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Who do you honor on Father’s Day?

A “father of choice” can be the most extraordinary one of all

This Father’s Day, we want to take time to honor the men who show up, who love, who mentor, who care — even if they’re not someone’s biological father. Tony Robbins himself had four fathers over the course of his life, who all taught him different things, but they are just the tip of the father iceberg. He says “there are even more men in my life that have acted as a father, as role models, for what’s really possible.” These were “people that were unselfish and loving and gave me beautiful examples.”

Being extraordinary is a choice, and to be an exceptional father figure a man has to make the decision to commit to that choice every single day.

So what makes someone a role model father, a father of choice instead of a father of obligation? We see this choice manifest in three distinct ways: service, love and presence.


From the coach who gave extra time to listen to his player to the seasoned professional that’s been a long-time mentor, you’ve likely had a man in your life who gave or still gives a little extra. These men make the choice to serve in a way that is greater than themselves and often get overlooked in the flurry of cards, calls and countless grill accessories that mark the holiday. Thanks for giving that time and attention without expecting a return.


Like service, real love is something you give without expecting anything tangible in return. Take a moment to think about the fathers in your life who have given love and support without expectations of receiving. Babies love because people give them what they want and need; a father of choice loves like a man, giving because he has to give to feel complete. As Tony says, “We’ll all do more for others we love than we’ll ever do for ourselves.”


Both service and love lead to presence. That’s probably the biggest key in a father figure: being there. When someone is truly there, there’s connection between you. Presence means being with someone 100%, not thinking about other things, texting or watching the game. Presence is showing up when you say you will and staying the course.

So whether you’re celebrating 1, 4, 10 or 50 fathers in your life, use today to let them know how they’ve impacted your life. Thank you to all the men who continue to step up and commit to being extraordinary, whether or not we call them “Dad.”

Header image © vita khorzhevska/shutterstock

Team Tony

Team Tony cultivates, curates and shares Tony Robbins’ stories and core principles, to help others achieve an extraordinary life.

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