Wise Advice From My Dad
My dad’s my hero. He’s loved me when I wasn’t lovable. He’s encouraged me when I needed encouragement. He’s challenged me. He’s supported me and has provided me with a guiding example. He has made me laugh, and is to this day an awesome story teller.
His greatest attribute is that he’s a doer and not just a talker. While everybody else was having a committee meeting Dad had already done what needed to be done. He’s a man of action, and he loves my mother.
I have observed him as he led our family through acts of dedicated service for many years. And as I think about who he is, and the wisdom he’s imparted to me – not always by word – but in many ways by deed – here are eight facets of the wise advice that I’ve caught from him. I am my father’s son, and I’m proud to call him dad – and trust that I can be the shining example he has set for me to follow to my own children, and his grandchildren.
1. ‘Always finish what you start.’
Completion builds character. Seeing a project through from the beginning until the end requires dedication and discipline. It is a habit that will provide you with the capability of being known as a reliable one. So many have run from a job before it has ended, and have suffered as a result. Not necessarily in that job, but by developing bad habits that will catch up to them at a later date. Be reliable, and when you promise to complete, do so, even if it creates for you some discomfort. Time will pass quickly, and you will be the stronger for the experience.
2. ‘If you do something do it well.’
It’s not the size of the task that you complete that is of major significance. It is the attitude with which you complete it that counts. Give everything you do your fullest attention, and always do it to the best of your ability. If you find that in the midst of the task your abilities are lacking somewhat, then seek ways to learn. Search out a mentor. Read a book. Listen to or watch a recording. Attend a seminar. Do whatever it takes to equip yourself with the skills to perform the best you can possibly perform. And add enthusiasm to each and every performance.
3. ‘Take good care of your health.’
What use is it to have the finest mind in the whole wide world and yet leave your body to go to rack and ruin? So yes, take care of your mental health by reading the finest of literature and seeking out the best of the best information. But also spend time each day exercising your body, whether it is to walk, run, swim or ride. Spend time attending to your spiritual health through prayer and meditation. Become financially literate so that you can maintain a healthy financial life, and if you are to have healthy relationships, make certain that you invest love into the lives of your family, friends and associates every day of your life.
4. ‘Don’t neglect your spiritual life.’
In our rush for success, this is an area of our lives that many neglect. And yet it is at the very centre of our beings. This is not about religion. It is about ensuring that we maintain the compass for our lives and the very essence of our existence. Personally, I have found regular times of prayer and meditation in ‘the greatest book that has ever been written’ has carried me through both the good and the bad times. The end result, to this point, has been a life filled with clarity, love and peace that I share with others.
5. ‘Keep neat and tidy.’
You can soon tell a disciplined life from an undisciplined life through simply observing their surroundings. Though remember that there are two types of people: those who clean up after the event and those who clean as they go. The results are what count. At the end of the day, after all the activity is over, what remains? Is it order or disorder? Is there peace or is there tension? All these things arise from a mind that is either, or neither, neat or tidy. Aided by a plan, and followed through with regular action, a neat and tidy mind will lead to an ordered life.
6. ‘Obey directions.’
My daughter once received a bonus just before Christmas from her boss. None of the other juniors, who worked with her, did. Why the difference? Because she did what she was asked to do. At the start of the day they were all instructed to keep an eye out, throughout the gift store, for people who may like to pocket goods for free and then leave. The one who was diligent in following the request of the owner was the one who was ultimately rewarded. Simple, but the one who did this is now running her own businesses and is now the one giving directions.
7. ‘Help others.’
He or she who helps others helps himself or herself. Give and it will be given back to you. This is a law and should become a daily part of our lives. As a writer of motivational material, I have found that the more I write to encourage others, the more I am encouraged and the more inspiration I receive to write. So don’t be on the lookout to always get. Be on the hunt to give, and in your giving be generous, for a generous heart will always be full and overflowing.
8. ‘Always use the best tools.’
In order to move a mountain, what would you choose? A shovel or a bulldozer? The effectiveness of the tools will very much determine your answer, won’t they? If you want plenty of exercise and a tan, you’ll choose the shovel. However, if you want a job done swiftly, you’ll choose the dozer. But the fact remains, that the tools you use will determine whether or not you’re on the cutting edge of change. Those who have led every revolution (whether industrial or technological) have been the ones who have used superior tools.