169 Michael Jr. Episode Transcript



Michael Jr. [00:00:02] Fellas, I want you to know for sure you are absolutely dadAWESOME, because I got an awesome dad and I know I’m going to be an awesome dad because I’m gonna give it my all. Even if we’re going the wrong way, I’m going the wrong way all the way, because I’m doing it because I love my kids. And they both know that, like fully.


Jeff Zaugg [00:00:23] Welcome to DadAWESOME. You’ve joined a movement of intentional dads who are adding life to the dad life. Our prayer is that we would experience love from our Heavenly Father and that with joy and with shiny eyes, we show that love to our kids. By listening today, you’ve already taken a courageous step towards learning and being mentored as you become dadAWESOME  for your kids. My name is Jeff Zaugg and with my wife Michelle, we have three little girls seven, four and two, and we have a baby on the way. On this podcast, we explore the path of becoming a dadAWESOME. This is episode 169 of dadAWESOME. I’m so thankful that you have joined us today. Hey, I want to invite you to continue spreading the word about Fathers for the Fatherless. So this will be our third year. We’ve we’ve launched this bike ride back three years ago. It’s rallying dads to ride their bikes one hundred miles. So cyclists we’re pedaling a hundred miles for the fatherless. So we train together. This event is not just about in our prayers. We’re giving a million dollars away to the fatherless, both locally and globally. But it’s more than just giving money away. It’s about rallying and uniting dads around a common mission. So with something beautiful happens when you do a hard thing together with a group of dads. And the podcast, we’re grateful, you know, grateful for resources like this podcast to listen by yourself. But when you come together and do a hard thing for the fatherless, your heart’s going to break, dads, the dads who participate, the hearts are broken for the fatherless. They return home way more intentional in their fatherhood and friendships are formed. And friendships and brotherhood is the springboard to becoming dadAWESOME. So fathers for the fatherless. It’s F4F.bike and it’s linked in all of our social channels and it’s linked on the show notes to this, to today’s episode. But let’s jump into this week’s conversation. So we’ve got Michael Jr. joining us this weekend. He’s down in Dallas, Texas area. And I have reached out a couple of times, was hoping because, you know, I’ve been to his shows before. I’ve watched his content on YouTube. He’s a comedian, storyteller, author, just thrilled to have him on the show this week. You can tell by by any time again, you watch him perform or or read or watch him on YouTube. You can tell this is a passionate dad. Fatherhood is core to what drives him and living with purpose is core. And if we’re dads, we’re all dads here. Living with purpose is massive. So I’m not going to retell what he’s going to tell you in a moment here. But I just wanted to. Let’s buckle up, guys. Let’s lean in. Let’s take notes. God has something for you in today’s conversation. So welcome to Episode one hundred and sixty nine with Michael Junior.


Jeff Zaugg [00:03:12] And awesome, I have Michael Jr. joining me through the Zoom line. Welcome to the show.


Michael Jr. [00:03:17] dude, thanks so much for having me. I’m pumped. I’m excited. Even our pre conversation was pretty awesome. So. Wow. Thank you so much for having me here. This is dope.


Jeff Zaugg [00:03:26] So we are going to have a little fun to start things off today instead of instead of funny how life works. Funny how dad life works. I would I would ask you to play on a little play on. So, Michael, would you tell tell me recently anything funny or a joke perhaps around dad life, anything that you can kind of warm us up for the conversation?


Michael Jr. [00:03:47] Absolutely, man. So if it’s OK with you, I’d like to go on stage in front of 4000 people and do this if I could. I love being a dad like that. Stuff is the best is one of the best responsibilities. I got five kids. Yeah. And and and I travel a lot, you know, so I can see them all. Oh. I’m just playing – I don’t see em.  Now, I do have five kids, whenever you have a big family, you have to figure out ways to save money, right, and get our family pictures taken and that stuff is expensive. So what we did to save money. Right? We all got in the front seat of the car. Oh, Look both ways. And ran a red light. That’s what we did.


Jeff Zaugg [00:04:33] I’d love for you to just introduce your family to us a little bit, Michael, just talk about how long you’ve been married to Ebony and talk about your kids.


Michael Jr. [00:04:40] Yeah. So I have five amazing, amazing kids. I have five kids and I have, I think, five extra kids. And what I mean by that is there’s a there’s being a dad and there’s also being a dad like one, because around us there’s always some kids who don’t have a father figure in their life at all. And for some reason, I’ve just been and I wasn’t able to articulate before I was a Christian, but I’ve always been attracted or I’ve always wanted to do something more for other kids who were in this scenario. So even now, my parents will laugh because randomly I’ll show up at their house and they’ll be like, oh, you have another God-child. OK, what’s this kid’s name? And my parents just love on them like crazy. So I probably have like I have five of those where I’m constantly, constantly pouring into. But then I’m blessed with all of my kids. I even have a granddaughter now, which is really cool. Grandpa sounds old, dude, and like you can’t say grandpa, Grandpa is way older than granddad. I just.  Granddad sounds like oh that dude’s still cool. Grandpa. Sounds like I got a rocking chair somewhere so. Yeah. So yeah my wife is pretty doggone amazing. Being a dad is like. Like, the greatest name I’ve ever been called is dad, like period, like I was just talking about that today, man, I just I think there’s a lot of guys who are missing out on some great opportunities in life. But the cool part is, is even where our dads lack. Yeah. Got completely picks up plus some. And there’s some change you just have to be willing to receive. So this podcast is awesome. And I love your heart around being a dad is really, really great and four girls, three plus one on the way?


Jeff Zaugg [00:06:33] Yeah, we’re about a month actually. We’re dropping this episode. We’ll probably have I’ll be able to hold my little baby because she’s due in early April, so likely I’ll be holding her. And actually that does lead me to the newborn.


Michael Jr. [00:06:44] You remember when she was conceived?


Jeff Zaugg [00:06:47] Well, you know, that’s for a different podcast.


Michael Jr. [00:06:49] Yes, I like asking awkward questions sometimes. Just for humor, the look on your face was awesome when I said that. What? Huh? How can I remember two minutes.


Jeff Zaugg [00:06:58] I of how do I get out of this corner that I’m trapped by a comedian. Tell me this though, the newborn cry. I will be holding my fourth daughter and there’s a video clip.


Michael Jr. [00:07:09] I think we should put it in here. You know, let me tell the story story. So I’m my daughter two at the time. Portland, she is two and a half minutes old and I’m taking I’ll take a video of it because this is my fifth kid. It’s like I know when you have your first kid you in, they’re either cryin for you or you saying, put me in, coach. I’m ready like you, Mr. Security Guard, one of the two. But this my five kids, I’m like, you know, be a cameraman. I get into details about this in the Funny How Life Works book. But she’s two and a half minutes old and a nurse is about to clean it up. And it got her under a little chicken warmer. You know how they had her at the restaurant before the chicken gets cold, they put the kid under the little heat lamp. So we got better insurance and it wasn’t a chicken warmer. It was just whatever to use in hospital anyway. So she’s two and a half minutes old and she’s laying there and the nurses is about to clean her up and she starts to cry. Well I can’t pick her up yet. So this right here is literally what I want you to pay attention. Listen closely to the audio. If you’re watching some video, watch what happens when she hears my voice. [baby crying] Oh. OK, Portland, I’m right here, it’s OK, it’s OK. I’m right here. Here, we’re doing just fine. OK, OK, I’m right here. It’s OK. It’s OK, baby. That right there was amazing. Literally, as you noticed, she stopped crying when she heard my voice. Here’s the next thing. It’s like seven, maybe seven and a half minutes or so later, the nurses done cleaning her up and she starts to cry again. Again, I speak up and she stops crying again. But I want you to notice what happens when I tell her I love her. Oh, Portland. OK, it’s good, it’s good. I’m right here, I’m right here I am right here. I love you. I love you. I love you. Oh yeah, I’m right here. I’m right here. It’s OK. It’s OK. [End of video clip] So for So for those who are listening right now, you didn’t see it, but as I said the phrase, I love her. She opens her eyes. Yeah. That is so similar to how life is as well. There’s going to be times where things seem rough. You don’t know what to do as a dad. You’re struggling. But just the fact that you’re there, just the fact that you’re present is awesome. But in those times when things are getting hard, the key thing to do is to be still and listen to the father’s voice because he is talking to you. And what he wants you to know is that he’s right here. He loves you. All you have to do is open your eyes like, for real.


Jeff Zaugg [00:09:57] It’s massive. And thanks for sharing that. Not only the story, but the clip, as well just to share with our listeners and the people watching on YouTube. Let’s talk, because this is called dadAWESOME, we have to ask about the not so awesome. So I’d love to hear just about a mistake that you have made one or two. You can share a couple of stories if you want, but something that you wish you could have back that brought pain or was just like that was a misstep as a as a dad. And by sharing your mistakes, it helps all of us grow.


Michael Jr. [00:10:23] Oh, yeah. Yeah. Well, I don’t have any, I don’t know if you know that or not, but I yeah, it’s amazing. Like literally if you asked my kids they would tell you I don’t have any mistakes at all as long as I’m making eye contact with them while you ask them and as long as I’m still paying for stuff, they’re going to tell you I don’t make any mistakes. So is that all clear on that? Yeah, that’s where the phrase came from. My middle. My first name is dadAWESOME. And my next name is Michael Junior. So, yeah, everyone’s trying to be like me. Let’s just be clear about this. This is what really actually what I’m doing here. I’m going to my Rolodex. Seventy five different thing, ways that I’ve messed up last week that I could use as an example. So one of the biggest mistakes that I made and I didn’t understand this until I got this, I won’t say late, I got it on time, but I wish I would have known it earlier was “Correct but don’t reject.” What I mean by that is when I would discipline my kids, I would discipline them because I was upset with what they did. But I would also not be as available to them after the discipline like so my son, for example, maybe went and rode his bike and it got messed up. And I told him he wasn’t supposed to ride the bike and now it’s all tore up and spent all this money. So now I discipline him. You got to clean the whole yard or do whatever it is. But I’m also not initiating any conversations with him, not talking to him at all for a good half a day or something. So not only does he have to deal with the correction, but he’s also in the midst of dealing with the rejection. So that was a huge mistake. So soon as I figured out that’s not the move. Immediately now, when I discipline my kids, I think a lot first, like, I, I won’t do it immediately and then I’ll think about it. And then by default, every time, as soon as we’re done, whatever the punishment is, the discipline is, they immediately have to come sit on my lap and then and then and they don’t you know, of course they’re a little upset. They don’t want to be there. But then I’ll do something. We play, we laugh, I’ll tickle them in the neck or have them make eye contact with me. Like, look at me, look at me. And then they’ll break down and start laughing just to get that connection back. Yeah. So and to let them know. Clearly, I do not under any circumstance. The worst thing. I just do not like disciplining you. But it is, it is a requirement. It’s what I’m called to do. Otherwise you won’t be prepared for when life tries to discipline you.


Jeff Zaugg [00:12:52] Yeah. And it’s also it’s that proximity of being close to them reminds them. I know you even wrote this as you kind of spoke life over your kids in your new book. You said, hey, just a reminder, you can’t do anything to get away from my love or lower my love. So you can tell by the proximity that you’re going to stay close in that in that moment. I’d love to go to parallels between comedy and the dad life. And you wrote in your book, there’s decisions, judgment calls and timing. And then I love that you wrote that, that basically if you miscalculate timing when it comes to delivering a punch line or joke, that it can turn laughter into awkward nothingness. And I know I know that as a dad, there’s moments of awkward nothingness all the time because I just I missed something with my daughter. I don’t connect. Would you talk about some parallels? It could be that or any any parallels between comedy and the dad life.


Michael Jr. [00:13:47] OK, so for example, if I’m on stage and a joke doesn’t work, I know I have to make some adjustments pretty quick to get the audience back. Sure. And then even with my 10-year-old right now, like all kids have a pattern to go in when they’re upset or when I don’t want to discuss something. So if I want to discuss it and have a conversation about it, I can’t just go the same way I always went, hey, sit down, let’s talk. Like she’s sure she’ll she’ll still be kind of shut down. So what I have to do is there’s three different methods that I use. Either try to change my language. And what I’m saying, I try to change her physiology. If she’s sitting like this now, she has to stand up straight. Yeah. Or at least do or I say, hey, there’s a there’s a chicken on the grass outside. Come look at this chicken with me. And she like, there’s no chicken on the ground. What are you talking about. So immediately it’ll break her pattern. Yeah. Or what she’s focusing on. I’ll try to change her pattern there as opposed to what would happen in the past with some of my older kids if I wanted to have a conversation with them and they were kind of shut down. That would and that would cause me to sometimes shut down too well, well, we just don’t talk later then. Just forget it. But no, I’m better than that. If I can if I can move a room of 20 thousand people, I should be able to have a conversation with my child and be OK taking a little bit of the ooh that joke didn’t necessarily work. Another great parallel that I want to share with the people is in comedy. You get up, there’s a heckler, you always get a heckler in comedy. But in life there’s hecklers as well and some. So what is the heckler? Heckler, somebody who sees that you’re on stage presenting to your audience and wants to stop you or disrupt you in some way. Well in life, you have a stage, and you have an audience. And as a dad, it’s pretty obvious what stage you’re on and who your audience is. Yeah, but the heckler I know some of the men right now would be like, you have to hecklers. My wife, you have to tell them to break it down. I ain’t talkin about her, know the heckler could be her heckler, could be the kids. But more times than not, the main heckler we have to do it is your self talk. Yeah. You know what? I’m not doing this right. I’m not going to dance. You’re not going to listen to like all of that stuff is a heckler and you have to check the internal heckler down so you can make the right choice about what you’re really supposed to happen. And if and everyone has hecklers, if you don’t have any heckler about your about your parenting, that or about what you’re doing in life, then you’re doing some wrong because you’re going to have hecklers. But you have to address it. You have to address the heckler and use scripture to chase the heckler away.


Jeff Zaugg [00:16:19] Yes. And I was going to bring up the heckler. You beat me to it. But I think you also in the chapter about that, in your book, you said something about considering yourself amateur level versus stepping into being a pro or maybe a lot. But I think I think as dads, we can use victim language or narrative in our mind of I’m I’m just I’m a I’m a new dad or it’s the first time I ever done this with this age. You know, this kid we can play the amateur versus being dadAWESOME,  right? We can step in with confidence. Talk about that concept of even your mental game of of saying I’m going to step out of being an amateur.


Michael Jr. [00:16:56] Yeah. Be cause if you – it’s almost as if you would close things off if you consider yourself just a new dad because the oldest dad in the world gave you this assignment, which means you must be ready for it. Like he is the greatest dad ever. And he looked at you and said, you know what? You’re ready. So so you ready. So go do the thing. Even I mean, you’re completely ready. I have this, this, this. And I know that I mess up. Like I do. But one of the greatest things my dad has ever done for me is I still remember and most men  probably remember this unless your dad did it often and you just forgot. But I still remember when my dad apologized to me. That was such a huge move, like it was just brilliant. I remember him apologizing to me and I and I don’t know if he was human before that. Like that’s when he was most human when he apologized because he had raised his voice. And it being that happened, it wasn’t even me. I hadn’t done it. I didn’t do the thing. But he was mad at me. But this has happened to a bunch of times before and a lot of times it was me, lets just be clear about it. It was my bad. But for him to apologize for his part. I was like, man, that is like I still I remember the clothes I had on. I remember where I was at. I remember everything about it. Another great thing my dad would do and dads, you got to do this. This is such a strong move. Well, before I do that one. No, and I’ll just tell you. So it’s just such a strong move. My dad, whenever he had to have the talk, whether it be about sex, whether it be about drugs or any of those hard conversations. He would have a conversation with me, in a way. So let me give an example. Most times dad thinks we think that we have to sit down across a table and look our daughters in the eye and be like, hey, so there’s this thing called a penis. Like, it get weird immediately and it’s awkward and strange. My dad was a genius at this – brilliant. He would always make sure there was something between us, as in we would be on a boat fishing. And while we’re fishing, we’re having these conversations. And some people might say, well, that’s not really hitting it head on. Nobody wants to hit it head on in that way. And all the information I needed was right there and I felt like I could talk to him because the focus was fishing. But the true focus was the conversation and what my dad was trying to deposit into me. I mean, just any talk we wanted to have, he would have it while fishing. And then if I needed a break from the talk for a second, like, oh, I just got a bite, wait. Oh, never mind. What were you saying? It gives us a way out. Now, you don’t have to go fishing, but do you have a basketball hoop? Like, what do you have? Like, one of the things that really helped me understand this. Well, there’s a there’s a TV show on Netflix called Dating or Something or Life. Maybe it’s Dating on the Spectrum and it’s about people who are on the autism spectrum and are dating. But the hardest dates are when you’re face to face, staring at each other. It’s the same thing with being a dad. When you’ve got to have those hard conversations, you just starin? No, put something in between. That’s why that’s why so many deals are done on a golf course. We not staring at each other. Yeah, there’s a golf course or something in between us.


Jeff Zaugg [00:20:04] I want to I want to go more dad stories about you and your dad. But I want to lead into it with a quote. This is from this is from your book you wrote, “Looking back, I now realize that many of the things I resented or found annoying about my earthly father are the very things that allowed me to open the gifts my Heavenly Father had deposited in me.” And I mean, there’s so many stories and you shared that even in the block you lived that most of your buddies, most of your friends didn’t have a dad speaking in their life and the voice of your father actually saved your life. And again, we can’t get into all the stories. But I felt like your your book actually was written for dads is what I felt like because it’s so many principles, fatherhood principles. Would you talk a little more, though, about your dad and any specific takeaways? You’re like, man, I am. I’m trying to do the same thing, make the same deposits into my kids because he showed me the right path.


Michael Jr. [00:20:56] Well one of the things was so my dad so so I shared this video on of my YouTubes. So my dad is doggone amazing, like one hundred percent amazing dad. And when I say that it, if anybody else saw some of the things that he did, he did as a dad, you would be like, no, he wasn’t. But the truth is, is my dad is amazing. Here’s what I mean. So I used to get my dad used to raise his voice at me a lot and it would mess with my self-esteem. He would really yell at me and I would be scared. My self-esteem was super low. And one of the places he would yell at me the most was when he would cut my hair because he would cut my hair and I’d have to sit perfectly still. And if I moved, he would get mad and yell at me. And then that’s when I feel all bad and maybe start to cry, cry and stuff. But it was it was miserable. And then as I got older, he was still cut my hair, especially his little thing back here behind the ear and a little bone. I’m like, I’ve got a list of her. Plus the clippers are all hot because they only cost eighteen dollars. I mean for not even eighteen dollars, probably like six dollars and twenty two cents at the grocery store like these they only work right. So I would be upset and mad. And then one day my uncle. One day my uncle told me about when my dad would get his hair cut by his dad. And he and he share one time, he said, one time I walked into the house and this was he said one time more to the house your dad was getting his hair cut. Now, my grandfather used to drink a lot and was very abusive. And he said, I walked in and your dad was sitting there because what your grandfather would do is if your dad moved. He would have hit him upside the head with the Clippers. And he said one time he walked in and he said your dad was standing there being trying to be as still as he could with tears and blood running down his face while his drunk father cut his hair. And when I when I went I, when I heard that story and got the visual of it, it blessed me so much, not that my dad had to go through that, but how much did my dad remove from our family line and only raise his voice at me? Like, how blessed am I that my dad is so strong that he did not abuse me, he didn’t abuse alcohol, he didn’t hit me, like, he raised his voice, that’s all I got. And now if you see me and my son, I cut my son’s hair and we’re laughing and giggling while I’m cutting his hair. I can’t get to that place where I get to laugh with my son while I cut his hair, if my dad hadn’t taken what he took off from a generational perspective. So when I say my dad was awesome. My dad is amazing. So if you’re out there, and you’re listening. Nothing about that story says my dad is perfect, but everything about it says he is completely amazing. So you’re going to make some sort of mistakes. But fellas, I want you to know for sure you are absolutely dadAWESOME, because I got an awesome dad and I know I’m going to be an awesome dad because I’m a give it my all. Even if we’re going the wrong way, I’m going the wrong way all the way, because I’m because I’m doing it because I love my kids and they’re going to know that, like, fully.


Jeff Zaugg [00:24:07] You’re taking I mean, the perfection, like, standard completely off the table, it’s not necessary, it’s about how can we give a boost the next step and how can we celebrate? How can we celebrate passing? Because this is a generational game we’re playing here and it’s not short term. And that’s that’s a really big deal. I think part of the survival mode or I’m going to get through the hard stage of fatherhood versus the I know my purpose and this is central to my purpose. Or you use the expression knowing your punch line, like. Right? There’s a it’s there for ya. We have to live into it. Could you talk about the concept of just why that’s such a big deal for us as dads to live into that purpose versus get through the dad years?


Michael Jr. [00:24:50] Yeah, I mean, it’s it’s fun walking in your sort of way, the way comedy where super similar to comedy. The way comedy works is there’s a set up and there’s a punchline. Right? The setup is when a comedian makes you think in one direction. What a punch line is when you change that direction in a way you’re not expecting. The results are revelation, fulfillment and joy expressed through laughter. In life, it’s the same way. And fatherhood is the same way. Your setup is about what you have received. You’ve got you’ve got a degree. You’ve got this house where you’ve got these clothes, you’ve got this understanding, but your punch line is about what your called to deliver. And if you know your setup, which we all do, but you don’t know your punch line, you’ll feel like something’s missing and you’ll think what you need to fill that void. You think you need more setup, right? You’re doing if I could just if I could just get a degree. If I could just get this. If I could just get that, then I could deliver. No, what you need to do is you need to understand what your punch line is. And as a dad, your punch line is to come alongside your kids and guide them as the best you can. And if they only get a C average, that is awesome, because that C plus what God’s going to add into them is going to be an A plus plus. So you so so I did this thing recently, my kid, and this was a real unique conversation that is directly from God. I prayed and me and my wife prayed and prayed and prayed and we said that it is for my older kids. And I said, and I recommend everybody do this, with your older kids. I mean you got to pray about it. But it’s going to sound a little weird or controversial. But I’m just jumping out there. So I prayed. I said, God, how have I done with my kids, the older ones now? I say, how how did I do? What grade would you give me? Literally, I asked God what grade he would give me. And God said I would give you an A plus. I was like an A plus? I was like, really? And I’m thinking, well, what will my kids give me? And I didn’t know each kid would probably in my mind it would give me something different. But in that part, it didn’t matter to what I said to my kids. I said, guess what I said? And this was a loving conversation. There was nothing wrong. My kids, we have great we have an amazing relationship right now, even though we don’t fully agree with everything. That’s what makes our relationship awesome. I said, you know, I talk to God every other day and we ask, how do we do as parents? Have we done as parents so far? And I said, what grade do you think he gave us? And I said, well, let me just tell you what he gave us. He actually gave us an A. Like an A plus. And then and then I said to them, I said, if he gave us an A plus, that means you actually have everything you need to succeed. The reason I wanted and the reason this made so much sense after I said this to them is because I don’t want to limit their ability based off of my disability to be to be what will be referred to as a perfect dad. So I explained to them, I said he gave me an A plus for the part I was supposed to do. There’s a bunch of stuff I missed, but he’s going to make up for that. So now it’s your job to take this D minus that you feel like I got and get the rest of the grade like this 10 percent of you may think I got get the rest from God and that’s going. And now you’ve got everything you need. And I’m still here for you. I love you and I’ve done my best. He gave me an A, you can give me whatever grade you think you should give me. And that is so freeing because now they realize that the power is in their hands. And I’ve given them everything. I mean everything. And I’m continuing to give and I’ll continue continue. Continue to. But if I graded myself, there’s no way I’m an A plus. If they graded me, they probably would actually grade me a higher number than I’d grade myself. I know they would as a matter of fact. But God gave me the ultimate grade. But he also said, hey, you’re not done yet though bro, class is still in session. You still have a lot to learn. There’s going to be more test.


Jeff Zaugg [00:28:41] That’s real. Well, that takes us all the way full circle where we started when I asked you to introduce your family and you said, well, there’s these other five kids as well that I’ve gotten a chance to play a partial dad role for love for you to encourage all of us listening, encourage me and all the dadAWESOME listeners around why we should be on the lookout for other kids. You know, we talked about both our passion to help the fatherless. Talk about why and how can we step into being a dad role or a nudge a part of that picture for other kids.


Michael Jr. [00:29:12] So I grew up with three other guys around me who in my neighborhood who didn’t have dads, and their moms would do everything they could. And when they were younger, the moms would spoil them rotten and buy them everything they could. And I said to my dad was like, Dad, why don’t you buy me some of that stuff like they had Kangos and gazelle glasses and diva jumpsuits and gold chains, all sorts of stuff. I said, Dad, won’t you buy me some of the stuff that they got? This is messed up? And then he said to me, unfortunately, you’ll see what’s going to happen to those kids one day. He would do all he could for them, but he said, unfortunately, you’ll see what’s going to happen. So there were three of them. One of the guys is when he was thirty, he got sentenced to 30 years in prison. The other guy, when he was thirty six, he’d died homeless. And then the other guy currently has, only one of his issues, he’s got twenty two kids,  and he’s not taken care of them. Twenty two. So the, and my dad would try to deposit into them, but the issue was, is their moms would try to overcompensate because their biological father wasn’t there. So I think it’s huge, like there was nobody there to really speak into them in any way. And I’m not, it doesn’t have to be a huge thing. If you see a kid at the grocery store who’s or if you see a little boy expressing, you see a little boy and he does something good for his mom, stop everything you’re doing at the grocery store and just say, man, you are awesome the way you lift up that potato sack for your mom. You are amazing. Way to do that. Good job. You’re all strong. You got a lot of muscles. Good for you. That stuff will go so far. It will go far. If he has a dad is life. If he doesn’t have a father in his life, it’s going to go miles further. So look for opportunities on a regular basis. Don’t feel like it’s something where you got to stop and fully. It’s not just about stopping to sitting down and having coffee with somebody or taking a kid to play basketball. Sometimes it’s just a word in the right season for a little kid who is weary in that moment. So look for it. I mean, right now, if I say to the man listening, if I say to you, hey, how much what color blue do you like the most? Like you buy like what is your favorite shade of blue? Like, because blue is a very interesting color. Now, if you look around the room you’re in right now, you’re probably going to notice a lot of blue, because I said the word blue because I started asking you questions about the blue. So if you start asking yourself questions, how can I be a father like one to someone who needs it, you’re going to start noticing those opportunities because they’re right around you. And it’s the simple fact that you’re asking that question means that you’re already, you’re a good dad. You’re in position to do it. But if you don’t ask those questions, maybe you’re not ready, but if you ask that question, the opportunity is going to show up.


Jeff Zaugg [00:32:06] Yeah. Wow. Well, your brand new book. Again, when we drop this, it’s two days out in the wild. Funny how life works. We don’t think it in all of our show notes and so grateful that you guys sent me the advance copies. I’m like, this is a dad life book. Funny how dad life works. Right? So any last things you want to leave with our dadAWESOME community?


Michael Jr. [00:32:24] Yeah. So I would say with everything that’s going on, like dads, if you watch the news and you’re upset about either some politics or you’re upset about somebody getting hurt or this happening, most of the things you watch on the news that might disappoint you is really a symptom of fatherlessness, of somebody having a lack of a father. So it’s really just a symptom. So we want to really help what’s going on right in front of us is we have to not just deal with the symptom, but be willing to be a part of the solution and step it up in being a dad, not just – I mean, ideally in your home for sure, but to be a father like one can change everything in a significant way when you encourage another little boy or if you when encourage a child is you don’t even know. You just said an encouraging word to them. We have no idea how far that actually would go like that moment of you saying, wow, you’re so strong way to help your mom picking up those potatoes. That little boy is now suddenly – he’s going to stick his chest out and in his mind, he’s going to see the color blue, just like I gave an example in a color blue actually will represent him looking for more opportunities to help more people because you just gave him an adrenaline rush by your encouraging words that you gave him. So by all means, look for those opportunities to speak into somebody’s life. That base that you got. You got that base for a reason. Some kids need to hear that coming from five feet above them, or a foot above them. Or eye to eye contact or maybe even looking up to them. Just speak into their life.


Jeff Zaugg [00:34:06] Yeah, we say adding life to the dad life. And that’s exactly you’re just multiplying it out to so many more kids than just our biological kids, that same principle. So that’s incredibly how life works. Yes. Hey, thank you for joining us. Would you say a short prayer over all of us dads listening?


Michael Jr. [00:34:21] Yeah, absolutely. God, I just thank you, Lord, for the the dads who are listening right now. I thank you, Lord, that they understand that they are not perfect, that perfection is not protection from rejection. I think you today understand that you will never reject them. Lord, I thank you, Lord, that they just do all that they can. And to be the dad that you caused them to be to the kids that you’ve placed in front of them. We praise you, Father. We adore you, Lord. Thank you, Lord, for trusting them with the children you’ve given them. In Jesus name. Amen.


Jeff Zaugg [00:35:02] Thank you so much for joining us for Episode one hundred and sixty nine with Michael Jr., all the action steps, the show notes, the conversation links, links to get Michael Junior’s new book, Funny How Life Works. It’s all going to be at dadAWESOME.org/169. So, again, jump over that website. The transcripts of this whole episode are there as well. But I want to encourage you guys. I had a chance to read an advance copy. His book just dropped two days ago. But I read and have been so impacted by, again, his storytelling – the way he unpacks stories from his life and the applicable side to us as dads, I just highly recommend you check out Michael Junior’s new book. Hey, I want to thank you guys again for listening. Thank you for being like, man. I’m I’m for adding intentionality to the dad life. It matters. Your kids would say thank you. You guys listening through the entire podcast, the time invested is going to have a compounded impact. So let’s go out. Let’s let’s apply what we’ve heard. Let’s not just be, let’s not just listen to again Michael Junior share stories and encourage us, but let’s actually put into practice some of the action steps from this conversation. So, again, let’s go after it. Let’s add some life to the dad life.