Father’s Day Thoughts from a Get Smart Gal!

jeff1With Father’s Day approaching, it seems fitting that Get Smart acknowledges some of the awesome men in our lives.  We’re all about empowering women, but male mentors can teach us things that female mentors never could.  They’re an integral part of our growth and development, and it’s important to know how to value, appreciate, and work with them. I’ve been blessed with an amazing dad.  Over the years, he’s been there for everything—my first day of kindergarten, my rough “teenager” phase, my inevitable first heartbreak (to which he responded with, “If I see him, should I run him over?  No seriously, it’s your call, just let me know what I should do.”)  But my dad has done so much more than that.  He’s been my biggest cheerleader, and taught me so many life lessons that I carry with me wherever I go.  These are some of my favorites.

Top 3 Life Lessons I’ve Learned From Dad

1)    Love Does. One of the biggest things my dad has secretly taught me over the past 20 years is that love does.  Through his actions, he’s shown me that every day is a meaningful chance to make love and faith simple and real.  Love gets up early every morning, works hard all day long, and never takes a break or a holiday.  My dad has suffered through endless makeovers and tea parties, tried everything I made with my easy bake oven, and sat with me through countless late night thunderstorms, simply because he loves me.  My dad puts his whole heart into everything he does.  It’s the little, daily actions that my dad does that have inspired me to want to be incredible at loving too.

2)    You have to chase what you want.   My dad always encourages me to go after what I want.  He stressed that no one would ever hand me what I wanted, I had to work for it.  I had to work for good grades, good jobs, and leadership positions.  He taught me that people would constantly tell me ‘no’ in life, but I had to keep working hard and keep asking until someone said ‘yes.’  I didn’t have to wait for opportunities to find me, I could create my own.  This summer I have a research position at my college that I created myself.  No one asked me to do it, I had a great idea that I was passionate about, and I found a way to make it happen.  I created my own opportunity.

3)    I can do ANYTHING!  My dad has always jumped on board with my wildest dreams.  When I told him I wanted to go to college 6 hours from home, far away from anyone or anything familiar, his response was, “Absolutely! This is a great opportunity!”  When I told him I wanted to be the first woman president at 5 years old, he didn’t bat an eye and told me he had been thinking the same thing for several years.  He’s always encouraged me to take that really hard class, to branch out, to go to new places, to take risks.  After 20 years of encouragement, I know I can do absolutely anything, and that my dad will always be right there cheering me on.

jeff2The best part about having male mentors and role models is that they don’t just have to be dads.  They can be uncles, brothers, grandfathers.  The men that encourage, love, and support us.  So this Father’s Day, think about who those men are for you.  Thank them, and then follow your dreams and make them proud.

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