for two hours of intensive gratitude learning and celebration on these dates: 1/8/14 ~ 2/5/14 ~ 3/5/14 ~ 4/9/14 (VALUE: $5,413)
  • Every session includes a ‘moment of gratitude’ check-in by each member, an extended deep dive into gratefulness content, process, and data, plus a “5 Spot” – five minutes solo attention to each person’s current needs, desires, and appreciations.
  • Members also receive three one-on-one gratitude coaching conversations with Doug Gertner, The Grateful Dad®, plus access to their own Facebook group, and four copies of The Grateful Dad’s Journal of Gratitude, a year’s supply to use. (VALUE: $750.00)
  • The Grateful Group is a simple, ready-to-use way of accessing gratitude for all of the rewards and benefits that come from daily recognition of what we have and everything that’s going right. (SPACE LIMITED to 6 MEMBERS! Join today, don’t miss out.)

Your investment:
1.  Register in 2013 to receive early-bird pricing of only $197
2.  Register before January 8, 2014 for $297
3.  Sign up later in 2014 for $397

Click on the “Buy Now” button below to start your registration.


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REGISTER TODAY for THE GRATEFUL GROUP: A GRATITUDE MASTERMIND

ARE YOU READY TO HARNESS THE POWER OF GRATITUDE?

REGISTER HERE

How would you answer these questions?:

?     Are you hoping for more happiness?

?     Do you need to get healthier?

?     Would you like to feel more loving, forgiving, joyful, enthusiastic and optimistic about the future?

?     Do you appreciate & celebrate the gifts you receive every day?

?     What would it take for you to fall in love with your life?

?     How can you spend more time enjoying what matters most?

?     Do you want more money, friends, time, or just a greater sense of joy, contentment, motivation, satisfaction, and confidence?

THE ANSWER MAY JUST BE: GRATITUDE 

THE GRATEFUL GROUP is your fast track path to making every day a grateful day.

The Grateful Group is an intentional community of gratitude-minded folks who dedicate time daily, weekly, and monthly to being grateful, together and independently, with appreciation for the many rewards and benefits it brings to themselves and others. Specially designed by Doug Gertner, Ph.D., The Grateful Dad®, The Grateful Group is a four month mastermind group coaching experience beginning in December of 2013, running through March of 2014, meeting virtually, to learn and support the rewards of gratitude and help you get more out of every day and fall in love with your life. Doug has personally experienced and harnessed the power of gratitude through his ‘year of living gratefully,’ emerging from a difficult period to thrive with the use of a gratitude journal.

When you register for THE GRATEFUL GROUP, you will get:

Four Mastermind Group Coaching Sessions ~ 2 hours each

“5 Spot” during every meeting ~ five minutes focus on you

Bonus Content ~ learn something new about gratitude

Three One-on-One Meetings with Doug ~ between sessions

Private FACEBOOK Group ~ access to this on-line community

Grateful Dad’s Journal of Gratitude ~ Free 12 month supply

(A $6,163 value, offered at rock-bottom introductory pricing today!)

REGISTER HERE

MORE DETAILS about THE GRATEFUL GROUP

  • The Grateful Group Gratitude Mastermind meets together in an on-line session for two hours of intensive gratitude learning and celebration on these dates: 12/11/13 ~ 1/8/14 ~ 2/5/14 ~ 3/5/14 (VALUE: $5,413)
  • Every session includes a ‘moment of gratitude’ check-in by each member, an extended deep dive into gratefulness content, process, and data, plus a “5 Spot” – five minutes solo attention to each person’s current needs, desires, and appreciations.
  • Members also receive three one-on-one gratitude coaching conversations with Doug Gertner, The Grateful Dad®, plus access to their own Facebook group, and four copies of The Grateful Dad’s Journal of Gratitude, a year’s supply to use. (VALUE: $750.00)
  • The Grateful Group is a simple, ready-to-use way of accessing gratitude for all of the rewards and benefits that come from daily recognition of what we have and everything that’s going right. (SPACE LIMITED to 6 MEMBERS! Join today, don’t miss out.)

Your investment:

  1. Sign up today for only $197 - DO IT NOW!

  2. Register before December 31 for $297
  3. Sign up in 2014 for $397

REGISTER HERE & at www.TheGreatThanksGiving.com

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The Rewards of Daily Gratitude

COVER as JPEG[All this month I am paying it forward, traveling around the region giving free workshops about the many rewards of noticing and noting what we have to be grateful for each day. Here's a bit about that notion.]

Gratitude is groovy! And gratitude is good for you“Gratitude is literally one of the few things that can measurably change people’s lives,” writes psychologist Richard Emmons in his book, Thanks! How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier. Studies show that people who take time to record their reasons for giving thanks – rather than dwelling on negatives – also feel more loving, forgiving, joyful, enthusiastic and optimistic about their futures, while their family and friends report that they seem happier and are more pleasant to be around. Simply making time to be grateful each day benefits us in so many ways. That’s why I recommend that everyone pick up a gratitude journal.

Hoping for more happiness? Try being more grateful. Need to get healthier? You definitely need a daily dose of gratitude. Want more money, friends, time, or just a greater sense of joy, contentment, and confidence? Who doesn’t? And for anyone seeking more of the good stuff, it’s a fact that more gratitude can bring it on.

That’s my story. I call it “My Year of Living Gratefully.” Coming off a prolonged period of difficulty, I was disconnected from myself, and other important people in my life. Uncertain of what I had and what I wanted, I was feeling lousy, my business was slow, and I saw mostly just the negative in most every situation. I knew something needed to change, and I credit The Grateful Dad with showing me the path out of this funk.

Since becoming a father I have celebrated the many joys that brings. As a longtime fan of the band the Grateful Dead, it was a natural for me to adopt the moniker and persona of The Grateful Dad. And in an effort to ‘walk my talk,’ I began the new year with a new gratitude journal, and made the commitment to be grateful every day, and note what it was I was thankful for. On my weekly web-radio show, in my blogs and speeches, I also recounted my gratitude and reflected on full-circle fatherhood. And it didn’t take long before I saw benefits in every aspect of my life and work. It broke down a lot like this:

Confidence & Motivation – The first steps toward feeling better about myself, and more ready to take on the world, were aided by support from friends, loved ones and great coaches. Surround yourself with folks who make you feel good and give good advice. Their advice will surely include keeping a gratitude journal.

Recognition & Opportunity - Once my confidence rose, and with it my motivation, I became more focused, put gratitude front and center, and just put it our there into the world. Soon I was being invited to give talks, getting quoted in articles, and generally attracting positive people and great reactions to whatever I did. The more grateful I was, the more doors that opened for me.

Satisfaction & Productivity – As my year of living gratefully continued, and each day I noted my gratitude for both the mundane and the profound, the one-time and the ongoing things going right in my life, I not only became more satisfied on a daily basis, but also more productive. Realizing how much I have going for me helped me get more done and so more of it.

Success & More Money – Here’s the crazy thing: during that entire year focused on gratitude, I actually worked less and made more money. It’s true. I took off every Monday for my radio show which is unpaid, and had my highest annual income ever. Along with that, the listenership to my show climbed 15% each quarter of the year. Go figure? All I can point to is my investment in gratitude.

Joy & Contentment – This is the most important and delightful reward from my year of living gratefully. Better than being recognized, or productive, or earning more, it’s the sense of happiness and inner peace that is truly the best outcome of all. I need only recall how low I’d sunk, and that the path back up was paved with gratitude, and you can see why I am encouraging you to have a grateful day, every day.

Are you ready to give it a try? Go to The Grateful Dad Shop and order yours today.

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The Office

the_officeThe sound of an automatic garage door opening is one I always associate with my dad; the door going up as he left early each weekday morning for his office; the same sound each evening signaling his arrival home from work, and dinner soon after.

For my father, his law office in downtown Toledo, Ohio, was his domain, a refuge and sacred space I have to believe, given how much time he spent there, and how much he talked about it even while at home. My dad’s longtime secretary knew him as well as his family; my father’s law partners made up the familiar landscape where my dad toiled 5-6 days each week, happily, until he moved to Florida, where he also kept an office and continued to work well into his 60s and early 70s.

Although I didn’t go to law school, I went to an office for many years as well. For my various jobs in Colorado, Ohio, and New York, I had a desk and phone, and eventually a computer, but my heart and soul were never there the way my dad was connected to his office and his work. I was a lousy employee, never very good at showing up on time, nor staying until the clock said it was time to quit. I couldn’t really understand why it was necessary to be at the office when there were more important things to be doing elsewhere.

Perhaps it’s my unique place in what’s known as Generation Jones – caught between a Baby Boomer’s drive for achievement and success to keep up with the Joneses, while also compelled by the ‘slacker’ values of Generation X, jonesing for more balance, freedom, and family time.

In my case, the slacker side won out. After becoming a dad myself, it took me just a year of trying to emulate my father’s work ethic, before I lost me job because I took too much time away from the office to spend with my young son.

So for more that 13 years now, my office has been in my home, where my own son sees a lot more of me than I did of my dad. So what message does an omnipresent father send to his kids about work?

While not absent all day long, as a work-at-home dad, anytime I open my laptop I am in effect ‘at the office.’ And when I hole up in my own workspace in our attic, it does take me away from the family, much as when my father was way downtown. And how does the fact that I work my work around my family time most of the time send messages to my son about what it means to have a job and be diligent in the pursuit of earning an income?

At this point, I can’t envision ever again going to the office – I mean one other than at home. So my son will see me around the house, working when I can and must, and being available to him whenever he needs, wants, or asks. And I deem this a good thing. Having a father around is about as good as it gets for kids, especially in their teens. Sure, I worry a bit that my Generation Y son will get the message that work is not so essential since his dad doesn’t seem to make such a big deal of it most days. I might have some concern that my kid will adopt the Millennials‘ sense of entitlement that’s said to be a hallmark of his generation, and eschew or at least delay his own work life in favor of living at home and off of his parents for longer than we might wish.

But right now I celebrate that our little family usually shares an office, as my son still chooses to have his desk in the downstairs common room of our home rather than in his upstairs bedroom the way I did. And during most evenings, like just last night, there are three of us with open laptops, doing the things that need to be done. And last night when it came time to offer assistance, Jordan sent me and Maggie a shared Google Doc of his essay about Homer’s Odyssey, which we each read and commented on, so he could turn it in the next day. From the amount of time he spends on homework, and the good grades he gets, I am not really worried about his work ethic. And I am happy to be nearby, modeling my own values and supporting his needs.

That’s the job we all share as a family, to stay connected, in close communication, collaboration, and in our case, proximity. That’s the office where we spend the most time, and do our best and most important work.

…and that’s the full-circle fatherhood report.

Posted in Being a Dad, Being a Partner, Being a Son, I've Noticed, Men's Issues, Work-Life Balance | Leave a comment

HOMECOMING

freaks-and-geeks-1825420585When our cheap old television finally gave out recently, turning all of the faces green and orange – not just John Boehner’s – and emitting a loud hum any time that text was superimposed on the screen, it was time to go out and purchase a new TV. With a little research I soon learned that, just like these phones we all carry, most televisions are now smart. In truth, television remotes have outsmarted me for years, but now my little idiot box is neither stupid nor a box, it’s flat and smart, as it connects to the internet and allows me direct access to all kinds of applications, including NETFLIX. And there on the instant streaming site, I found and watched a couple of episodes of an old TV show that’s been recommended to me for years called FREAKS & GEEKS.

Freaks & Geeks has particular interest to me as it’s set at roughly the time and place I went to high school. And as I watched James Franco, Seth Rogan and the others play out this bygone era of my history during the program’s pilot episode, the memories came flooding back of my own youth. In particular, the plotline about the high school homecoming dance touched a nerve as I recalled the drama and anxiety it had for me, as watching the TV characters prepare for the big event.

Watching Freaks & Geeks on my new smart television the other night was the second time in recent weeks that high school homecoming memories were revived. I had also enjoyed a trip down memory lane when my son Jordan, a high school freshman, attended the dance much to my surprise. I was pleased that he had the experience, and it was fun to recall it through the lens of my own history, and especially to see that my son seemed to have few of the issues I did back in my day.

I recently recalled another homecoming of sorts when my friend Vicki sent word that she was flying down to Florida to move her mother up to Denver to be among family as her health is failing. It’s an emotional déjà vu for me, recalling the period five years ago next month that we prepared for and had the same experience with my dad. Although both of these were one-way trips, Vicki reports the same phenomenon I experienced with my father, as her mom thinks she’s just coming for a visit. I know well the path of becoming a caregiver to an aging parent, and I want to support this and other friends who join the sandwich generation, so that this type of homecoming can be a celebration of some sort, even if tinged with a certain sadness.

As my own stories parallel that of my son and my friend, I also recall another homecoming that followed from my father’s move to be near me, when after his passing I carried his ashes home to rest, a final homecoming celebration. Professionally packaged, and with proper paperwork, I put my dad’s remains into my big green backpack and was surprised at how easily I went through airport security. It was somehow comforting to carry him that way, as if on an important mission, and it didn’t even seem too freaky when I told my seatmate what was in my carry-on luggage.

And plans are in process for yet another homecoming early next year, in the Jewish tradition, as we’ll travel back to Ohio once more, to dedicate the headstone on my father’s grave.

These various homecomings have me reflecting on the places I’ve called ‘home.’ Temporal and temporary, comforting and uncomfortable, each place and time marks a memory bitter and sweet, until the next time I go home.

…and that’s the full-circle fatherhood report.

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