Lessons I learned from my dad
My dad died much too young (he was only 47, I was 22 when he died). But he managed to pack a lot of dad wisdom into those years. In honor of Father's Day, here are a few of my favorite takeaways:
- •Pursue the things that bring you joy with focus and determinationMy dad wasn't much of a dabbler. When he got into something, he REALLY got into it, and gave it his all. Golf, archery, writing - he devoted time and energy to be as good as he could be at the things that he was passionate about.
- •Education is valuable, but you also need practical skillsRight before I moved into my first apartment in college, my dad showed me how to fix three common issues with a toilet: shut off the valve to keep it from overflowing; use a plunger to unclog it; and adjust the chain to stop it from running. I've used all three, but especially the last one. I fixed a lot of people's running toilets in college!
- •Don't settle, hold out for what you really wantAnd its corollary: that guy is a loser, you can do better
- •Don't take yourself too seriouslyBe serious and committed to your work and passions, but keep your sense of humor and always be able to laugh at yourself
- •Live with integrityHe had no patience for people who didn't follow through on commitments or live what they claimed to believe
- •Invest in go-gettersI used to think my dad kind-of overvalued a particular type of hard-working ambition and was blind to other good qualities. Once I became a manager, however, I could see his point...I'd rather have an employee I have to rein in on occasion than one I have to light a fire under.