It took 3 years, but eventually, I published my first children's book entitled "My Mom, My Superhero."
Becoming an author and publisher has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember. I've always wanted to create something that brought joy to people, particularly children. The feeling of writing and publishing a book that can take on a life of it's own and have value long after I'm gone is truly amazing. But truth be told, that's not the best part. Believe it or not, the best part for me, was the 3 year journey of learning, writing, and publishing, aka "The Process". The long, tedious, humbling, expensive, tiresome, and at times frustrating process. Did I mention it was 3 years?
I started writing and publishing my first book at one of the most hectic times in my life. I got engaged, found out unexpectedly that I was going to be a father, bought a house, got married, found out expectedly that I was going to be a father again, and moved to a new home, all while balancing a career that blends domestic obligations with travel across Canada, the US and Singapore. Suffice to say, my "side-hustle" of writing and publishing over a 3 year period consisted of ridiculously late nights and way too early mornings, all to avoid sacrificing time away from my family and career, that equally demanded my very best.
I had moments of exhaustion, laziness, procrastination, and a list of great excuses to either stay in bed or call it a day. There were many times I just wanted to throw in the towel, because the truth is, I didn't really need to publish a book. I have worked hard to achieve a rewarding career, and get to a place in my life where I can make the decisions I want to make. But I was hit with a visceral sense of motivation like I have never experienced before. A motivation most gurus rarely talk about on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn or TED Talks... well maybe @Garyvee. He posts something on social media every 8 minutes; there's a good chance he's mentioned it, but no one else.
The motivation I'm talking about, once I became conscious of it, never went away. In fact, it only got stronger and drove me to get up when I was tired, persevere when I failed, and gave me courage in the face of adversity.
The motivation? My children.
You see, after almost 20 years of working with children, I know one thing for sure: Children learn what they live. Knowing that, and thinking about the example I want to set for my own children, got me out of bed at 5am and had me burning the midnight oil. Being the best father I could be on the clock meant having to work hard and smart off the clock. I made a conscious decision to embrace the process and live out the lesson that I want to teach my kids. The lesson - putting in the work - without complaint, without doubt, and without excuses. And then, the most amazing thing happened, the grueling process started to become less grueling, and eventually, became unbelievably enjoyable. It evolved into an outlet for thought, peace, comfort, and creativity. Not only did the process become cathartic, I found myself happier and more productive in all aspects of my life. Most importantly, I became a living example of the lesson I want to teach my 2 beautiful daughters.
Having children has given my work ethic a whole new meaning. They give me a sense of purpose like no other and I wake up every day conscious of the impact my attitude, conduct, communication, and productivity will have on their lives. I am overwhelmed by a feeling of gratitude to know that there’s a chance my girls will grow up knowing their father tried his best, didn't make excuses, didn't blame others, and attempted to leave this world a little better than it was before he got here. I hope that my example inspires them to give back, have courage, take nothing for granted, and most of all, fulfill their highest potential.
So, if you have children, know that you may have all the motivation you’ll ever need to achieve anything in life. Just be the kind of person you want your children to grow up and become and you'll be amazed at what you will accomplish. If you don't have children, embrace "The Process" anyway. At a minimum, you will leave this world a little better than you found it, and chances are, someone's watching.
"Full effort is full victory." ~ Gandhi
Written By: Jason D'Rocha