10 Life Lessons from my Dad
Throughout my life, I have learnt many valuable lessons from my dad. He has been a successful individual in his field, and yet is extremely humble, giving, calm, and ever so present. These are simple lessons, which, if followed mindfully, help complete the circle of our life.
1. Live with an attitude of gratitude
There will be days when nothing seems to work and it becomes very easy to go down the road of self-pity. A small reminder of gratitude can turn the tide. Here is a simple exercise – think about the things you are grateful for at the start of your day, or even better, write them down. It sounds simplistic but can bring about a complete paradigm shift in your life. Try it!
2. Instill these traits in your personality
Practice honesty, discipline, and hard work – the rest will almost always fall into place.
3. Be punctual always
The best way to do this is to consistently plan ahead and prepare beforehand. I have seen that Dad will be on time every single time by planning to be at the appointment 5-10 minutes before the actual time. This would cover up time lost due to any contingencies, traffic, last minute held ups and make it certain to be at the place on time. He believes that you showing respect for the other individual’s time earns you self respect as well.
4. Enjoy whatever you are doing
Smile while you are at it. Be present in the moment. Often times growing up I would see Dad involved in a mundane household chore but would have a smile on his face and with focus and he would say you just have to enjoy whatever you are doing and it makes it easy. The end result he would get through it rather quickly, just by being present and happy. Other times, he would help us with our homework or studies by connecting with us.
5. Focus on the process and the end result will be achieved
Don’t focus on the pressures of the end result. Keep it in sight, but don’t make it an objective.
“The wise man lets go of all the results, whether good or bad, and is focussed on the action alone”- Bhagwad Gita.
6. Invest in all relationships
Each and every positive relationship matters. Think more about giving than receiving.
7. Always see the glass as half full
Seek the positive first in both situations and in people. It is okay to give the benefit of the doubt in everything. Dad preached this by living the truth of not seeing/judging the negatives in any individual rather than just highlighting their strengths. “What we give energy to manifests, so choose your thoughts wisely”
8. Be proactive and not reactive
Take everything in stride. Prevent stress and other negative emotions by preparing for these situations and being mindful. Always PAUSE before you react, you will never regret the outcome. I still remember I was in college when I read “Seven habits of highly effective people” Dad would stress on this habit as stated by Stephen Covey in his book and practiced it himself in always resisting the need to react to a situation but rather take some to go over what happened.
9. Be humble always
Humility is a key trait of a successful leader. Strive to be humble in every situation.
10. Listen more, talk less
Speak only as much as is necessary so that you are able to effectively listen. Use the “KISS” principle: Keep It Short and Simple.
Lastly, we are all responsible for our own happiness and cannot ever hold another person, material or object instrumental for our happiness. It lies within in each one of us, in this present moment not in the future nor in the past.