5 Things My Father Taught Me
Maybe it'd be more appropriate to say "things I am learning" because these are areas in which I'd like to continue growing for my entire life. And my dad himself would probably tell you that he is also constantly learning more about these topics.
For those of you who don't like to read, here's a video as well :)
Hard work is a given. I can't help but feel that these lessons are particularly valuable to my generation. Everyone says that millennials are lazy and priviledged (I tend to feel this way as well), but maybe it's less about the generation and just more about our age group. I think it takes a little while for young people to realize how much work goes into independence and success. I feel like the idea of back-breaking hard work, determination in the face of all adversity and earning what you want in life sounds distant and difficult. And yes, of course it's incredibly difficult, but it also should be a given. You should think nothing of working your tail off. That's just how life is. You don't
deserve congratulations for working hard. You don't deserve a cushy life just because you're American. Working hard is a foundation of a good life, not an add-on.
Hard work is a blessing. I cannot stress this enough. And honestly, I can't think of a time when he actually said these words to me, but his actions every day proved it to me. So
many actions every day proved it to me. So many people are working to not work- trying to minimize effort, avoid committment, retire early, become a YouTube star who only has to post a video once a week (LOL as if that's actually a thing)... my dad never lets himself be idle. He's always creating more work for himself, whether it's by pursuing new goals, learning new skills or expanding his current business. Because work is what strengthens the mind, body and spirit. Even if you never get the most lucrative results, you'll never regret having worked the hardest you could.
Generosity is invaluable. Again, if you think of work and toil as a means to an end, you'll wind up putting so much value in that money, you forget to live the rest of your life. My parents are probably the most generous people I know. They don't blink an eye at helping others, often financially. My dad works SO hard and has worked SO hard for 30 years to get his business to where it is today. And they still don't make a ton of money (small business in California, amiright?), but they willingly let go of that hard-earned money the instant God tells them to. I cannot even count the times they've helped me with money and gifted to me more generously than I could ever deserve (literally, I can't count the money I owe them). They do so little for themselves and so much for all of us. My dad is an amazing example of good stewardship balanced with extreme generosity.
"It's the journey". Working hard is a blessing in and of itself, not just because of the money or success it brings (this is important because you may never be as successful as you hope and that shouldn't diminish your worth or joy). And going through life is all about learning things along the way. It's a cliche, but seeing someone who is 65 years old look back on their life and say this makes it all the more powerful.
Drink water and exercise. Not every life-changing lesson is profound. All growing up, every time any of us complained about anything feeling bad, we heard "are you drinking water?" or "go on a run". We'd meet this question with an eye-roll. But as an aspiring adult, I LOVE this. I've learned how true it is that so many of our daily health issues are related to the simplest things- drinking water, exercising and eating right. If you have a headache, if you're fatigued or if you're digestion system feels screwy, try drinking more water first. You know I really took this to heart because my poor fiancé has to hear the exact same question now every time he complains....
Obviously I've learned more from him, but these are the things that stand out to me the most at this time in my life. Let me know what you think of these tips and what you're own father has taught you!