This Father’s Day has gotten me thinking again, about how much I still miss my Dad. He was a good father, a good man, and he was my best friend, trusted advisor, and confidant until he passed away in January 2000. There were many times I wished he was still around these past few years but he left me with some good lessons I still hold true to this day.
Always follow your gut. He would always advise me to follow my gut instincts when I needed to find my way and I must say this advice has always served me well. Every time I’ve ever gone against my gut in personal and professional matters there has always been trouble. When my mind was foggy from thyroid issues there were problems. Now that I am past my thyroid surgery, my instincts are back and I look forward to moving ahead personally and professionally.
You play, you pay. We all mess up in life and when you play, you pay my father would always say. This one made a lot of sense when I was a kid but I am not sure I agree with it in today’s day and age where bad behavior is rewarded; big business scandals; financial scandals; and ethics seems to be forgotten in some circles of society without any real repercussions.
Sometimes people are so smart they are stupid. My father worked as a respiratory therapist in Baltimore hospitals for years before his health went bad giving him the opportunity to work with many educated people who had common sense deficiencies. He taught me just because people are highly educated it doesn’t mean they have common sense or street smarts. I’ve seen this time and time again throughout my IT career.
Always try to do the right thing. He was a man of principles who always tried to do the right thing for his family and friends. There have been times this can feel like falling on my sword but I came out with my self respect.
Always do your best and work hard. When my father was healthy he had a strong and undisputed work ethic. He always had a main day job and then worked side jobs. From a little boy, I thought this is the way it was supposed to be done. I am happy to say I did inherit my father’s work ethic.
You had a job when you got there. You will have a job when you leave. This wisdom was true a few years ago but hasn’t stood up in the gray underbelly of today’s economic and employment apocalypse. I still look to this lesson for strength around the end of contracts. It just takes me longer to secure my next gig these days.
You always land on your feet. Growing up with dyslexia made school very hard on me. Calling it challenging is being too polite. I am fortunate to have had great parents growing up and owe them both for standing behind me during the tough times. My Father would always say, “You always land on your feet, boy!” during those times. I took this mantra into adulthood with me and keep saying it long after he passed away like during the dot com bust, being laid off from jobs, and when my Thyroid issues wear down on me.
While my father couldn’t foresee the economic collapse we are currently living in, his teachings and wisdom have largely have held up for me over the years.
What wisdom did your father pass onto you?