Shawn Stevenson on Fatherhood and Overcoming Childhood Obstacles

In this intimate look into the life of Shawn Stevenson, one half of The Good Dad Project Podcast, Shawn shares the reason he is so passionate about fatherhood and being part of this wonderful program. This successful author, entrepreneur, health and wellness expert (not to mention being “audio velvet”) takes us behind the scenes into his upbringing and the challenges he faced that brought him to achieve his best version of himself.

“Great men create great people.”
-Shawn Stevenson TWEET THAT

We Choose Our Response to Any Challenge

It’s the old adage: do you see the glass as half full or half empty? Yeah, it’s a cliché, but there’s a reason it’s overstated. We can’t determine what life circumstances we are born into, and we certainly can’t control how others act or how they treat us. But, we can ultimately control the way we respond to our environment or how we choose to live despite our upbringing. We can choose to be victims, or we can choose to dictate our own future. We can choose to look at that glass and see the opportunity, or we can see that we are running out of liquid pretty darn quickly.

In Shawn Stevenson’s case, growing up in a chaotic home without his biological father may seem like an ideal situation to wallow in self-pity. But for Shawn, it isn’t. Shawn just wasn’t going to let his childhood circumstances define his life. So what makes Shawn (and others like him) choose a different path?

Lesson One: Reflect What Your Children Should Value

For Shawn, much of his inspiration came from his grandmother. She propelled Shawn to love learning, giving him the motivation to do well in school. Shawn’s grandmother taught him that learning can, in fact, be fun. From there, Shawn learned to value education, continuing all the way into his college career.

Lesson Two: Adopt a Grateful Attitude

Throughout Shawn’s young life, he did continue to face challenges: getting kicked out of school for fighting as well as having his first child in his teens. Despite this, Shawn was able to graduate from high school with solid grades and move on to college. Again, through all of these continued challenges, Shawn chose to take the positive path. He finds himself grateful for his upbringing and the challenges he faced; he credits them for his successes.

Lesson Three: Be Motivated by Your Kids

As parents, we will never be perfect. Scratch that, as humans, we will never be perfect. That’s ok.

But when we show up for our kids, whether we are blessed to be with them every day or if it’s every other week, we teach them to become the “best version of who they can be”-Stevenson.

Shawn says, as dads: “Great men create great people. Great men help to create a foundation that starts to eliminate so many of the problems that we have out here with our society.”

What your kids see and what they are taught is how they will reflect themselves into the world. So, yeah, you can be a victim of your circumstances (glass half empty), or you can take what life has given you, look at it as a gift and use it to propel yourself and your kids (glass half full).Being a dad isn’t about being perfect (no one is), it’s about showing up, being your best version, so your children can be their best version.

Free Resources:

Check out a free chapter from: THE DAD’S EDGE on UNLIMITED PATIENCE HERE

The Dads Edge Book

Check out this free resource on: CONNECTION WITH YOUR SPOUSE

Check out this free resource on:  CONNECTION WITH YOUR KIDS


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  1. All I can say is, wow. After following the Model Health Show and now the Good Dad Project, this interview with Shawn shed a light on his history and his purpose more that anything else I have heard. It’s so wonderful to hear his perspective of gratitude towards his tough childhood. Our family of five has become healthier and happier in the past two years as a direct result of Shawn Stevenson words, there is not a doubt about that. It just shows that no matter how difficult of a situation we are in, there is always a positive and a lesson that can help someone else get better.

    1. Vincent said it perfectly. We’ve been friends for a couple years and he told me about TMHS last September as my wife and I were battling health issues. I lost 27 lbs and my allergies went away.

      I learned about the GDP through your show and immediately emailed Larry. The rest is history. Your passion and commitment to excellence has directly helped my health, marriage, and Dad skills:)

  2. Thanks for your honesty, and for giving voice to your decision to take the brutal and the beautiful as gifts both. Many years ago a friend somewhat older than I was reflecting on his own parenting as well as that of his parents, and with great compassion shared a similar message – everyone is doing the best they can with the tools they have at their disposal at that moment in their lives. Sometimes my own fathering toolbox seems pitifully supplied. Thanks for the messages the GoodDadProject shares – you are supplying good tools for this work, guys.

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