So, if there was ever a day that was appropriate for this site, today would be it. As one of the three authors, all of whom are fathers, I wish all of the fathers out there Happy Father’s Day. I had the benefit of a caring father, who was not just a great example for me of how to be a father, but also a man, and I am so fortunate to have had such a heritage. Likewise, I have had the good fortune to be close friends with a number of other men, my co-authors, for example, who helped build on that foundation to help mold me into the person I am today. Certainly there were many other people involved in the process, but since it is Father’s Day, I thought I’d tip my hat to these men who have been examples and mentors to me. I thank you.
Today, I wanted to share with you some “dad wisdom” that I and others have accumulated over the years.
- Rub some dirt in it – This is arguably the most important medical breakthrough and it never seems to get its fair treatment. The dirt probably didn’t help stave off infection, but it did take my mind off of the scrape and taught me that pain is, in many cases temporary and a state of mind, rather than a state of being.
- It’s not a junk drawer/room – That drawer with the rocks, the foreign coins, the matchbook covers, keychains, etc., is not a “junk” drawer. It is an archaeological walk through my memories. The little green army man was a mascot that went on deployments with me. The matchbooks were from places I had been and represented my travels, and each and every piece has a story attached to it.
- A good cup of coffee is a magical thing – coffee may just seem like a way for me to wake up, but it is also a way of giving me time to think, a way of giving me a break when I am frustrated with something that just isn’t working properly, and a way to relax.
- I bought those weird books for a reason – sometimes you just want to know more about the absurd, the mundane or the obscure. Those books are generally inexpensive, full of interesting information and break my mind from the cycle of focusing on the minutiae of my normal work. It is good to stretch the boundaries of the mind.
- The right tool makes the job easier, the wrong tool makes the job educational – using the right tool for a job makes the job go quickly and pretty smoothly, but using the wrong tool makes you learn how to recover from mistakes. For example, use too big or too small of a screwdriver and you stand a good chance of twisting the head so that you can’t easily remove the screw. Use the right size and the screw is easily tightened or removed. (BTW, a piece of rubber band helps with that stripped screw).
- You won’t get where you want to go if you don’t take that first step – Nothing long lasting happens immediately, but is achieved by taking active measures to achieve it. If you want to change something about your situation, as hard as it is, you have to take the first step, or you’ll never get there.
- You won’t get where you want to go if you don’t finish that last step – Likewise, the journey isn’t complete until you finish the last step. A lot of people start, but finishing is just as, if not more, important.
- Patience breeds peace – many times we get really stressed out because we are impatient, waiting on something to happen, someone to get out of our way, etc. Being patient is a state of being at peace with the time it is taking for something to happen. You will never optimize your schedule enough, so budget enough “slack” time, just in case.
- Move slow to go fast – many times, slower, deliberate focused action is faster than diving in and tackling the problem in front of you. It may seem slower, but by not having to repeat things or redo them, you actually move faster than you would have had you just charged in like a bull elephant.
- Finally, laugh – Steve Martin said, you can’t play the blues on a banjo, because it is too happy of an instrument. Likewise, you can’t stay mad and frustrated if you are laughing, and there are things all around us to laugh about. If you can’t find one, Google one, they are definitely out there.
Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers out there and to all, have a great day and week.