Stop Comparing Your Family to Someone Else’s

Jeff and I just finished recording a Dads Building Teams episode about the nuclear family was a mistake, it was a really in-depth conversation around David Brooks, his article. And one of the comments that we discussed was, you cannot fix in one generation would have took… In one year what it took a generation to destroy. And I think that that’s actually a real serious challenge for a lot of families. We constantly are comparing ourselves I think more than ever to other families around us. We just aren’t like, “Oh, look at them,” and we see their Instagram life. And we’re totally feeling a sense of like, “Oh, well what’s wrong with my family and how quickly can I get there?” And this discouragement can set in so quickly. So yeah, I wanted to tease out this with you Jeff. How should families think about just the project, the multi-generational project of trying to recover from potentially a really challenging upstream generation?

Totally. And I think yeah, and what’s interesting too is the timing of this. Even this morning I was writing my next book, which people if they follow me noticed it’s on family stuff and all that. Super stoked on it. But I was even thinking this morning, I had to really get into my own head. Where my natural inclination, and probably most people but maybe even more so than me, is I love to just teach and talk about concepts and ideas. I immediately want to run into that stuff.

When I realized with this book specifically, I have to really go back and put myself in almost every stage of learning this stuff and try to be as first person in that historical date as much as possible. Just because yeah, I felt really a heavy sense of just people need to feel and see how… I don’t know if experimental is the right word, but just how workshop-y and how much time it does take to do this because it’s very easy to see other families and their journey. But what you have to do is, never compare your journey to another family’s journey because you’re not living their life. And so to do that is actually abdicating your own family identity.

Trying to be another family is almost saying that God doesn’t need my family on earth. Which isn’t true, he needs every single team no matter what it looks like. Yeah, I just think that how do you let that quote really sink in, if you let that concept really sink in. And are you ready for that? There’s also a little bit of counting the cost there, right?


Of like, “Hey, this…” There’s even some possibilities here too. Even the famous example I talk about sometimes as the Rothchild example. At certain levels it’s different for everyone, but the dad was not wealthy pretty much by any means until like the last few days of his life. I mean it was years, but it was comparatively at the end. He was very much lower class, and then middle class for up to 60 years of old. And so the same way that he… But he had such a vision of not caring about him dying super wealthy, but just actually just having the football farther down the field and having his sons be incredibly wealthy and banking dynasties that he laid that vision out.

And so I don’t think… We’re not talking about wealthier, but I think spiritual wealth, of spiritual impact and legacy, you have to… Sometimes if you’re starting late, you have to have that same perspective. That this is a hundred year game, it’s a 200 year game. I probably won’t achieve a touchdown at some level if I’m starting later or whatever. And so I don’t know if that makes sense, but what would you say to that?

Yeah, totally. I always take as my inspiration Abraham. Like it says in Hebrews…

There’s no fruit, really.

Hebrews 11.

He basically died with one kid, and yeah.

One kid in a tent. But he had a dream of this multi-generational family, and it’s impacted the world ever since. And so what could happen if you really gave yourself to the development of that? If Abraham was completely obsessed with his individual life, or he just sort of gave up hope because he wasn’t seeing the fruit in his generation? We wouldn’t have had all of the blessings of his multi-generational family line that’s coming all the way down to us even to this day. And that’s something we all should be inspired or see about as… There really is almost no limit to how your family can bless the world multi-generationally, but there is a very defined limit about what you can do in a short period of time.

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