20 Life Lessons I Learned From My Father

There's no cookie-cutter father figure, nor is there a parent handbook. Our parents raise each one of us in a completely different way.

Ask anyone what their fathers have taught them, and the answers will range widely, from nothing at all to universal golden nuggets of wisdom.

If we are lucky we scored a homerun in the love department and we got a dad who knows what they are doing. I feel lucky and blessed to have a father who not only taught me right from wrong but also loves me for my unique self.

No matter what your relationship (or lack thereof) with your father is like, if he's still in your life you probably learned a few things from him. As we go through life we can learn a lot about ourselves through the reflection of our family members. As I grow older, my father has become one of my best friends. I'm thankful for the life advice he has passed down.

He has taught me 20 invaluable lessons about life, love and the pursuit of happiness.

1. Love people for who they are, not who you think they should or could be.

2. If your dog doesn't like someone you probably shouldn’t either.

3. Practice is the only way to get better.

4. It is okay to change your mind.

5. Your struggles will only make your stronger.

6. Things don't happen overnight; give it time.

7. Marriage can last when you focus on what’s working rather than what’s not.

8. Sometimes listening is the best thing you can do for another person.

9. Don't take anything personally; it's not about you.

10. Gossip wastes time and energy.

11. You are loved.

12. Don't assume anything.

13. Don't burn bridges.

14. Everything is connected... everything.

15. You have unique gifts. Honor them.

16. Don't be afraid to ask for help.

17. Treat your mother well.

18. Trust yourself.

19. Sometimes the wrong choice will bring you to the right place.

20. Love is the only answer, always. Tell the people you care about that you love them often. You never know how much time you have.

Pictured in article: MindBodyGreen co-founder Tim Glenister and his daughter, who appeared in New York Magazine recently.

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Shannon Kaiser
Shannon Kaiser
Shannon Kaiser is the best-selling author of 5 books on the psychology of happiness and fulfillment...
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