MAKE TODAY YOUR BEST DAY EVER
Happy Father’s Day - we asked one of the greatest dads we know to share the natural high he gets from being a parent.
I landed in the United States in January 1991 with two suitcases jammed with clothes and a bag of anticipation, because I fell in love with the woman of my dreams back in London. Greeted by an economic recession and the outbreak of the First Gulf War, it wasn’t what you’d call the best timing. Over the last twenty years, I’ve been able to accomplish more than I could have ever imagined because I followed the American Dream, journeying through most days with the notion that Today is the Best Day Ever.
I’m a glass-half-full person and I get up every day with the goal of helping others realize their full potential. I’m lucky enough do be able to do that in both my personal and professional life. Twenty-two years later, I’m still in love with the woman I left my family and friends in England for. We have three amazing children who keep us on our toes and bring us incredible joy (almost) every day.
Professionally, I get to live out one of my natural highs as The Guvner (CEO) at Bulldog Drummond, an innovation and design firm here in San Diego. We’re a nationally recognized consultancy specializing in innovation design in products, services, brands and people. Both entrepreneurial start-ups and globally recognized brands seek our help in creating and refreshing brands, uncovering the purpose and passion of people and companies, products and strategic business solutions. I get to lead an amazing team of the smartest thinkers and facilitate innovation workshops most days of the week. I also get to share my experience with companies and universities on how to identify and transform insights, designs, technologies and capabilities into innovative solutions for sustainable growth and value-creation.
After a life-changing trip to Africa in 2003 with World Vision, I became actively committed to help others start new ventures that are focused on making a difference in the lives of others. I’m fortunate to sit on the Board of The Honest Kitchen, the Advisory Board for FEED Projects and the Board of Trustees at La Jolla Community Church. I helped start Y-Malawi? and www.theyouschool.com, a company focused on inspiring and guiding high school and college students to take charge of writing their own futures.
When I’m not flying to other cities around the country, I get up at 5am every morning and jump in the water to surf for an hour and a half before my day starts. It is one of my natural highs, one that I can’t imagine living without. The beauty and power of the ocean and the morning routine that revolves around it are gifts I treasure every day.
I am so blessed to be married to an amazing woman whose dream was to be a mother. She is, without question, the absolute best. We have three amazing children who keep us on our toes.
Our 19 year-old daughter, who is just finishing her first year at University, is one of the kindest, most sincere, nonjudgmental people I know, and she keeps our family in check. We talk every day (live or via text) and hearing her voice and the joy she is experiencing on her college adventure is one of the highlights of my day.
Our 16 year-old son is an opinionated, passionately-independent, creative thinker. He can walk into a room and light it up. Like all of our kids, he’s as comfortable with adults as he is with toddlers and everything in between. He has a mind truly of his own, and his absolute natural high is surfing. He surfs for three hours every day after school. I can pick him out of a lineup of 30 guys because of his unique and creative style. He brings laughter and light into the world.
Our youngest daughter is an 8 year-old beacon of joy. She’s an artist and a performer; a smiling, laughing bundle of positive energy and kindness who keeps our entire household young at heart.
Being a dad of three very different, very engaged kids is the most important job I have. It’s a privilege and an honor to help raise these amazing people and guide them on the start of their journey in life. It’s the hardest job in the world because you’re not given any training. There are many other things that tug at you for attention, but it’s without a doubt the most rewarding.
There’s never a dull moment in our house- we laugh, joke, wrestle, debate, argue, hug and love each other every day, and there’s no better natural high than the love of my family.
-Shawn E. Parr
Natural High is for the Social Good
Shawn Parr: When Innovation Meets Social Good, Consumers Win - Natural High, The Paradigm Project along with other visionaries are mentioned in this feature!