With Father’s Day being this month, I can’t help but think of the many life lessons my dad has taught me. He has taught me the typical things, such as how to ride a bike, shoot a basketball, drive a car and shoot a gun, but he’s also taught me a long list of valuable lessons that will stick with me forever. Here are four of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned from my dad that have helped me, and I believe they can help you, too:
Go See for Yourself
I was 14 years old when my dad and I were driving home one evening. I asked him why he would switch from bright headlights to dim headlights when he passed another car. He said, “well let’s see what happens if we don’t.” So, he left the bright lights on and we passed one car, and nothing happened. We passed another car, and nothing happened. Then, we were coming up on our house, but he was determined to show me what would happen, so we drove past our house until we finally found another car who flashed their brights at us. He could have easily just told me what would happen, but he wanted me to see for myself.
My dad is all about natural consequences. You want to know what would happen if you jumped off of the slide onto the tramp? Go try it out! You want to wear shorts instead of pants on a hike over the mountain even though he told you he’d recommend pants? Go for it! He’d encourage us to test out our theories (probably the engineer in him) so we could see the result for ourselves.
We All Have To Do Hard Things
No matter how hard a certain task is, sometimes you just have to do it. The lawn will always need to be mowed, pulling weeds will never be fun, and your car will always need an oil change. Growing up, I remember my dad would walk in the door from work, and walk right back out the door to walk the dog, mow the lawn, or water the garden. Whether he was exhausted or not, there were things that needed to be done. This stretches way beyond simple household chores and spreads into things like getting through a tough college class, or dealing with difficult roommates. It is a lesson that we all have to learn, and the quicker we do, the easier things will be.
Go After Your Dreams
My dad has attempted over a dozen 100-mile ultra-marathons. He has finished half of them and had to quit during the other half because either the weather or his body wasn’t cooperating. He always had a dream of running a 100-miler and I was able to watch him start by running a 5k, a half marathon, a marathon, and so on and so forth. He made it clear that if you want to achieve your dream, then just go out and do it.
Don’t Take Life Too Seriously
My dad is still a kid at heart. He has a bowl of ice cream almost every night and is up for a game of “Mormon Bridge” at any moment. My dad is always looking for fun, whether it be swinging on the swing set with his grandkids, hiking to the top of a waterfall, or jumping into a pool fully clothed. His demeanor just reminds you that life isn’t meant to be hard, and we’re the ones who make it that way.
I hope this prompts you to reflect on the life lessons that your own father has taught you this month. If you are a father yourself, then I want to wish you a very Happy Father’s Day!