Bill Belew has raised 2 bi-cultural kids, now 34 and 30. And he and his wife are now parenting a 3rd, Mia, who is 8.
I remember actor Brad Pitt giving an interview in the actor’s studio . When he was asked what his favorite word. He said “Daddy”.Inside the actor’s studio is a show hosted by James Lipton .
First Lesson, that I have learned from my Dad is about integrity. The mighty Warren Buffet mentions about it in his interview. Mr Buffet says , you can afford to loose money for the short term , investments for the short term but not integrity. You loose integrity you loose everything . My dad has taught me his version of integrity about how important it is in the business world. It is one single parameter where ALL important stakeholders (CUSTOMERS, Investors, Partners,Vendors etc ) of business will measure you and your business. Year back when I had a start up , when I put this idea in practice . I found it invaluable in building one’s company. My dad’s version about integrity is that you must keep your word. You must NOT mislead anyone with fancy appealing solutions which is ultimately doesn’t benefit these stakeholders.
Second Lesson, is YOU must believe in yourself. What you feel inside about yourself , it will manifest in the Outside. The way you feel in the inside will project it in the outside. You simply cannot FAKE things for too long. This particular lesson is particularly helpful in building personal relationships .
Third Lesson is , you are the average of the friends you hangout with. I find OUT this to be particularly true . My father always says you cannot choose your family. It is given to you. It is like a POKER hand that you cannot change. BUT YOU CAN ALWAYS CHOOSE YOUR FRIENDS. So Choose YOUR REAL FRIENDS carefully.
Fourth Lesson, he mentions show kindness and practice humility . The universe would give back to you what you deserve. More so you get a chance to help someone, DO it clandestinely . Without broadcasting to anyone. Actor Will Smith mentions in his interview if you cannot make a difference in other’s people’s lives you are wasting your time. I agree quite a bit with this philosophy. Your life time is like a MIST and you are here for a VERY short period of time . So make the best use of it. I haven’t read the book which will smith mentions about Paul Cohelo’s famous book the “Alchemist”. I will definitely have this book as MUST read for for this year.
Fifth Lesson , Avoid Toxic People at ANY COST. Even if they might be your family members , close friends etc. People you are nay sayers , find the negative in every situations and who just have a negative energy.
Sixth Lesson: Never do anythings half hearted . You must be give your best at every endeavor . I personally have applied this a LOT. But I wish I did. I think if I have followed this one lesson from my DAD I would have been in a different plane altogether in my life.
Seventh Lesson: You must Pray . It doesn’t have to be in ANY Formal gathering or follow any particular religious format. It is more on a spiritual tone.
Eight Lesson: Always be accountable for your own actions.
Ninth Lesson: Follow your own gut /instincts about situations, people , life. Your own instincts have a better chance to guiding you.
than listening to others.
Tenth Lesson: My dad is a self made MAN. And he has lived by this idea his whole life. Be stubborn about being decisive and not be wish washy. I like the quote of great entrpreneur Jeff Besos of Amazon in this context. He says “Be Stubborn about your idea but be flexible about execution. ” It is a great lesson. Don’t listen to so called PUNDITS who can give you fancy analysis , and give you hundred different reasons why your idea is bad , and it won’t work. This one lesson my dad has imparted that I hope would stay with me for a long time.
Talk to Bill and others about their experiences raising bi-cultural Japanese-American kids.