Dads. They are an essential part of raising children to be well-rounded human beings. They make us laugh with their quintessential dad jokes.
But most importantly they teach us the lesson we need later in life. Lessons most of us probably think we will never need when our fathers are teaching them to us.
And with Father’s Day right around the corner, I’ve been thinking about all the things my dad has taught me over the years. These just scratch the surface but here are just a few of the lessons my dad taught me that could help you as well.
Work hard even if you’re not getting recognized for it.
It’s easy to be the hardest working person in the room and no one notices it. My dad taught me that. But he also taught me how important it is to never stop working hard no matter what. Because in the end, you will win. My dad, and my mom, have always been incredibly hard workers. It’s one of the most important lessons I’ve learned from both of them. And my dad’s stress on staying humble has made me a better person as a whole.
People’s opinions are just that, they mean nothing.
Being ambitious, strong-willed, the hardest working person in the room, people will have opinions on how you’re living your life. But let those opinions go in one ear and out the other. Just be you. When you’re excelling and other people aren’t, they’ll want to tear you down but it’s best to remember why people have their unsolicited and let it just roll off your back. It will only make your life easier and more enjoyable, and just anger the people jealous of you even more.
If I’m being honest, I’m still working on this one. But having a savings account as an adult gives you a sense of security like no other. And I know that not everyone will have the privilege of having a savings account, but if you do, those shoes you want won’t give you the cushion you might need to fall back on one day. And this is probably the lesson my dad pushed the most, especially as I was getting older. And let me tell you, he’s still pushing it.
Spread your wings.
My dad is a very cautious man, especially when it comes to his children and our lives, but he always encouraged us to follow our dreams and take (reasonable) chances. And taking those chances are a lot easier when your parents will always be there to help pick you up if you fall.
Life is not out to get you.
When the going gets tough, it’s easy to feel like the world is out to get you. But, as my dad has always stressed, take responsibility for yourself, your actions, and your mindset. The world isn’t out to get you, so straighten up and keep moving forward.
Uncomfortability means you’re growing.
I’ll admit it, I’m a pretty emotional person (as I type this I can feel all of the people who know me best nodding in agreement). But while I can be quite emotional, I’ve learned that some of those emotions are necessary for growth. I’ll be honest again, my dad has struggled from time to time having an overly emotional daughter but I’ve also learned a valuable less from him, those moments that make you emotional and uncomfortable are the ones that teach you the best and most important lessons. So learn from it.
Life is hard, but someone has it harder.
Stop acting like the world is out to get you, he would tell me if I were complaining about something trivial. It’s going to be okay and it’s going to get better. It might not be today or tomorrow and the journey back to okay might be really hard but there is someone out there who has it a lot worse than you do so. Life would be boring if it was too easy.
It’s your life.
While my dad was always there to help me through big decisions, he would always tell me that the choices I made had to be something I can live with because, at the end of the day, it’s my life and no one else’s. It’s my happiness and that’s all that matters so long as it isn’t hurting someone else in the process.
Growing up, if I started anything I had to finish it to the end, be that sports, a club, a promise to someone. And this might be one of the best lessons my father ever taught me. And it goes back to the “life is hard, but someone has it harder” lesson. It’s so easy to just walk away from something that’s hard in the moment, or something that you might not think you’re good at. But if you just stick to it, a little bit longer, you might surprise yourself and others. And by never going back on your word, having a trustworthy reputation is something that will go a long way.
Balance a checkbook, keep receipts, be financially independent.
Okay, this really is the most important lesson my father has ever taught me, but the last one is a very close second. Like I said before, I love spending money. But if it wasn’t for my dad teaching me how to be financially responsible and how to keep track of my finances, I would be in a lot of trouble. I also wouldn’t be able to tell you what I bought from Best Buy in 2010 and who wouldn’t want to go down that memory lane?
Family Should Always Come First.
It’s easy to get complacent with the ones you love knowing they’ll always be there. But just because they are family, their love and support shouldn’t be taken for granted because when the boyfriend or that friend lives, it’s family who will be there waiting.
Let’s go back to the topic of my emotions and my feelings. I have a tendency to let them get the best of me. But over the last 27 years, my dad has done a very good job of teaching me how to let certain things just roll off my back. “You can’t control everything,” he would, and still does, tell me.
It’s okay to ask for help.
I’m a “do it yourself” kind of girl. It gives me satisfaction to figure out how to do something on my own and not have to ask for help. But that can also be pretty overwhelming and isolating. My dad would tell me to ask for help when I need it. The people who love you and want you to succeed are going to be there for you. And for those who aren’t, well now you know they shouldn’t be in your life anyway.
So happy Father’s Day to all the stand-up, lesson-teaching, loveable dads out there, who just want to see their kids succeed and be happy.
Sara Vallone has been a writer and editor for the last four and a half years. A graduate of Ohio University, she enjoys celebrity news, sports, and articles that enhance people’s lives.
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