My daughter turned three a few days ago! Woohoo! She is beautiful, intelligent, and extremely funny! I am so thankful to be her father. I know she is not old enough to read this post, but I hope one day she will read this and know how much I love and admire her. I know she is a world changer!

I am amazed at some of the things that my daughter says. Sometimes she is funny, sometimes she is inquisitive, and then there are times that she is downright inspiring! My daughter says the craziest things! So without further ado, here are my top 10 “Sophia-isms” from the past three years! Enjoy!

Photo Courtesy of Betina Daniel (c)

Photo Courtesy of Betina Daniel (c)

#1 “It’s all about leadership, Daddy-o!”

Sophia says this every morning when she gets up. She is like my personal leadership coach. Sometimes she asks for a high-five after saying it! Haha. Oh by the way, she calls me “Daddy-o”. Weird. But anyway this is a great reminder! You should take every opportunity in life to be influential. Be a leader.

#2 “Let’s take on the day!”

Sophia says this almost every morning too. Typically, her day consists of eating, playing at day care, and sleeping… but she wants to take on the day! Anytime she says this, I am motivated! If she can be positive, so can I. You should do the same! Be optimistic. It’s a new day. Make it happen!

#3 “Are you happy?”

Sophia wants to ensure that everyone around her is happy. I think this is thoughtful. She is keenly aware if anyone is down or upset. This is a great lesson. Be aware of those around you. See to it that everyone is OK. I’ve learned that a happy team is also a high performing team.

#4 “If you need help, just call me…”

I remember the first time Sophia said this to me. I am in my home office, Sophia comes bursting in with a TV Remote in her hand. Then she places the TV Remote on her ear and exclaims, “If you need help, just call me…” Then she walks out. Another great lesson. Be available. Be helpful.

"I have a question!" Photo Courtesy of Betina Daniel (c)

“I have a question!” Photo Courtesy of Betina Daniel (c)

#5 “Who is Lincoln’s Mommy?”

Anytime Sophia sees a new person, she has to know their name. I guess that part is normal. However, after that, she needs to know this new person’s mommy! HAHA. For example, I showed her a picture of Abraham Lincoln and explained who he was in history. She was clearly impressed. Then she states emphatically, “Well, who is Lincoln’s Mommy?” Wow… ok! But this is a great lesson! Learn about people’s lives and connections. Get to know them! Gain context. Be a networker. 

#6 “I have a question!”

Oh Lord, this is a “Sophia-ism” that I could live without! We can be driving somewhere and then from the back of the car I hear a small voice, “I have a question!”. Yes… what is your question? Then begins a long, rambling monologue of whatever she discovered… Secretly, I love this! It can be annoying, but there is a lesson here. Be a learner! An interested person is an interesting person.

#7 “I may be shy…”

As you can see, Sophia is super-talkative. However, if we are headed to church, a wedding, or any public event, she will declare in the car ride, “I may be shy…” This is her way of saying that she probably will not talk to anyone other than us. Haha. She is working on it, but I love that she knows that she is shy. This is a great lesson. Be self aware. Know your short-comings.

#8 “It’s time to preach!”

Ok, so when I prep my talks, I will pace back and forth in our living room. Sophia will walk with me. Then she will be inspired to preach herself. She will jump up on our staircase, and bust out preaching really LOUD. Calm down, revival preacher! (I guess she’s loud because we are Pentecostal. Haha.) Wow, I love her passion! That is a great lesson. Love what you do. Be passionate!

"I need to preach..." Photo Courtesy of Betina Daniel (c)

“I need to preach…” Photo Courtesy of Betina Daniel (c)

#9 “Everybody, just freeze out!!”

The other day, my wife and I were arguing about something in the kitchen. Sophia prances into the kitchen and yells, “Hey everybody, just freeze out!” Hahaha. What?! So we ask her what she meant. She says, “The doctor says freeze out so you can breathe… like this “Freeze out” (then she exhales deeply)”…. My wife and I are clueless… Then it hits us… Oh you mean, “Breathe out (exhale deeply)”? Sophia says… “yeah, just freeze out.” Then she walks off. Lesson learned. Breathe (or freeze). Just chill (or freeze). Be calm. I hear ya, little one.

#10 “That’s what I’m talkin’ bout, bro!”

I love this about Sophia. She will randomly come up to you and say something super-encouraging. But she will also ask for a fist-bumb or high-five in the process. She can take a stressful day and make it meaningful. Watch this 2 second video to see Sophia in action. Another awesome lesson learned. Be encouraging. People around you need it!

Sophia, I love you. You are amazing!

I hope this post was fun, insightful, and encouraging. Also, I hope it is a reminder to have child-like faith in all things. Believe in God. Believe in People. Believe in your Purpose. Believe. Life is worth living when you see beyond the finite, trivial, and mundane. Make this Christmas and New Year about God and others. Remember these 10 lessons on life and leadership from little Sophia:

  1. Be a leader
  2. Be optimistic about life
  3. Be aware of other people’s needs
  4. Be available
  5. Be a networker
  6. Be a learner
  7. Be self-aware
  8. Be passionate
  9. Be calm
  10. Be encouraging

Make this New Year count! You are an Everyday World Changer. Start today!

What are some life lessons YOU are learning this year? Please share them below in the comments section.