Simple Wisdom: Life lessons from my dad

In honor or Father's Day, I'd like to share three important lessons I learned from my dad while growing up. These lessons have formed the foundation that supports my life and my business, and I'm deeply grateful to him for modeling them...

1. Lesson #1 - Share your wealth, both time and money. For as long as I can remember, my dad (and my mom) have demonstrated this lesson by how they live their lives. Although, like many families, we often struggled to make ends meet, they never thought twice about giving to those in need. And it wasn't just money. My father worked as a tax consultant and, along with preparing tax returns, he listened to a client's life or work challenges and offered suggestions and advice. A natural teacher, my dad loves sharing what he's learned with others in the hopes of making life a little easier. He taught me that the knowledge and experience that comes from both mistakes and successes are just as valuable a gift as money.

2. Lesson #2 - Don't just tell people you care, show them. Early in my career, I worked with my dad in our family business and I saw first hand how he cared for people. When a client was sick, he'd visit their home. If a client was in crisis and needed him, he'd drop everything to help out. To this day, I still remember watching as my dad sat next to a client in my office who had lost his wife a month earlier. He had known both of them for years and as he listened intently to the man as he talked about his loss, I saw tears in my father's eyes. At that time, crying was something I rarely, if ever, saw him do. His empathy and humanity in that moment left an imprint on my heart. He taught me how to truly "be" with people.

3. Lesson #3 - Never forget where you came from. This lesson is pretty straight forward. Long before I ever wrote a book, gave a speech, or appeared on TV, I learned the importance of remembering your roots. As my father became more successful, he never once put himself above anyone. He used his hard work, struggles, and success to lift others up.

Today I say "thank you" to my dad and I bless all the men who share their wealth, caring, and love in support of lifting others up, too. Happy Father's Day!

Take Action Challenge

This week, acknowledge a man who has taught you something important. Whether it's a father, a friend, a boss, a co-worker, or another family member, say "thank you," and let him know he's made a difference in your life.

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Cheryl Richardson

Cheryl Richardson is the author of The New York Times bestselling books, Take Time for Your Life, Life Makeovers, Stand Up for Your Life, The Unmistakable Touch of Grace and her new book The Art of Extreme Self Care. She was the first president of the International Coach Federation and holds one of their first Master Certified Coach credentials.

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