I think it is safe to say that my dad is the center of my family. Anyone with a question or in search of advice goes to him without second thought. Somehow, he knows everything. I still look to him like a little girl in awe. I believe he is the wisest man on the planet, and I’m not even a little bit biased — really! Because of that, and because we are soaking in all the precious wisdom we can, I thought it would be appropriate to share some of his best advice with you all. I hope you can benefit from this as much as I do.
- Give everything you do 100% of your effort. Admittedly, this can be a challenge for me. I have been known to engage in many different opportunities at once, and as such, spread myself too thin. My dad can always identify this before it occurs, and help me fix it in moving forward. This advice trickles down into the smaller things in life, too. One example that strongly stands out in my mind was a day spent bowling last summer that was rather frustrating at the time. I am horrible at bowling, and even that is putting it nicely. After a few gutter balls in a row, my motivation and effort quickly began to decrease. My dad pulled me aside and asked me why I was performing half-heartedly. I had no reason for him other than that I didn’t really care to try, and that I thought he was taking a silly game too seriously. He reminded me to always put my best foot forward in everything I do. Everything we do, say, and feel is a direct reflection of who we are. You never know who is watching, so always give 100% — or more!
- Don’t burn any bridges. People come back into our lives at the most unexpected times, and you never know when a relationship will be of value once more. Networking is important no matter what field you go into. Place priority in both establishing and maintaining all of your relationships. Be a people person, even when it is uncomfortable, and your future will be beautified. Likewise, treat all people equally, regardless of perceived status. You never know who you are dealing with or what their story may be. Bear this in mind with all people.
- Hard work pays off. I like to consider my dad the epitome of the American dream. He has worked hard since he was a little boy to create what would, one day, become a successful company. He had a vision, and he made it a reality. With passion and perseverance on his side, my dad worked to be the face of our local cell phone market. “Get Charlie Free” posters, newspaper advertisements, and television and radio commercials were his pride and joy. In elementary school, I proudly brought examples of his hard work in to show off. Show off that this is my dad, this is what he made, and this is what we can make, too, if we so desire. My dad has taught me that our dreams can be achieved with the right formula of hard work.
I have yet to mention my mom on here, but the topic of sage advice is certainly an appropriate place to introduce her. My mom always tells me to find a solution. If I’m overjoyed or overwhelmed, she leads me down a solution-oriented path. To her, there is a solution for everything. I have always admired this philosophy in her, but until recently have failed to live it myself. If I’m unhappy with a grade I receive or frustrated about a pebble in my shoe, my mom quickly reminds me to follow the road to a solution before I expend energy complaining. If something is in my power to change, my mom says to change it. To her, it is this simple. To her, complaining and being upset are two examples of wasted energy. While we may not have the power to change our situation, my mom reminds me, we do have the power to change how we handle it. How we handle it, with dignity, love, and courage, is our solution.
Before I end this post, I want to thank you all for the positive feedback on my last blog. It is humbling to know that our story has reached beyond my own personal network. My family and I are grateful for the support we are receiving as we care for my dad. To those of you who have come to me with your own stories — I thank you. I am able to walk this road with a positive light because of people like you have gone before me. Together, we strengthen each other. I recently came across a quote that says we should grow through life rather than just go through life. It is evident to me that this blog is creating a network of people who do just that. Thank you for introducing yourselves to me, and for teaching me how to believe once more.
Again, I am Danielle, and I believe. I believe in effort, relationships, the American dream, and finding solutions. This, thanks to my parents who took a chance in believing in me.