Father’s Day is sometimes an emotional day. While Mother’s Day is a day that most people have no problem celebrating, fathers can be a little more challenging. I know so many people who either lost their dads at a young age, had uninvolved fathers, or just had a really bad relationship with them.
I know that I am so, so blessed to have had such a great dad. I mean, don’t get me wrong, we have certainly had some arguments. We can both be a little bossy/ OCD/ particular (which is why we need the “Kikis” of the world to balance us out) but there is honestly no one else that I would rather call my dad!
I have learned a TON of things from him over the years, but if I had to make a list (and I do), I would say that these are the 15 biggest lessons that have helped me in life!
1: Adapt, overcome, and improvise.
My dad’s dad was a Marine, which is what inspired this saying. And this is what I heard constantly throughout my childhood. It is SO important (especially for people like me) to understand that everything isn’t going to work out as planned. In those situations, you can freak out… or you can adapt your plan, overcome the problem, and improvise your actions! This is one of the most important things he’s taught me!
2: All pain goes away.
Whenever I would get hurt as a little child, my dad would just say “it goes a-way” (in the voice that he uses when talking to small children and animals) over and over again. And you know what? Whether it was a skinned knee or a burned hand, the pain did always go away. In my adult life, the pain has consisted of things like hurt feelings or regret. But the same advice rings true… eventually, it goes a-way.
3: Don’t take a step in life unless you’ve prayed about it first.
This is one that I’m definitely learning more and more everyday. You can plan and plan. You can be the best planner in the world. But if your plans don’t line up with God’s plans, you can basically kiss them goodbye. Pray about it BEFORE you jump into something.
4: It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.
My husband disagrees with me that this is really “advice” so let me explain: What my dad means by this is to build relationships. The more people you know, the more opportunities you’ll have in life. 7 out of the 10 jobs I’ve had were because I knew someone who already worked for the company. Never shy away from social engagements because they might be “awkward”; just show up, be awesome, and make new friends!
5: It’s ok to question authority.
This doesn’t mean that you have to have a bad attitude or be super rebellious. However, it is always a good idea to know why certain laws, procedures, rules exist. Not only does this help you to learn something better but it also forces whoever is in charge to re-examine the way the they do things. Never be afraid to ask for the reasoning/validity of any rule!
6: Know your roots.
This one is pretty important and is something that I wish we all did a little better. How far back can you trace your family? Maybe to your grandma’s mother? My dad has done an excellent job of tracing our family’s history… including where everyone was born, what they did, and where they’re buried. The better you know your family’s past, the better your will understand your family’s present.
7: Make friends wherever you go.
Half of “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” is, of course, “who you know”. My dad is the friendliest, most approachable person in the world. He knows everybody. He’ll talk to anyone at any party, he stops to chat with homeless people on the street, he can literally tell you everyone who graduated in his high school class. Plus, this world needs more friendly people!
8: Respect history.
Kind of along the same lines as knowing your family’s history, learn a little more about the history of everything in your life. Your school, community, region. What makes your hometown unique? Everyone loves to hear a cool story and history is just full of them!
9: Spend a lot of time doing what you love.
Even if you don’t get paid for it. In fact, there is a good chance that you won’t get paid for it. The thing that my dad loved was coaching. He worked all day, came home, changed, and headed straight back out to coach me or my brother on whatever team we were playing for. He still has his Coach of the Year plaques up on his office wall!
10: Stay close to your family.
And not necessarily in a geographical-proximity-way, but in a communicative way. Your family members are the ones who will be with you through your whole, entire life. Make sure that you take care of your relationships with them!
11: Stay organized.
Well, it’s certainly true that if it wasn’t for my dad, there would be no Organized Charm. From the day I was born, I’ve been watching him make lists, charts, and organize his cassette tapes. He has a system for literally everything. He is a chronic calendar user. All of which he passed along to me!
12: Stories are better when you were there.
Another great thing I learned from my dad was to be present more often than not. Yes, studying is important but it’s not all that there is. Your friends and the memories that you make with them are more important than your GPA! After all, they aren’t going to put your college transcript up at your funeral. Make sure you’re a part of your friends’ stories, not just the one who hears about them!
13: Take pride in everything you have.
My dad is one of the proudest people I know. And not in an arrogant or annoying way, but in a way that’s really admirable. He is so proud of his family, his home, all of his pets, the blueberries that he grew. Everything. Always take pride in what you do and have… others will notice!
14: The customer is always right.
Especially if you’re the customer. I cannot tell you how many times my dad has gotten those crazy fees taken off of our phone bills or gotten us refunds on “no refund” policies. If you go high enough up the chain of command of any company, you will accomplish what you need to. On the other side, remember to always treat your customers like old friends. After a career in sales, my dad still keeps in contact with several of his old clients!
This is one thing that I got from both of my parents. Travel. Travel, travel, travel. You will never regret the time or money that went into gaining a new life experience!
HAPPY FATHER’S DAY TO MY AWESOME DAD! 🙂
Those are some of the biggest life lessons I’ve learned from my daddy! What are some important things that you’ve learned from your dad/grandfather/mom/uncle/brother?