Throughout life you are bombarded with life lessons, most of them are garbage (to be kind). Ones you can always count on are those your family gives you. Yeah they require a bit of self interpreting sometimes, but they are always rooted in the best of intentions. Some of the most valuable lessons that have shaped me as a man are those from my father. In lue of his birthday, I thought I would share some:
1 – Be a Man.
Yeah it’s cliche, but not in the way you would think. I come from a long line of manly men. My grandfather would saw casts off in his bathtub to play hockey, run out and race cars, build everything with his bare hands. Even when it came to the “not so manly things,” they would be as manly as it gets. My grandfather cried a few times. Once when we bought him a giant BBQ, and always during the national anthem. That is being a true man, and my father passed this down to me first hand. He taught me to hunt, to never run away from my problems and face them head on, to always keep my word, to be loyal to family and friends. My father showed me that no matter how many physical things you do, being a man boils down to how you deal with everyday occurrences in life. Doing this with courage, honour, and discipline makes the man.
2 – No One Ever Broke From the Crowd Working For Someone Else.
No one ever became a millionaire by working for someone else. This is what my dad taught me. If you want to succeed and I mean really succeed, you must create something that is your own. It’s a huge risk, but if you work hard, have people you trust behind you, and are bred with a hint of intelligence and creativity you can succeed on your own. Even if you make a mediocre salary, working for yourself is always more rewarding than being a drone in someones army who has already mastered this skill.
3 – Love What You Do.
Again a total cliche but this is a fact few people realize. We have far too many doctors hating their career, which makes for far too many terrible doctors. The only way you can find a fulfilling life is if you love what you do. If you don’t how will you ever live with yourself when you’ve been in the same hole for 40 years? Even if you have a career you don’t love, do something you love as a hobby. A life without passions is not a life I wish on anyone.
4 – Blood Trumps All.
You would think this is the italian in me talking and partially it is. Yet one thing i have learned from my father is blood trumps all. No matter how many bridges you burn, if you love your family they will always have your back. My family is incredibly close and i think keeping them close was and still is a driver of my success. When I achieve, I do not do so for myself but to make my family proud. My dad showed me that your family is an extension of yourself, and without them you are not a whole.
5 – Get Outside.
Hunt, fish, hike, swim, camp. Get outside. I mean really get outside. Once in every persons life they should venture into the woods where you cannot hear a car, see a house, find a friend. Go out by yourself and get in touch with nature. My dad introduced me to this part of my hobby and it is one of the most rewarding I have. Being outside is like meditating. You hear nothing but yourself and you realize how loud the secluded world can become.
On top of this, everyone who chooses to eat meat should hunt once. It sounds barbaric to some but it really makes you realize the hidden world where your burger comes from. When you have to practice your skills in order take the life of an innocent animal, then skin it, prepare its meat, and eat it, you really gain a sense of oneness with the natural world. You also learn to appreciate that burger infinitely more.
6 – There Will Always Be More, But Seek It Till You Die.
You will never be the best there is, but never stop trying. The world is bigger than any man can handle, but never stop exploring. There is more to learn than our inefficient minds can compile, yet never stop compiling. These are some mantras my dad has taught me. I don’t deny the possibility of being the richest, or the smartest, or the best. Yet the probability is slim. The only way a great man is made, is when he accepts he will never achieve greatness, yet indefinitely pursues it.
Happy Birthday Dad,
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