” My father believes the finest steel goes through the hottest furnace.Daryl Washington Jersey Now, having spent his entire life in athletics, my father was always putting life in perspective by using sports as a metaphor. He would advise me and my brother, Stephen, of another simple rule: Celebrate the victories and learn from the defeats. He didn’t allow us to dwell on the defeats, or spend too much time patting ourselves on the back for our victories. Every situation was an opportunity to learn. That’s one of the great truths of life. He was always quick to say, “Enjoy the process … enjoy the process.C.J. Anderson Jersey” This has been another great lesson on fatherhood for me. It’s so easy to concentrate on trophies, on playing time, on accolades. But really, it’s the process that is the most enriching part of life. How you got there? What you are doing to get better? That is the Big Jerry philosophy. As he often told us: Sometimes hard work is not rewarded in an outward fashion. Sometimes you’ll give something you’re very best at and still fall short and there will be no particular award. It’s difficult.Darren McFadden Jersey It’s life. But he would reiterate that his pride in us was still very much there. You see, failure in life is inevitable. It happens to everyone at some point in time. But failure does not mark you as a man. What you do after you fail is what marks you as a man. I can tell you that my dad is my best friend, but a father-son friendship is an evolving process. During my formative adolescent years, he was a disciplinarian and a mentor. He was the father figure that challenged me to do the right thing.Andre Williams Jersey He would sit me down and ask: 1) What do you want out of life? 2) What are your expectations? 3) And what steps are you taking to get there? It wasn’t about setting a goal for change by January 1 of next year. It was set the goal for February 1 of this year, then March, then April, and keep on building. Also, it was important for him to be a good listener. A few years back, I was sitting silently in front of my dad.Julius Peppers Jersey Unbeknownst to him, the weight of the world was sitting on my shoulders, or so I believed at the time. Just looking at me, he knew there was a problem and asked, “Are you okay?” I curtly responded, “No,” and shared with him what was bothering me. Never one to give a short answer, he, as he always did,Stephen Hill Jersey reflected upon one of this own life’s lessons to help me better understand the issue. He was quick to point out that I was not alone, adding, “Those days that seem so challenging and unbearable are days that we all face. There is not a grown man who hasn’t gotten up every morning and looked into the mirror and had feelings of doubt. Concerned and even scared of the unknown. I have had my share of these. We have all had to overcome great challenges in life. It’s part of the process. So enjoy the process …. enjoy the process.” He helped me to understand that becoming an adult meant tackling commitments,Jacoby Brissett Jersey taking responsibility for one’s actions, managing fear. After all, it is that commonality of life that binds all humans together. Still to this day, he listens to my disappointments and my thrills. Always there to guide me. And as all fathers should be, remaining the strongest influence in my life. Never surrendering that responsibility, never surrendering that honor. My father taught me several important lessons,Thomas Rawls Jersey but the most important one can be explained in just three words: “I love you.” Tell your kids that you understand their goals. Tell them that you understand their disappointment when they have fallen short. Tell them that you will not hold their hands to prevent their future falls, but you sure will offer them a hand up. Tell them that you are most proud of them when they fail and then climb right back into the ring for another round. You will continue to cheer their every victory. You will continue to help them learn from every defeat. But most importantly, tell him that you love them. Tell him that you have loved him since the day you felt his first foot fall in the comfort of his mother’s stomach. My father is one of the toughest men I’ve ever known,DeAngelo Williams Jersey and he has never been afraid to say I love you. Those words are so important to children. They are so important because they build the most basic confidence and the most sturdy backbones. I’ve heard those words from my father a million times and it’s a large part of why our relationship is so strong. Those three words mean so much, and truly, only the very strongest of men understand that. To be a strong father, you must first be able to communicate your love to your children. * * * * * In closing I would like to say, I am a firm believer that life’s greatest moments come in finding challenges and over-coming them. Life’s greatest moments are a product of character.Adam Jones Jersey These moments are built brick-by-brick, row-by-row, one experience at a time, and they are a product of commitment. Life’s greatest moments are made by pulling together everything you’ve learned and casting it far into the wind of Faith. No one gets a guarantee. In taking a phrase from Shakespeare, “Life is a sea of troubles.” Life IS not easy. Families are sometimes difficult. Careers can be overwhelming. But I guarantee you this: You will never regret being a good father. My dad went to great lengths to help us build our confidence on a foundation of love and support. Ever the disciplinarian, he was also a great mentor and friend. The approach he took was obvious to him because that’s how his father was with him. I leave you with one final piece he shared with me at my high school graduation. It’s title, Your Name …