5 Most Important Lessons My Dad Taught Me About Life and Success

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#NauticaforDad #CollectiveBias

I have the coolest dad.

I mean, look at him…

Coolest Dad Ever

Doesn’t get any cooler than that lol.

With Father’s day right around the corner, I thought it’d be nice to take a few minutes to write down some thoughts about my dad.

Mostly because he’s awesome, but also because he’s paying for my wedding and I’m doing everything I can these days to show him how grateful I am for that (thanks Papa bear!).

You know, I spent so many years growing up, just like most people do, thinking that my parents weren’t very smart. I spent so many years thinking they were super lame. But at 24, I can definitely look back and see just how much they’ve taught me…things that they’ve taught me without even knowing it.

So in honor of my dad, and in honor of the fact that he’s a little smarter than I gave him credit for growing up, here are five lessons he’s taught me about life and success. Not bad, dad… not bad.

1. It’s okay if no one laughs at your jokes.

Here’s a typical conversation in my family….We’re all talking and suddenly, my dad says something he thinks is hilarious and bursts out in laughter. The rest of us…we look around at each other and we crack up because my dad’s jokes are awful sometimes lol. Sometimes he makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. I mean, sometimes it’s literally like trying to break some kind of totally unknown alien code. But you know what? HE DOESN’T CARE! And I love him so much for that. He is who he is and he doesn’t try to be someone he’s not. If you like him, great…and if you don’t, that’s fine too. That’s the sense of confidence that everyone should strive to have.

2. You don’t have to wear stuffy suits to be taken seriously at work.

My dad’s the CEO of a medical center. He’s the CEO and you’d never know it. Why? Well for starters, if he’s got three ties in his closet, that’s way too many. He’s not a stuffy suit kind of guy. He wakes up and goes to work in slacks and a polo every day. He knows all of his employees by name and has great relationships with all of them. Does he know how to run a business? Yes. Does he think he has to wear a suit and tie and act all corporate and cold in order to be taken seriously? No. He’s the chillest executive I’ve ever met and I respect him so much for that.

Dad And Mom

3. Give back to others and you get back so much in return.

Every year, my dad’s business hosts both a Thanksgiving Turkey Drive and a Christmas Toy Drive for the members of the community. And every year, it amazes me to see just how many families are impacted as a result of his generosity. That’s my dad’s motto, though. There are always people out there who need things more than we do. There are always people out there who could use our help. So he gives. He gives a lot. He gives of his money, and he gives of his time. And without a doubt, I know that we’ve been blessed threefold because of it. I’m a big believer of karma. What you put out into the world you get back, and my dad is definitely one of the biggest teachers of that.

4. Patience is everything.

Success doesn’t show up knocking on your door overnight. You gotta work for it, babe. And it’s hard sometimes, especially as young professionals, because we get out of college and we think… BAM!!! We’re going to be VPs of big companies in a year. Obviously, right? I mean, hello! We have a Master’s Degree…

Nope. Sorry, guys. It doesn’t work that way. You have to climb the ladder, like my dad says. I grew up listening to the story of the ladder. EACH AND EVERY SINGLE TIME I complained about work, I’d hear it. You have to climb the ladder. You have to start at the bottom of the ladder and then work your way up taking steps along the way. And yea, eventually, you’ll make it to the top. But if you start at the bottom and try to skip a few steps and try to jump from the first step to the fifth… you know what happens? You fall on your butt and you have to start all over again. So patience is key here.

Dad, thanks for teaching me that one, and thanks for having the patience to deal with ME!!

5. Work hard but play hard too.

My dad works a lot, but as much as he works, he makes a huge effort to enjoy the things he loves. He loves basketball, so he’s always either at my brother’s practices or coaching leagues of his own. He also loves to fish. From as early as I can remember, my dad’s always had a love for the ocean. His parents have a beautiful house in Key Largo, so we spent our summers there growing up and we’d fish all day.

Here’s the first time I caught a barracuda!

Kayla Caught A Fish

Because life can’t just be about working. How pointless of a life would that be?

We work so we can enjoy life! And that’s definitely what my dad does.

Since my dad made it a point to include us always in his passions, now, whenever I think of the ocean, I think of him.

And for that very reason, I picked up this Nautical Life Gift Set for him at Macy’s for Father’s Day this year.

Nautical Life Macy's

Nautica’s inspired by the water, so it’s really the perfect gift for any guy in your life who loves the sea.

This specific gift set’s only $65.00, even though it’s valued at $128.00. It includes a 3.4 oz Eau de Toilette, 2.5 oz Aftershave Balm, 2.5 oz Shower Gel, and 1 oz Eau de Toilette.

And…the box is kind of beautiful.


So check out this giveaway!

Nautica for Dad

  • 1 Grand Prize Winner will win a $4,000 Cruise Vacation Package
  • 5 Second Place Winners will win a Nautica Men’s Fragrance Gift Package
  • Winners must be 18+

Who knows? You might just get lucky.

But not as lucky as I am to have my dad in my life. Love you, papa bear!! Thanks for everything! You might not have a lot of hair left, but you’re still kind of smart!

Alright guys, now that I’ve talked enough about MY dad, tell me… who’s the anchor in your life, and what has he taught you?

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  1. Shann Eva

    June 14, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    Such a nice tribute to your Dad. He sounds like a great guy. My Dad does also tell jokes that only he thinks are funny, but you gotta love ’em. Thanks for sharing your dad with us.

  2. annabelt

    June 14, 2015 at 10:40 pm

    What a lovely post! Hope your dad likes it (and his gift too!)

  3. Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine

    June 15, 2015 at 8:38 am

    Lovely! O man, #4…patience is so hard 😉

  4. Dana

    June 15, 2015 at 10:24 am

    This is so sweet! Your dad sounds like an awesome guy 🙂

  5. Charlotte

    June 15, 2015 at 10:26 am

    This is a very nice post! Beautiful words and great layout. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!!

  6. Crystal @ Dreams, etc.

    June 15, 2015 at 11:56 am

    What a beautiful post about your dad! He sounds like an awesome guy. I was nodding my head along with a lot of this; my dad has always been so generous with his money and time and has taught me the importance of doing so. He’s always had an incredible work ethic and has taught me to work hard and not give up, even when I have wanted to. Thanks for sharing about your dad! 🙂

  7. Lisa Sharp

    June 15, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    What a sweet post. Sounds like your dad is a great guy.

  8. Shannon Ketchum

    June 15, 2015 at 3:18 pm

    Your dad sounds amazing! My dad passed away 11 months ago, so this will be my first Father’s Day without him. I miss him every day, but I know the lessons he taught me will stay with me forever. Thank you for sharing yours 🙂

  9. DT

    June 15, 2015 at 5:52 pm

    Those are all such great lessons.. Love this post!
    Great pics too..
    —DT | Here I Scribble

  10. Ashley

    June 15, 2015 at 5:58 pm

    Love this tribute. And honestly, so encouraging as a parent (though not a dad…but still).

  11. Laura

    June 15, 2015 at 7:15 pm

    Sounds like you’re a lucky lady in the dad department! This post is wonderful 🙂 It’s fabulous that you have learned so much and care so much for your dad.


  12. Ashleigh

    June 15, 2015 at 11:17 pm

    Such a wonderful post! I’m so glad you love your daddy and have a good relationship with him. And those were some awesome shorts!!

  13. Angie

    June 16, 2015 at 2:18 am

    Your Dad sounds amazing!!! I love his work hard point. Too often I expect things right away. I hope you have a great Father’s Day and fun planning your wedding!

  14. Jazmine

    June 16, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    Such a great post. It sounds like your dad taught you a lot of valuable lessons.

  15. David @ Spiced

    June 25, 2015 at 1:16 pm

    Your Dad sounds like an awesome guy…plus, those shorts are just plain epic! I hope he had a great Father’s Day this year! #client

  16. Alyse

    July 16, 2015 at 7:23 pm

    Awesome advice! My Dad has been an amazing mentor through my career too. I don’t know what I’d do without him!

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