Six Things My Dad Taught Me
Father’s Day is approaching and I think there is no better way to honor fathers than by acknowledging the advice they give. It is no secret that dads (and moms) give the best advice and teach the most valuable lessons to their children. In this week’s blog we talk about a few pieces of advice that my father has given my sisters and I when we were younger. Hearing his words coupled with life’s experiences has helped open our eyes to habits that we have developed over time. These lessons were taught to us many years ago but they still ring true today. By reading this week’s blog, maybe you’ll notice you’ve gotten the same advice or maybe you’ll discover that you needed to hear these things in order to stop being so hard on yourself.
#1, “You take yourself with you no matter where you go”
My dad always told us, “no matter where you go, the same person will be looking back at you in the mirror.” No one is perfect and we all make mistakes. It is part of life’s learning process. Be honest. Own up to your mistakes and don’t run from them. Because if you do, they’ll come with you too and you’ll keep repeating them. The sooner you realize this, the happier and healthier you will be.
#2. “Your harshest critic is the one looking at you in the mirror”
Be kind to yourself. We truly are our toughest critics. We may bring ourselves down by comparing our lives to others or looking only at our flaws. How we feel about ourselves is up to us; you can be your best friend or your worst enemy, but the choice is up to you. When we learn to stop criticizing ourselves, we start to appreciate and become grateful for all that we have rather than dreaming of more or different.
#3. “Actions speak louder than words”
Like Nike, my dad would say “Just do it.” Words are just that—words. It’s when you put them into action that it matters most. Words are easy to say but taking action can be harder. Break them down if you need to but just do it. At the end of the day, it’s not about what we tell ourselves or each other, but how we acted.
#4. “Get yourself an education (or trade) and then you can do whatever you want”
When I was 18, I wanted to travel and volunteer to help “change the world.” I remember excitedly telling my mom and she calmly said “talk to your father when he gets home.” It did not go as I had planned but I clearly remember his advice—honey go get yourself an education and you can do whatever you want. I remember being disappointed but determined to get an education so I could “do what I wanted.” It wasn’t too long after this, that I discovered chiropractic. Everyone has a purpose in life. Whether that would be to teach things, to fix things, to build things, or even make things. Whatever the case may be, every individual is meant to provide something to this world and the sooner we realize our purpose, the happier we’ll be.
#5. “Family comes first”
My sisters and I have heard this many times growing up and I believe this is one of the most important things that can be taught to a child. Family is a group of people that will always love and be there for you no matter what. It does not necessarily mean blood, you can have friends that are considered to be family. The important thing is to know that these people, whoever you call family, will always be there for you. While some friends are forever, they do not have the same dedication that family has.
#6. “No matter what you can always come home”
As time goes on, children will eventually want to explore new places and travel. When that day comes, it is important they know they can always come home. Life is hard and places can feel intimidating and foreign but coming home should be a safe place for people. It is important to acknowledge that home does not necessarily mean the four walls that you grew up in— it means the people that you spent time within those four walls. As we said prior, family is first as well as forever.
Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads out there but especially to my dad, Joe. Thank you for providing us with values, traditions, unconditional love and support. You have given your family the best wisdom and advice. Reminds me of a saying I saw recently, “A father is neither an anchor to hold us back, nor a sail to get us there, but a guiding light whose love shows us the way.” I love you Dad. For those that may be missing their dads this Father’s Day, our thoughts are with you.