Lessons I’ve learned from Dad

September 3, 2016

For Mother’s Day I wrote a column which really seem to resonate with She Brisbane readers about the “good advice” (i.e. bossing) my mum, Ruth, has dispensed over the years.

So, I thought it was only fair I give reciprocal rights to Father’s Day UNTIL I remembered my dad Arthur’s only rule about advice, which is “Don’t give advice – people rarely listen, even when they have asked for it.”

Wow – that was a short column!

What I’ve learned from Dad

Instead, I thought I share some of the things I’ve LEARNED from watching and listening to Dad who is hands down the smartest person I know – and I’d say that even if he wasn’t my father (and Dad, I’d write that even if I wasn’t your favourite. Soph, Lou and Pete – you know it’s true).

  • Laugh regularly – it’s good for your soul;
  • If you go for a promotion you have legitimate chance of getting but are unsuccessful, think seriously about whether you are with the right company if your boss can’t recognise your talent, hard work or potential;
  • Don’t make assumptions about other people – you never know what is going on in their lives, despite the impression they may give;
  • Always check the oil and water in your car when you fill up with petrol;
  • Being punctual is good manners;
  • If you’re a guest always thank your host with a good bottle of wine;
  • Make an effort with your appearance. It doesn’t have to take a lot of time but always makes a good impression on others;
  • Back yourself. If you don’t, why would anyone else?
  • Read the paper every day – learn about what’s happening in the world;
  • Don’t put foil in the microwave. (RIP the microwave that died for Dad to learn this lesson);
  • The art of conversation requires the skill of listening. People who talk about themselves all the time are boring;
  • Education is never a waste. My Dad put a world map on the kitchen wall so when we were eating dinner watching the ABC news and things happened overseas, he could point out where it was;
  • Don’t ring during the football (*See last point);
  •  Take up a hobby and play a sport;
  • Sometimes there’s more than one way to arrive at the right answer/solve a problem;
  • Old dogs can learn new tricks – if the old dog has an open mind;
  • Learn how to change a tyre – you might get a flat somewhere the RACQ can’t get to;
  • It is possible to survive on Tee Vee Snacks (chocolate biscuits) and coffee. While this may strike many as nutritionally unsound, it has been a staple of my Dad’s diet for over 60 years;
  • Exercise both your brain and your body regularly; and,
  • It’s okay not to answer a ringing phone. Just because you can be contacted 24-hours-a-day doesn’t mean you have to be available to everyone all the time.

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads!