I sat down with my 13 year-old son Lucas Newman to talk about some of the proudest and most meaningful moments of my life. It's funny how being in front of a camera can make every day exchanges feel different, isn't it?
While I talk to my son all the time about important and totally mundane topics, getting a chance to walk through some of the pivotal moments of my life was special. We covered everything from my time in the military (and some shenanigans overseas) to the doors a college education can open, and why hard work is a key part of a life well-lived.
Talking with him about the satisfaction that comes with a job well-done are lessons I try to bestow to each of my kids everyday. My career path from director at a Fortune 500 to a full time freelance writer emphasizes the importance of finding your strengths and passions and sticking with them.
You can see our conversation below, along with a brief summary of our #talktome conversation.
Q: Tell me something you've never told me before.
A: When I was in the Army, I snuck away with some friends for my 19th birthday, and spent it under the Eiffel Tower watching the ball drop. It was pretty amazing... and I never told the Army, so don't tell them now.
Q: What do you know now that you wish you knew at my age?
A: That it's ok to be adventurous. I wish I was more adventurous; not that I wasn't. Every kid lived outside because we didn't have the Internet, but I wish I was more adventurous. Meet new people, experience new things and volunteer for everything. You never know what's going to happen if you put yourself out there.
Q: What's the happiest moment of your life?
A: Besides the birth of my children and being married to your mother (make sure to tell her I said that), probably graduating college. I was able to graduate from a major university, the University of Missouri, and it was one of the happiest days of my life.
Q: What was one of the hardest challenges of your life?
A: The military is difficult for just about everybody. Basic training, working hard each day--those things are difficult. But going to all these different places without you guys, that's the hardest. Being away from family and friends.
Q: What's the biggest lesson you'd like to pass on to future generations?
A: Hard work matters above everything else. I don't just mean monetary success, although having money is great--you get all your toys--but it's not always about the money. Finding things that make you happy and are impactful. Hard work and being passionate.
Q: What're some of the little things you did for the family to get where you are right now?
A: Coming out of high school I had good grades, but not money. Coming from a town of 150 people in the middle of nowhere, joining the Army was a great step. It's not for everybody, but it was a great step for me to see the world and make something of myself. Being able to find that first great job out of school and then eventually being able to work for myself now as a full time freelance writer on Fiverr. I'm happy with where I am and what I've accomplished.