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Lessons Learned From My Dad

My father has taught me many things.  Sometimes he meant to teach the things I learned from him, but many lessons have been learned indirectly.

Many lessons were learned well after the fact.

  • Even if you know your kid’s pets aren’t coming back, you can win points by driving around with them and shouting “Bruno! Bruuuunooooo!” out the window
  • No matter how brilliant you are, your kids might still want mom’s opinion on everything
  • Do not agree to run around the house naked in the snow to get your kids to eat foods they don’t like. They will find a way to gag anything down to humiliate you
  • Winning an ugly foot contest is an honorable achievement
  • Being strong is useful
  • Working smarter can be better than working harder. Doing both at the same time can be invaluable
  • Generosity is important
  • People that will care for their possessions won’t give their bodies and health a second thought
  • Education matters
  • The most valuable education does not come from a classroom
  • Not needing to have the last word can be an asset
  • Admitting your mistakes is a sign of growth, not a sign of weakness
  • Wearing boots does not make you a cowboy
  • “Cities have rhythms. You have to listen to the rhythms. Your mom doesn’t know this.” (this was said just before losing a bet to my mom in which she arrived at our mutual destination 9 minutes earlier than us simply by selecting another, non-rhythmic route)
  • There is no addiction that can’t be overcome
  • People can change
  • It is easier to change our actions than our thoughts
  • Better actions may be the only way to think better thoughts and change our minds
  • There are people who do not hear sarcasm. Do not assume that they know you are joking
  • If you need everyone to like you then you could be more self-confident
  • An identity based solely on what we are worth to another person is not an identity worth having
  • Blaming customer service workers for larger problems is not superior behavior
  • Don’t pay people if they don’t do the job well
  • Fire the liars
  • Anyone can be petty, no matter the salary, the age, or the position
  • Anonymous criticism cannot be taken seriously unless you want to go crazy
  • Not all problems can be solved by working harder
  • We are all doing the best we can with what we have
  • Choosing the right partner can make all the difference
  • Your family is everything–protect, serve, and ensure that they have what they need

I could go on for a while, but then I might start venturing into lessons that he might not think are as funny as I do, like the time my mom caught him saying “Not only am I beautiful, but I sing like a bird” into the bathroom mirror.

I love you, Dad.


PS: Readers/fathers, if you want to help build the list, please feel free to add any lessons your fathers taught you, or lessons you have taught your own children.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Philippe Til June 18, 2011, 10:21 am

    Brilliant. Can we start a thread or book of wisdom from everyone’s dads, as well as ours, since we’re dads too?

    • Josh Hanagarne June 18, 2011, 10:22 am

      Absolutely, go for it. I’ll let you know as soon as I do something wise.

  • Boris Bachmann June 18, 2011, 3:58 pm

    Great, great list Josh.

  • Kevin G June 18, 2011, 6:04 pm

    Your dad seems like an awesome guy, thank you for ^that Josh.

  • Amanda June 18, 2011, 7:38 pm

    I love this post. You’ve learned a lot of wise things!

  • Purple Hatting June 19, 2011, 4:59 am

    Hi Josh,

    Wonderful post as usual.

    Here are some things my Dad taught me:

    1. Showing someone you love through doing is more imporatnt than saying it out loud.

    2. You can keep connected through prayers.

    3. Being positive, no matter what life throws at you.

    Dad’s are awesome. And the funniest thing is it’s so easy to make them happy.

    I’m syill learning from him, and even though I’ve moved out long back, it feels like we’re becoming more like friends as the months pass by.

    It’s heartening.

  • Linda Hanagarne June 19, 2011, 9:10 am

    This is Josh’s mom. They actually didn’t gag down the food to win the “run around the house naked” bet – they dumped the food in a plant when he wasn’t looking. It was snowing and they made him follow through with it. Also – I hope you always want your mom’s opinion. You do have a great dad and he has great kids. Loved this post. Love you. Mom

  • Frank Hanagarne June 19, 2011, 9:22 am

    Hey Josh,

    Thanks for the kind remarks. I’m glad to know I’ve been a useful example for you. When I think of all the crazy and sometimes difficult things that have taken place in our lives…I laugh. Which is another good tip.

    I love you too. Dad