Today is a special day in my life… It’s my daddy’s birthday! In order to celebrate, I want to share a few of the biggest lessons I’ve learned from my dad.
1. Always do your best. Whenever something didn’t go my way, or I did poorly on something and felt defeated, my dad would always ask me, “Did you do your best? Because if you’ve done your best, there’s no need to be upset. You don’t have to be perfect at everything.” And it’s true. Some days are better than others, and some days will have much more positive outcomes than others. But if something goes wrong when I’ve done my best, I’m okay with that.
2. Be open-minded. I love the South, but sometimes there can be a lot of close-mindedness. I’m so thankful that I grew up getting to meet so many of my dad’s co-workers who were from different countries and that I was able to be exposed to so many cultures.
3. Let God lead the way. My last semester of college, I planned my university’s Homecoming week. I don’t think I have ever had so many people with their noses in my business in my entire life, and I definitely hadn’t dealt with so many people wanting to see me fail. In the midst of all of that, my dad sent me a text with this verse – And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. (Romans 5:3-5) Whenever I face a hardship, I think of that verse my dad shared with me.
4. You must always stand up for your family. Always. When picking your battles, this is always a battle that should be picked. I’m really not afraid to stand up and yell at a grown man who makes fun of my little brother at sporting events.
5. You control your own happiness. My dad told me this when I started dating and getting upset over people who weren’t worth my time. And whenever my friends are going through a tough time, I remind them of the same thing. If someone makes you continually unhappy, it’s time to cut the cord.
6. There are lots of liabilities in life. Seriously, they’re everywhere. And because of the nature of my dad’s job (safety), he has been pointing them to me for as long as I can remember. I remember when I was thinking about changing my major to become pre-law, I told the guy who was helping me with my Intro to Biology I homework, and he told me I should probably stick with Education (my major at the time), because if I struggled with something like Intro to Bio, I should realize that Law is much much harder. Because of that, I was so afraid to share with anyone that I wanted to study to become a lawyer. But when I told my dad that I wanted to be a lawyer, he sat down with me and helped me to make a game plan. We talked about different kinds of law and what different kinds of lawyers deal with on a daily basis. We basically mapped out my courses for the next two years of college. He hopped on board with my seventh major, and we ran with it. And whenever I hear the word “liability” I think of my dad, and how my love of law stemmed from his knowledge of liabilities.
7. If you ever run a 5k that involves beer, eat lots of bread covered in honey beforehand so that you can make it through the race. I’m pretty sure that one is pretty self-explanatory, and probably one of my favorite stories I have ever heard my dad tell.
What life lessons have you learned from your dad? And again, happy birthday, Daddy! I love you!!