My Dad and me have had tons of conversations growing up and even now when I go home, It is usually Friday evenings that we spend from late afternoons till late nights just talking about everything that comes to our mind. 🙂 It always brings us closer.
After my first break up, It was one of the best piece of advice he gave me. He said
“Never be naive enough to think love happens only once in your life. It will happen again, I cant say when, but it will. She was your first love and you wont have your first love with anyone again. but love, It will happen. You will find someone who is strong enough to stand up for you and along with you and not leave you in the first sign of hardship. It is her you should not miss in life”
There are a few other gems as well.
- Marks will only get you so much. make sure you learn what is being taught and you can use it when you need to.
- Never let someone treat you badly. They are doing it because you let them.
- Drink because you enjoy it and not to get drunk. Don’t smoke.
I just wish I can be as much a father to my son as my Dad was to me!
My dad had always been a big inspiration to me. I realized that after he passed away in an accident.
When he was in front of me, I never took him seriously, just like any other teenager. But I have always been thanking him for all the words of wisdom.
There is one story he always told me about his friend who cleared an IAS – Indian Administrative Services exam.
He used to write his dreams and stick in on the walls of his room his study table and even his wall ceiling above. Wherever he looked up in despair, he saw his DREAMS, which he always strived for till the end.
“Never ever keep your eye away from your goals. If you always keep getting distracted, imagine yourself winning the accolade which provided you the motivation to fight in the first place. Cover your surroundings with people who always bring you closer to your goals.”
“Always try to be the best of the lot. Even if you fail, you will always be motivated to do better the next time.”
“No matter what you do in life, always keep your character clean. People actually remember the good ones.”
“Never betray anyone in your life. You wont be able to live with the guilt inside.”
For the first 25 years of your life, you decide your habits. For the rest of your life, your habits decide you. Don’t ever give in to peer pressure.
My father is a recluse. Even though I lived at home after college, he and I rarely exchanged more than a few sentences. Last fall, I snagged my first full-time corporate job, earning nearly thrice as much as when I taught kids at a nonprofit. Life was beginning to stabilize, and I was happy to assist my parents, but I felt a deep sadness.
One night, my dad was asking me about work as usual. I gave him the customary, trite responses. Instead of walking off to his bedroom, he stood there, looking pensive, and broke the silence:
“Please, please, don’t chase after money. Don’t worry about supporting me and your mother. You come from a family that strives for higher ideals. I know you love painting, writing, music. You love learning. Pursue your passion – money is secondary. Your happiness is more important to me.”
If Wealth is lost nothing is lost, if health is lost something is lost and if character is lost everything is lost….
When I saw a man drawing a beautiful picture I said
– “I’d love to draw like that!”
– “Then what are you doing to accomplish that?” – my father replied
Every person you meet in life, even the last wretch on the street can teach you something.
Since then I don’t judge people but try to learn from them / their state.
My father was a Vietnam vet and a lifelong hunter. He was quiet and didn’t show much affection but he loved me and my siblings fully, in his own way. The advice he gave me that stuck with me the most was the following:
“Never bring a weapon to a fight that you aren’t prepared to use. It will be taken and used against you.”
I’m a nonviolent person but I see wisdom deep in that advice, even now as an adult. I interpret it as always be prepared to keep your word. If I threaten to turn the car around and you keep yelling, I will turn the car around.
“Trees with the deepest roots are those which have bore through the worst of storms.”
Sitting down in the soothing sun, one winter afternoon my dad explained to me the importance of going through hardships in life.
He showed to me that, the trees having the deepest of roots are the ones which have gone through the worst of storms, but those are the ones which persisted, survived and set in deeper.
The same is with us, hardships never hurt us they only make us stronger. And sometimes the best comes out of us when we are facing the worst situations.
A tender sapling pampered in an over protective environment would not last long even in a mild storm, but a young tree nurturing it self in the wild would grow stronger in those storms.
I am blessed to have a dad who knew when to let us fight our own battles, when to leave us to tough times and when to come to our aid.
My father was too busy as a New York area psychiatrist to ever do anything like come to a soccer game or track meet. So I didn’t expect to see him at all when I was at a major east coast track championship about to anchor the final 440 yards for a mile relay team. In fact, spectators were not allowed in at that meet held in the Armory (in upper Manhattan or the Bronx, I forget). I’d been doing high school sports for several years and it had never crossed his mind to watch me. And we lived out in the suburbs. This championship was held in the city.
But, as I was warming up for the race, he walked right up to me, having driven up from a meeting in midtown.
I was dumbfounded. I asked “How the heck were you even allowed in”?
He answered “Always act as if you own the place.” and then added “Now let’s see you own the track”.
I won that race for the team with something like a 58.5 second run (which could win back then). Then I remember throwing up in a bucket he found for me in anticipation of what I’d be like when I finished.
But it wasn’t my “motivated run” that I remember so much, nor the sentimental aspect of a dad remembering a track meet. That’s B movie material. That’s just a checkmark on the box that says “my dad did that too”.
It was the way he walked right in there and onto the track like he was Donald Trump…and then delivered that powerful advice.
“Charge what you’re worth.” This advice from my dad, who has been successfully self-employed my whole life, was hugely helpful when I struck out on my own as a freelancer.
“Sleep on it. You shouldn’t make life changing decisions when you are angry.”
I did. And I changed my mind.
Hire people who are smarter than you.
My dad was a special ed teacher for 30 years. He wanted his kids to have lots of wonderful experiences, but these things cost money and teachers don’t make a ton. He wanted to have a safe, reliable car to drive us places – so he became a real estate agent on the side so that he could write the car off as a business expense. Still not satisfied with the life he could provide for his family as a teacher/real estate agent, he once attended a seminar given by a lawyer about real estate law. As he sat in the class, he thought, “This is bulls**t. I can do this.” So he went to law school. At night. While teaching, and doing real estate and having three kids under 5 years old. He sometimes recounts this time in his life as “the best time ever” because he would come home and all three of us would want to crawl into his lap and have him read to us. He had real estate to sell and law to study, but he sat with us and read until we all fell asleep in his arms. Then he did his work. In the months leading up to the bar exam, his father got sick. He came to live with us and my parents tried their best to make him comfortable as he slowly faded away. The day before the bar exam, his father passed away.
Then he went in and took the exam he had been staying up nights studying for for months. And he failed. By one point.
He retook the test and passed. He got a job as a lawyer at a firm. But they expected him to bill 80 hour weeks (while still doing his teaching job) and he wasn’t getting to spend time with his family. So he quit the firm.
He started his own practice. Out of our house so he could be around. The practice did well and he continues it to this day. He loves to fight for the little guy. One of his proudest achievements is that because of what he did, we were all able to start our adult lives without any student debt.
Another important one was, “This too, shall pass.”
Sometimes, when life is particularly dark, a simple message can be the candle light that gets us through the storm. This one is worth holding on to.
- Math is patterns. Look for the patterns.
- The lottery is a tax on people who don’t know math.
- No matter what you do… don’t be an idiot.
- Marry someone you’re friends with. Love is great, but you need friendship to make it work.
- Sometimes the rest of the world will be wrong, and you will be right. But if they’re that dumb… can you really expect to change their minds?
- Don’t cut your thumb off. It hurts.