The Sump Jump

“Example is not the main thing in influencing others, it’s the only thing”

Albert Schweitzer

“I have a perfect horror of words that are not backed up by deeds.”

 Theodore Roosevelt


     Dad took me and my best friend Joe to work with him one day. It seems like we were in the 10 -12 year old range. We were working in a big field where Dad was laying drainage pipe. The water collected in a huge round vertical pipe where it was then redirected and drained. I do not recall what we were doing by this deep sump but someone dropped a tool and it fell into this huge pipe which was full of water.

Dad asked (told)  us to jump in and get it but there was no way we were going to do it. Pretty soon he stripped down to his underwear and jumped in. It didn’t take long before Joe and I were down to our underwear in the sump swimming with Dad.

There is just no substitute for setting a good example. We may hope that someone will do what we say but it just seems like they always do what we do. What clicked in our childhood minds when Dad went from telling us to go get the tool to jumping in like he was having fun? He changed our whole mind-set from being mad about getting wet and miserable to thinking we were missing all the fun in the water.

It is a simple HighFive Your Life principle that you and I have known since we were young. Lead by example. The next time you are faced with a tough task you want to pass along to someone else, jump in and get wet. If you want to lead people, especially your children, then you have to lead them. That puts you at the front of the line. Go ahead…jump!

HighFive Your Life Principle: Lead by example. Do first what you ask others to do.

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