As a teenager, most of the advice my Dad gave me flew straight over my head while I was too busy trying to balance my social-life and homework. Every now and then some of his advice echoes in my head, like: “those hangovers are only going to get worse, don’t say ‘I told you so’ ”. There are some things that really only make sense now that I’m faced with different challenges and situations as an adult. I’ve always admired my Dad’s tough-minded and lateral way of thinking. This isn’t to say that my mother didn’t give me good advice, but if I look back now, my Dad always had a great way of suggesting straight-forward, practical ways of dealing with things.
People can’t read your mind
It’s often frustrating when people don’t automatically respond to something with understanding and compassion. Communication is vital, and if you don’t share the bigger picture of something, it’s often hard for others to know exactly where you’re coming from or your feelings towards it. Ask questions when you don’t understand something. Speak up! Don’t wait around for people to notice what’s on your mind. This doesn’t mean that everything you’re thinking needs to be shared, but don’t be too shy or afraid to be active and vocal in conversation.
Live below your means
Take time to set a monthly budget for important expenses and be careful on how you spend your earnings. There’s nothing wrong with being conservative about your money. Don’t spend to impress. A few luxuries here and there are okay, but be realistic with what you spend on non-essentials. Running out of money before you run out of month doesn’t mean you don’t earn enough, it means that you’re living above your means.
You don’t have to give every relationship a shot
This doesn’t mean slacking off and not giving your relationships enough attention. Sometimes we only realize a few years down the line that our needs and desires in a relationship have changed. Don’t push aside who you are and what you really want in order to accommodate the person you are dating. Your time is precious, but rather spend time focusing on what you want from a relationship. One good piece of advice my Dad gave me, was that I should spend time figuring out what exactly it is I’d want from marriage and date according to that so that I didn’t end up wasting time on relationships that were wrong for me.
Don’t always act like a novice
For a large part of my teen years, I battled with self-confidence. If I was good at something, I struggled to step-up and do what I knew I was capable of. If I wasn’t sure of something, I was too shy to ask questions. This influenced my rather slow progress in many aspects of my life to do with school, work and social-environments, but in later years I’ve learnt that you get a lot further in life if you take every opportunity and not hinder yourself.
Dads are human
When growing up we tend to think our Dads are some sort of invincible Superheroes who don’t need anything. When the reality is, they’re human, just like the rest of us, and they probably need us more than they let on. They cry, they don’t always win at everything and even though they might not always get everything right, this doesn’t mean that they’re not a Hero to the rest of the family.
What's the best advice your Dad has given you?