Father’s Day is just around the corner, and it’s time to shine the light on the dads in our lives. For all the hilarious dad jokes that we know so well, our fathers also offer us kernels of wisdom that we should take to heart. What has your dad said that rocked your world? How has his simple advice impacted your life? Petite2Queen might focus on women, but our dads have been instrumental in shaping us. Here is some of the best fatherly advice we’ve ever gotten.
Amanda: Make Your Own Mistakes
My dad always had plenty of advice to share; “Listen to what I mean, not what I say” was a favorite, since he always said things wrong. He also had opinions about my career choices and shared financial advice. But one of the things that stuck with me the most was when Daddy told me, “Do what I say, not what I do. Don’t make the same mistakes I did. Learn from my mistakes so you don’t face the same problems; instead, make your own mistakes.”
Daddy was always very open with me about the mistakes he made. He told me all of his missteps, lapses in judgement, and regrets. He explained why it was a mistake and what the consequences were. Because he was so forthcoming, he made sure I would never repeat his mistakes. I would avoid the pitfalls that held him back in life.
While he knew it wouldn’t mean my life would be perfect – I’ve made mistakes of my own! – at least I haven’t done things that could be avoided. I’ve learned from history so I don’t have to repeat it. Daddy’s message has stuck with me, and it’s one we could all learn from. We should all learn from the past so we don’t keep repeating history.
Rachel: Nevertheless, She Persisted
My dad died four years before Senator Elizabeth Warren was silenced when she questioned the appointment of Jeff Sessions as Attorney General. He taught me the importance of persistence long before it became a t-shirt mantra, and I took it to heart.
If there’s one thing I learned early, it’s that life isn’t fair. If fortune were bequeathed according to a person’s kindness or moral compass, my dad would have been Jeff-Bezos-level rich. But he wasn’t, and we lived paycheck-to-paycheck my entire life. My dad suffered a lot of hardships – both financial and personal – but he never gave up.
My dad persisted in providing for his family and keeping us together, but he persisted in a couple other things that are even more important: kindness and hope. He knew that life would never stop coming at him swinging, but, to him, that just meant he had to keep fighting back against that negativity with positivity. It’s that lesson that I carry with me every day. When life lands a particularly hard blow, I remember my dad and keep on pushing through with that same kindness and hope. He would be proud of me.
Christina: That’s Not Right
My dad often took me aside for talks when I was a child. He often wanted me to understand certain things, particularly when it came to his values. Unfortunately, I barely remember them due to the years between myself and my childhood, but I know it’s impacted my tendencies to go on spiels about so and so forth.
One of the more recent things he shared with me didn’t come in the form of a lecture. I was angry, and it radiated off of me in the form of my words and actions. Communication between my family members was god awful at the time, but, somehow, he managed to get out from me the reason why I was being so snappy.
I can’t remember what it was, but it had no direct relation to him. So, he tells me, “Then why do you have to act out your anger on me? I didn’t do that to you. That’s not right.”
And, as simple as that is, as seemingly common sense as that was, I realized I was being unfair to him. It shifted my perspective. It’s easy to get wrapped up in stress and the tensions of frustrations. You get so caught up in the emotion, just wanting to snap out, you forget those around you.
It’s hard to deal with anger; I can rarely let go when my temper flares. But you needn’t let it cause collateral damage. If you can’t exercise the patience to defuse and forgive, own your anger to what caused it and not the unsuspecting.
Alison: Never Give Up
My dad told me that one thing my grandfather taught him that he took to heart was to never give up. After about 30 years at the university where he works, my dad was made a dean, something he worked hard and long hours for. He fought (and still fights – he isn’t retired yet!) for his ideas to improve the university, even when some people were hesitant to change. He always finds ways to channel a struggle into a learning experience and challenges himself to grow. My dad is always seeking new challenges, and one of the latest ones will be climbing Mt. Baker with me this summer.
I take his advice to heart, and if I ever feel like quitting, I remember that Rollinses don’t give up. He always tells me I can do anything I set my mind to. When he sees a challenge, he goes out and conquers it, no matter how long it takes, whether it’s getting a black belt in karate or becoming a university dean. That taught me that if you still have your eyes on your goal, you will reach it, even if it takes a long time. There might be some hiccups (or major obstacles) along the way, but you will reach it.
Lynn: Dad’s Career Advice
My dad was one of my great mentors in my life. There is such a wealth of sound advice, critical insights, and exceptional experience that he shared with me. I will be forever grateful. It’s hard to pick one thing that stands out.
One thing that he shared with me early on in my career was to never point out to the customer that they were in the wrong. He told me that from his own personal experience this was a fatal mistake that would permanently damage your working relationship. It was a lesson I took to heart.
Whenever there was a disagreement with a client, and where the client was clearly not correct, I took the high road. Accepting there had been an unfortunate misunderstanding or set of circumstances became a cornerstone on addressing, mitigating, and resolving the conflict.
That piece of advice from my father has guided me through many difficult situations. It has proven to be powerfully effective to maintain my professional relationships and to strengthen them. I think it’s a lesson that can be applied to all aspects of our life: To see the good in the other person and never belittle them when they make a mistake. It’s a principle that I have used to guide me throughout my life.
Petite2Queen provides virtual mentoring to young women in life, at work, and in sales. Follow us for more practical advice you can put to use to improve your life and career.
Christina Kim is the Design and Content Artist at Petite2Queen. She is working towards a Bachelor’s Degree in Entertainment Arts at Los Angeles Academy of Figurative Art. She creates graphics for the Petite2Queen website – including headers for Ask Lynn posts and Webinars – as well as our marketing materials.