Dad Let Me Suffer

Values are nurtured by those we respect. Sometimes the journey is painful.

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The birth of a value:

When I was a kid, living on our dairy farm in Central Maine, I received an allowance. I don’t remember how much. I just remember the joy of receiving it. I saved the money to buy my first bike.

I went to the hardware store with money in hand and picked out the coolest bike I’d ever seen. It had high-rise handlebars, a banana seat, metallic paint, and an amazing stick shift. Today, I suppose the stick shift would be considered a hazard. But it was darn cool back then.

Dad and I went to the counter to pay, but I didn’t have enough money. I looked up at dad. He was no help.

The store owner put a tag on the bike that read, “Danny Rockwell.” I made a deposit, put the coolest bike on layaway, and left empty handed.

I’ll never forget the sadness of leaving my bike behind. But, I learned a lesson that stays with me to this day. You don’t always get what you want, when you want it. You pay first.

I’ve violated that value a few times in my life. It hung over me like a rain cloud. We feel pain when we violate our values and satisfaction when we align with them.

“Whenever there is a gap between what you value and what you are doing, you are in pain.” Hyrum W. Smith author of, “The Three Gaps.”


  1. Define success.
  2. Ignite motivation.
  3. Create satisfaction.

We evaluate our lives by our values.

The closer your life aligns with your values, the more meaning and energy you feel.

What values guide your decisions and behaviors?

What values guide the decisions and behaviors of your team mates?

This post is inspired by my conversation with Hyrum W. Smith. I recommend his latest book, “The 3 Gaps.”

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