5 lessons from my Dad

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“Five Lessons from My Dad” is something I wrote a couple of years ago. While I rarely look backwards, many of my life decisions have revolved around these lessons and it’s worth revisiting. Happy Father’s Day!

Just like my Mom, my Dad taught me valuable lessons about life.  When you’re growing up, you’re not thinking about what your parents are teaching you.  You’re thinking “Man..this is so dumb.  Why are we talking about this again?”  (This was constantly running through my head while in middle/high school along with: “Why do I have to stop reading to listen to this?”)  In honor of my pops and Father’s Day, here are five things my Dad taught me.

Be kind.  This sounds like a no brainer but I’m constantly surprised by people’s bad behavior. It’s one of the tenets of my personality and a lot of days, it’s hard. Everyday there’s someone I want to blast but I don’t.  (Most of the time.  I’m not perfect and I complain a lot instead).

Be on time or early.  My Dad taught me that being late is rude.  It conveys a message to the person you’re meeting that their time isn’t important.  I’m always punctual and when I’m late, it stresses me out.

Pay your bills on time.  This lesson was one of the best things my Dad taught me.  I always had a job at our restaurant when I was growing up. When I got my first bills in college, my Dad made certain I knew the importance of paying bills on time and how it led to good credit. Having good credit has been instrumental in my adulthood when purchasing cars and my home.

Work hard and you shall achieve.  When I was growing up, my Dad worked incessantly. When I was little and we lived in Northern Virginia, he was a teacher, a painter, a driver’s ed teacher and a photographer.  He worked hard to provide my brother and me with a great childhood.  It also led to a beach house and a wonderful retirement.

Your actions say it all.  My Dad was an excellent athlete.  He still has football records that remain unbroken in his home state of WV.  When my brother and I played sports when were younger, he taught us  actions always speak louder than words. While I don’t play sports any longer, I apply this lesson daily to both my personal and professional life.

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