The Impact of Childhood

As I sat and watched the ISIS bombings in Paris, and I see the threats on the United States and Paris and everywhere else - one thought comes to mind...

How screwed up of a childhood must these men have had, to have so much hatred in their hearts to kill innocent people?

I watched the video that played on Fox News of the guy whose gun got stuck as a woman cowered under a table outside a cafe in Paris. The gunman ran away. The woman was saved.

I thought, what kind of screwed up childhood must somebody have experienced to be able to shoot an innocent person in cold blood?

We can find the triggers for a lot of our actions and emotions as adults, to our childhood. Subconscious thoughts and that we learned from the wonderful people called our parents.

Our parents, those people we looked up to, with ever so much love.

I see how my daughter looks up to me and I think to myself every day, "God I don't want to screw her up."

I want to be amazing and loving and fantastic for her because I do not want to screw her up. I know she will be screwed up in some way, because everybody is. That's life. But there are levels of how screwed up you are.

How screwed up were the parents of these terrorists?

They didn't come from warm, loving homes. They come from homes that must have been fractured. Who in their right mind can shoot innocent people unless they're seeking some sort of validation and acceptance that they never had?

There's some screwed up loop inside their brains that enables them to do this.

Recently, I started thinking about my own childhood.

I started thinking about how screwed up I got from my childhood. How it has impacted my relationships with people.

My dad, rest his soul, was a complete loser when it came to business. That man had the work ethic of a man who didn't want to work.

I can only imagine if he was alive right now, in these social media days, how much time he would spend on Facebook and Instagram and Amazon Prime.

How much of the day he would spend on ESPN and CBS Fantasy Football, or Fanduel.

You see my dad used to spend his entire day in his office calling Sports Phone.

There was something in the 70's in New York called Sports Phone.

There was a quickie quiz every single day. If you answered first, you won. My dad and his partner would sit there all day long and dial in Sports Phone non-stop. It cost the company money.

It was one of those $0.25 calls. My dad didn't care, because he had no concept of money anyway. He was constantly being shoveled money by his parents, who had been enabling him since he was 16 years old.

That's where he got his wonderful work ethic.

So my dad and his partner, Joe Weiss, would call up the quickie quiz over and over again. It was called the Wygant and Weiss connection. King Wally was the guy who ran Sports Phone.

He would answer this way: "This is King Wally from Sports Phone."

My dad and Joe would call over and over again. On the days I went to his office to learn how to work, my dad would show me that you get to the office, you get coffee, you order a muffin, you read the sports section and you call Sports Phone and answer the quickie quiz.

I learned that from my dad, and those work habits were my work habits when I first got a job out of college. I remember my first job. What did I do? I went to my office, I read the sports section, I got a muffin, I got some tea, and I did everything but work.

That's why I got fired from so many jobs, because I learned that's what you do when you go to an office.

My dad would come home every single day and complain about what a tough day it was. So I learned that's what you do, you complain about how hard today was.

It's amazing what we learn from our parents. It took me my entire 20's to break through and start working hard, because I thought somebody was always going to be there to bail me out.

My mom would bail me out when I lost jobs. My dad would bail me out. That's what it was all about.

I've had to bail other people out.

I have finally learned that's not what I want to do.

That's what our childhood does. We learn things because we want to be like our parents. We learn things, we learn habits, we learn ways of dealing with things.

By digging deep into our childhood, we can start to see those habits that we learned, and start to break the pattern.

Some of us don't break the habits, we just become terrorists, rapists, and other horrendous things.

My childhood taught me a hell of a lot. It's taken me a lifetime to break those habits.

I've got great work habits now. I can get more done in four hours than many people can in eight, because I don't get sucked in by Facebook, Instagram or any of the modern day Sports Phones and Quickie Quizzes.

I realized, we are the master of our own destiny.

We are the ones who can reshape and reform our lives.

Look at your childhood. Look at the habits you learned. Look at the habits you have now and ask yourself, did I learn these behaviors from my mother or father? Are these behaviors not necessarily your own behaviors, but somebody else's that have been passed down.

We pass behaviors down from generation to generation.

Now you're an adult. You can be an adult sponge. You can take everything in.

The great thing about being an adult sponge is that you can form your own opinions. You can break your old habits, and learn how to do things the right way instead of doing things the way your parents programmed you.