Things I’ve Learned from My Father

4 Feb

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I’ve been a daddy’s girl my entire life – I’m pretty sure I came out of the womb with a fondness for my father.  The other night I was looking through some old photo albums and remembering fun times my dad and I have had together.  Doing so, made me realize that the values my dad taught me, whether intended or not, have impacted who I am both personally and professionally.  Often we forget that we learn the most from those we interact with daily, like our parents and peers and those interactions often shape and influence who we become and the career paths we choose.  Below, are some of my favorite values my dad has instilled into who I am today.

1.  Stay Calm and Think It Through
Staying calm can be hard to do, but somehow my dad has mastered it.  I recall my 10-year-old self, fishing on a small boat with my dad, brother and little cousin and getting “hooked”, which resulted in a minnow slowly making its journey down my back.  I of course freaked out, which I’m pretty sure I’d still do today at 30 but my dad told me if I didn’t stop wailing around I was going to flip the entire boat over and we would face a much bigger problem.  I think that is something we can all relate to, we stress ourselves out thinking about how a problem is going to effect ourselves but we don’t stop to think about how that same problem is affecting others as well, maybe with a greater impact.   So next time a problem arises, stay calm and think it through and if it’s still really bad, then allow yourself to freak out.

2. Don’t Hesitate to Help Others
If you know my dad, most likely he’s helped you in some form or fashion.  That’s just the type of person he is, he’ll gladly help anyone without a single complaint.  He’s always encouraged me to help family, friends, coworkers, and strangers in any way possible, knowing that those sometimes “unpleasant experiences” will lead to more meaningful relationships and some of my fondest memories.  And you know what?  He was right.  There have been many instances where it would have been much easier to say “that’s not my job or problem” but by taking the time to help someone it has benefited me both personally and professionally.  So next time you’re trying to come up with an excuse of why you can’t help someone, make the time to help them out in any way you can.

3.  Find Laughter, Humor, or Joy in Every Situation
How does staining a never-ending fence on a humid 97 degree day sound?  Well right now it might sound tempting being stuck in this polar vortex, but it didn’t seem so great this past summer on day 4 of our staining spree.  But sure enough, I could count on my dad to be whistling away while covered in stain, enjoying the time spent with his favorite (and only) daughter.  We’re often surrounded with so much negativity that we forget to look for any positive aspect of the moment.  So next time you face a difficult or unpleasant situation, take the time to dig up some laughter, humor or joy – trust me, it’s worth it.

These core values that I have learned from my father have greatly impacted who I am today, both personally and professionally.  As a mother of two little boys I’m eager to see what values they’ll learn from my husband and I, but also what I’ll learn from them.  What are some of your favorite values you’ve learned from your parents?

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