“My father didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.” – Clarence Budington Kelland
I’ve always considered my relationship with my father to be an interesting one.
Essentially, we are polar opposites in many ways.
He’s brash and confident, I’m shy and timid. He’s loud, I’m quiet, he’s upfront and harsh at times, I’m more withdrawn.
Oh, you better believe we butt heads from time to time. We often have different outlooks and views on matters that are probably of no significance, but we argue about them anyways.
That’s just what fathers and sons do.
However, no matter how many times we argue and butt heads, I will never underestimate the amount of wisdom and knowledge that my father has instilled in me from a very young age.
Whether he knows it or not, he’s taught me lessons that will stick with me for the rest of my life; and it’s a debt that I can’t ever repay.
Thanks Dad. Here are the lessons you’ve taught me that have helped me become the person I am today.
1. You Can Get Anything You Want if You Work Hard Enough.
As someone who grew up in the South and lived there for more than half of his life, my father has a very traditional approach that is often lost in today’s age.
He taught me the value of hard work, and how it can help you get anywhere you want. No matter what anyone tells you, nothing worth having is easy to get, so you have to get out there and work for it.
There’s no easy way. A valuable lesson for any aspect of life.
2. No Matter What, Family is Most Important.
The most valuable lesson I’ve ever learned.
The reality is, your family won’t always be around. This can be a depressing thought, but you should always make the best of the time you have with them.
This is tough to understand at a young age. You often want to go hang out with friends on the weekend rather than staying home with family; I’m guilty of this as well.
Recently I’ve become more conscious of the time I spend with my family, and I’ve learned to enjoy it rather than think about what other “fun” things I could be doing with friends or otherwise.
“When everything goes to hell, the people who stand by you without flinching — they are your family.” ― Jim Butcher
3. You Must Believe in Yourself.
Or no one else will.
He always told me that all I need in life is belief in myself and God. Although I’m not particularly religious, this lesson has stuck with me through all of the tough obstacles I’ve come across in the past.
If you believe in yourself and understand that the universe will provide you with the opportunities you need as long as you work for them, you will achieve whatever you desire.
Our minds are more powerful than we can even fathom.
You become what you think about. Believe.
4. Give Life Everything You’ve Got, You Only Have One Chance.
I remember a night after one of my Little League games, when my dad chewed me out for not giving my all. I remember thinking that he was wrong and that I had tried my best, but he told me that you can always give more.
This applied to baseball at the time, but it can apply to anything. If you think you’re giving everything you’ve got, give more. There’s no reason to hold back, you only get one shot.
Get after it.
5. If You Want to Be Successful, You Must Be Able to Connect With People.
My dad makes a living communicating with people, and he’s very good at it. As I mentioned earlier, I’m often very shy, especially around people I’m not familiar with, so this was a lesson that I was reluctant to learn.
But, the more I study people who are extremely successful at what they do, the more I realize that they are all good communicators in some way.
I’ve often overheard my father’s business conference calls, and he demands the center of attention when he talks; not in an arrogant way, but he is very assertive.
It’s something that everyone needs to learn, in my opinion. If you have no way of getting your message across, no one is going to listen to you.
I’ve chosen to dedicate myself to mastering the art of communicating through writing, and this desire stems from this particular lesson.
“Communication is a skill that you can learn. It’s like riding a bicycle or typing. If you’re willing to work at it, you can rapidly improve the quality of evry part of your life.” – Brian Tracy
6. Don’t live anyone else’s life.
“Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.” – Oscar Wilde
It’s important to not get caught up in what everyone else is doing, especially in a time when crazy celebrities are at the center of attention and everyone wants to emulate them in some way.
This is shit, and my father taught me this at a young age. Everyone is unique in their own way, and trying to be someone else only limits your potential.
Focus on what you bring to the table, and make the most of it.
Thankful doesn’t even come close to describing how I feel about the lessons that I’ve learned from my father, and I’m extremely lucky to have him in my life.
What lessons have you all learned from your fathers/father figures? I would love to hear about them in the comments.
Have a great Father’s Day, and much love to all of the dads out there, keep doing an awesome job.