life lessons

The 5 Best Life Lessons I Learned From My Dad

This week marks 4 years since my dad passed away. Though we have long accepted his passing and have moved on with our lives, I am reminded of the lessons the significant people in our lives share with us. So as my family and I specifically remember Dad this week, I share his remarkable wisdom – guidance that helped 6 kids in a big Italian family find their way, own their lives and make their impact in the world. May his wisdom inspire you to be the guides and coaches for your kids – and to come up with your life lessons that you pass on to help your kids find their way in our wild and wonderful world.

Dad’s Best Life Lessons

  1. Know who you are and be true to it – no matter what. You are each born with intrinsic greatness – gifts – that are unique to you. You should avidly discover and live these gifts – and be proud of what makes you, you. Learn to listen to and trust your own voice more than the voices of others. Stand for what you believe. Be courageous. And always allow others to be true to who they are.
  1. Find some way of doing what you do best everyday, and work to get better at it. Build your work and life around what you are good at and passionate about. Always keep learning, studying and improving. Stay connected to what is going on in your world so you can find your best place to have your greatest impact. The world needs you to be great, not average.
  1. Love each day. You don’t get this day back so treasure it. Love it. Share it. Respect it. Be really present. Live in each moment. Make memories. Accept what comes your way – don’t complain – just make the most of what you get.
  1. Think more of others than yourself. Be there for others – first. Service to others matters. See what you can do to help, inspire, inform, educate or support. Find someone who needs what you do best and share it – openly, gladly and selflessly. You do your best work when you help others do their best work.
  1. Make everything you touch better. Improve everything you touch; make every relationship you are part of better. Find the good everywhere; be the source of good everywhere. Be optimistic, encouraging and supportive. Don’t just talk about being better – do it.

Be someone’s hero

Dad was truly our hero. We found out he was also a hero to so many others as we heard comment after comment in the receiving line at his wake. He was a powerful force for good behind the scenes – no fanfare – no headlines – no spotlight. He didn’t (just) talk about these lessons – he lived them – openly, honestly, humbly and consistently. His life’s values were excellence, integrity, resilience and service. These are now our values.

There are people that come into our lives who share what they know – and our lives become better because of it. They are our heroes, mentors, coaches, teachers and philosophers. They are our leaders, motivators and confidence builders. Sometimes they even show up as our dad.

So how are you sharing great life wisdom with the people in your life? How are you helping your family show up each day – to be really present – to make life an event, and change things for the better in the process? Be your kid’s hero this week by what you say, how you live and what you inspire.