A little while ago a friend and colleague suggested that a great way to workout my goals and values would be to write the speech that's delivered at my 80th Birthday Party.
By starting at the end I could work back and formulate the goals I'd need to set and the steps I'd need to take to get where I want to be in the future.
It wasn't an easy process. There were so many things to consider, so many choices to make. It took many iterations.
But, in the end, I found the process immensely practical and useful. It was also emotional, making me decide what really mattered most to me.
I've shared the final version below in the hope that it helps someone ele who may be going through a similar lifestage.
Obviously this is very personal to me and the content may be hopelessly inappropriate for anyone else.
But if it helps just one other dad get focussed and drive for a better place, I'll be happy.
The speech is made by only son.
Happy Birthday Dad
My dad’s 80. But he's much more than a number.
He's always been everything to me and he still is.
Always there for me, always supporting me, always inspiring me. As much now as he has throughout my life.
But not just me.
Throughout his life dad has played a similar role to many and he continues to do so. Today's attendance just proves that point. The biggest room we could find filled with Family and friends. For dad doesn't have acquaintances or colleagues. You're either a friend or family or both. And I'm sure all of you are only too pleased to describe dad in these terms too.
In fact I've asked many of you to do just that. To describe dad in a few words.
Now there's some words I can't possibly share, but of those I can, common themes are evident.
Words like passionate, driving, inspirational, loving, caring, trustworthy, compassionate and generous were mentioned most. I see all of these in dad and I'm sure you do to.
Dad leads by example. Going not just the extra mile but the extra 1000 miles.
Never giving up. Being strong, determined and an all round nice guy.
Inspiring us all to better our own lives. Give more, do more, achieve more. Not just in work or business but in all areas of life.
Many of you know that in his mid 40’s dad took the brave decision to exit the world of the corporate rat race. Instead he prioritised his life on his family, helping me through education, entertainment and my overall development and allowing mum to accelerate her career and fulfil her ambition of becoming a highly successful executive in what was then a male dominated world.
The real measure of a man’s success is not the material possessions he accumulates, nor the money he holds in the bank.
No. It's the value of the life he's led, the experiences he's enjoyed, the impact he's made on others and ultimately, but not just yet, the legacy he leaves behind.
Measured in these terms, dad can certainly be described as successful.
I'd like to close with a very personal Thank You dad.
Thank you for everything you've done for me and with me. For your warmth, your love and your attention.
But most important of all thank you for consistently being my compass.
You taught me the value of values, living by your own and helping me to identify mine.
Allowing me to hold my standards high, make the right choices and live by my terms and not those imposed by others.
Happy birthday dad.
I love you.