Last night, my wife and I attended the Boy Scout Eagle Ceremony of John Francis Murphy IV on the night everyone else was watching the Academy Awards. I think we got the better end of the deal.
During the critical teen years, John's mother, Debbie, had raised John and his brother Scott alone. What do you do with two growing boys in your home with no father to help manage? You invest time, energy and money in getting your boys involved in a group where they will have plenty of men to relate to and fine young men to bond to. You get involved with the Boy Scouts of America.
You realize that motivation comes from the people young hang out with. Often it's the adults who work with young men who believe in them before they believe in themselves. We watched as scout leader after scout leader took to the lectern to talk about the character and strengths of this fine young man. They talked about some stories that were better left unshared. There was forgiveness for the mistakes and a celebration of mastery earned on John's journey.
I'd never seen John smile so much as he listened to the tributes and the stories. This was his day. What's the motivation lesson for the day? Surround yourself with people who will celebrate your successes and encourage you in your down days. Give yourself to groups that will live the values they put on their walls because when you do, those values are more likely to be emblazoned on your heart and in your habits.
With your kids, you might want to disconnect them from their computer and television long enough to earn a few merit badges at your Boy Scout or Girl Scout troops.