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This story is for all parents and is a great reminder of what our kids really value in us.

A man came home from work late again, tired and irritated, to find his 5-year-old son waiting for him at the door.

“Daddy, may I ask you a question?”

“Yeah, sure, what is it?” replied the man.

“Daddy, how much money do you make an hour?

“That’s none of your business! What makes you ask such a thing?” the man said angrily.

“I just want to know. Please tell me, how much do you make an hour?” pleaded the little boy.

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“Daddy, do you love me?”

Wow!  As a parent, I go straight into panic mode when I hear those words.

“Of course!  Why do you ask?  I tell you all the time!”  The responses come thick and fast as I attempt to overcome any concerns my kids may have that they’re not loved.

As I consider the gravity of this question, I can’t help but be challenged to ensure that each of my children (and my wife for that matter) know without a shadow of doubt that they are loved.

Here are four ways to get me started:

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Warren Buffett is one of the most influential and successful investors in the world with a net worth of approximately 47 billion dollars.  This makes him the third richest person in the world.  He is also a well-known philanthropist who has given away tens of billions of dollars to charitable foundations.

Now aged 79, Buffett’s investment philosophies have stood the test of time and have been imitated by many others in their search for increased financial independence.

I’m not an expert on finances, but I think that there are some great life principles that we can learn from his great success story.

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After the death of Mother Teresa, on the wall of one of her children’s homes in Calcutta was found the Paradoxical Commandments.  These commandments were then traced back to Dr. Kent M. Keith who wrote them in 1968 when he was a College student at Harvard at the ripe old age of 19. 

They’ve been used in books by Stephen Covey, John C. Maxwell and Robert Schuller and have challenged and influenced the thinking of many people over the years.

What are the Paradoxical Commandments?

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Genuine leaders are able to maintain independent thought processes that allow them to stand out from the crowd. 

Albert Einstein once said,

For those who would joyously march in rank and file, they have already earned my contempt, for they were given a large brain by accident when a spinal cord would have sufficed!

Harsh words perhaps, but the premise is that we have been given a brain and free will for a reason, so let’s aspire to greatness and not just try to keep in step with everyone else.  I strongly believe that God has wired us all slightly differently so that we can each play our part, not just to act as clones of each other.

What steps can we take to increase our independence?

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One of the great advantages of living in this day and age is the array of choices that we have on offer.

One of the great disadvantages of living in this day and age is the array of choices that we have on offer.

What’s the difference?

Some people have learned how to set goals and prioritise, enabling them to take action on the choices on offer that will get them closer to their aims.  

Others seem to get lost in the wide array of options in front of them.  You know the people, they’re blocking the aisle at the supermarket, standing in front of the 200 kinds of breakfast cereal, genuinely conflicted and unable to choose.

Seth Godin calls this the paralysis of unlimited opportunity.

What can we do to become more decisive?

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