If someone else has done it…

I am not sure when Dad and I have a specific conversation on this, nor do I remember this being a “sit-down” educational moment.  This week’s Dad Series is more about what Dad taught me by example – and how he treated me.

I can remember when Dad and I bought my first car – it was a 1981 Ford Mustang, fast back!  Now, before you get all excited about the “Ford Mustang” comment, this was in the years where they sacrificed all beauty and design for a high production vehicle.  In other words, it wasn’t pretty!


Plus we purchased it from a salvage yard 🙂

Anyways, I paid a whopping $250 for the car when I was 12 years old and it was going to be a project car for my dad and I to work on.  I remember just going out there and sitting behind the wheel, smelling the car smell (not new car smell, the old sitting out car smell – but it was sooooo cool to me).  I remember popping the hood and feeling so proud to have my first car… but it didn’t run.

If I remember correctly there were a few things wrong with it – keeping it from being a good car.

  • 1 – Power Steering pump was not working
  • 2 – Alternator was bad
  • 3 – I have no idea what else, but I remember dad and I going to junk yards and looking for parts that we could pull for the mustang.

I know a LOT more about cars now, but here are some things that I NEVER felt. 

  • I never felt like it was too hard. 
  • I never felt like I didn’t have enough skill to fix the car. 
  • I never felt like I should leave the project to somebody else, someone who knew more than me. 

Now, this was not because I had a super confident personality, it was because I had a dad who had super confidence in me.

Yesterday we were cleaning the porch from the mud bath it was given when 4 feet of water was pouring all over it (from our friend hurricane Harvey) when Zion came up to me and asked if he could run the pressure washer.


Sure son, just do it like this.

Well, sure enough I start seeing the paint coming off and him holding it too close to the wood, and not turning it the most efficient way, and… I could go on and on about the wrong ways that Zion was pressure washing the porch.  And then I heard it.

I heard it in my own voice.

I neglected to put super-confidence in Zion.  I started correcting him, I asked him for the pressure washer wand back so that I could get more done…

And then it hit me – I DIDN’T deserve the super confidence dad put in me.

  1. I didn’t know how to change an alternator!
  2. I didn’t know how to troubleshoot a car and the vacuum lines (that was the other problem I forgot earlier).
  3. I didn’t even know how to drive a car!!!

But Dad CHOSE to put confidence IN ME.

  • I stopped the critiquing, and went in to encouraging mode
  • I stopped correcting, and went into coaching mode (letting him figure out the mistakes).

The truth is, I believe that Zion is much more capable at his age than I was – yet I wasn’t giving him the room to become super confident.

And I wasn’t giving him the room to never have an obstacle too great, and never have a mountain too tall.

See dad taught me something that has made my life the way that it is.  Dad told me in words and in actions –
Ben, if someone else has done it, you can do it.

So Zion, I pass the same thing on to you

If someone else has done it, you can do it!


We have our project car!