The Best Advice My Dad Ever Gave Me

Beth Rice 13/06/2019

What’s the best advice your dad ever gave you? Have you shared his wisdom with someone else yet?

What story did he tell you, or what memory of him sticks out in your mind?

Yes, Father’s Day has come around again and has us thinking about dads. Dads, grandfathers, stepdads, fathers-in-law and all of them, and we’ve rounded up some good “dad advice.”

Hope you’ll add yours to this list at the bottom. It might be just what someone needs.

From Milca

I’m sure my dad has given me good advice over the years, but I’ve taken it for granted and can’t recall it. And, while my dad is a man of many words, his actions have always spoken louder than his words to me. My dad is one of the most giving people I have ever met. He will give anyone – even strangers – his time, abilities, and money.

Milca and her dad.
Milca (right) with her dad and her sister.

One example that has stuck with me since I was a small child is the time that we were out and about as a family. There was a homeless man on the side of road. He was holding up a sign asking for money, and he also looked very sick. I remember my dad asking my mom to go into his wallet and hand him a few dollars so he could give them to this man because it didn’t look like the man had a lot of time left and maybe the money could at least get him a good meal.

People often make excuses for not giving money to the homeless. I have heard people say that they use it to buy drugs instead of food, etc. But I remember feeling so much pride in my dad at that moment. It started a chain where the person in the car behind us gave the man money, followed by the person in the car behind that car. I made a promise to myself that day that I would be like my dad and give selflessly when I could.

From Stacey

Don’t internalize stress…find ways to let it all go.

Stacey and her dad.
Stacey and her dad.

From Jenn

Always keep your word.

Jenn with her dad.
Jenn with her dad.

From Shannon

Whenever I got in trouble, he would say “You can’t get anything past me; I did all of the same things as a kid.”

Shannon with her dad.
Shannon and her dad.

From Ross

The best advice my dad ever gave me was that success is not an accident. It’s a combination of hard work, dedication and sacrifice, but it pays off in the end.

Ross with his dad and sister.
Ross with his dad and sister.

From Kari Jo

Work smarter not harder.

Kari Jo with her dad.
Kari Jo with her dad.

From Jake

The best advice my dad ever gave me was to find something that needs doing and start working.

Jake with his dad.

You see, I learned to work from my dad. And I learned hard work from my dad. My first job was to work for him roofing houses in the Kansas summer heat. But he knew I wouldn’t be on the construction site with him my whole life, so he gave advice that I could take with me to any job in the future: find work that needs doing and get to it. So, whenever I finish an assignment from a supervisor, I look around and find something else to do. Because there’s always work to do, and it’s a waste of time to stand around waiting on the next instruction.

Whether that new task is cleaning up trash on the job site or suggesting improvements to a website, when I’m on the clock, I’ll always stay busy. That’s thanks to my dad.

From Beth

I don’t remember specific instances when my dad gave me advice, although I’m sure he did.

He did say something to me many years ago that I credit with altering my life’s path. He said,

“When are you going to get serious about your writing?”

We were standing in my living room when my dad posed this simple question. My heartbeat quickened, we stared at each other, and the transfer of confidence from parent to child that occurred was one of the most uplifting experiences of my life. My dad believed in me. He believed in an ability I had doubted and dismissed but that he saw and wanted to save. It was a moment that was nourishing, defining and palpable, and I won’t ever forget it because it’s the day I went forward with the intent of becoming a writer.

Beth and her dad.
Me and my dad.

Dad loved to read and tell jokes. He loved movies too and was one of those people who had to lean over and identify the actors and tell you what other movies they were in. He was fiercely devoted to the New York Giants. He said hello to people and asked them how they were with genuine interest in the answer. None of these actions were advice, but they were a way of living and a way of treating people, and they showed me a positive way to live and laugh and react.

I hope you’ll share some fatherly advice you’ve received or even some you have given. It could be just what someone needs to hear. And this Father’s Day, consider telling your Dad how much it meant to you if you can. That would be one heck of a Father’s Day gift.

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