Dr. Rich Patterson

African American father and son talking

Focus on Good Energy

I recently saw a father speaking to his son after a soccer game where his son’s team lost by quite a bit.  The son was discouraged and felt like a failure.  The father noticed that his son was particularly discouraged and asked him a few questions.  He said:  “Did you do your best?”  the son replied, “yes I did.”  The father then asked, “Did your team work together?”  the son replied that he thought that they did their best.  Then you were simply beat by a better team, the father replied.

I like this story because it tells us to focus on the good energy around us, rather than our surroundings.  So often in life, that which is around us can be disappointing, defeating, frustrating and discouraging.  By getting in the habit of finding the good energy, we learn to find what will move us forward, rather than backwards.  Dave Thomas, the founder of Wendy’s had every reason to be discouraged.  He never knew his mother, and was adopted at six weeks old.  His adoptive mother died when he was 5 years old and his father went around the country looking for work.  He eventually spent some time with his grandmother, whom he credits for teaching him respect and how to treat others well.  He went to numerous schools and struggled with family issues of money.  He went on to become the founder and chief executive officer of Wendy’s, a fast-food restaurant chain.  I’m sure at times he was certainly discouraged, but he focused instead on what he could do, what he could learn from, such as getting fired from his first job.  He made himself a promise which helped later to drive himself forward rather than backwards.

What can we find in our circumstances regardless of their ugliness?  What good is there in the energy that surrounds it?  What opportunities lie in the disappointments and errors of our life?  As we work with kids, I address this in my book:  Making Sense of Life:  A Guidebook for Teens and Parents.  It is available in paperback, eBook and Audiobook through Amazon, or your favorite bookstore.  I hope that you will check it out and find something that you can use with your child.  Here is the link:  https://www.amazon.com/Making-Sense-Life-Guidebook-Parents/dp/1627875018/

I wish you the best energy around working with your kids,