April 27, 2012

Growing up, my dad was a teacher. Not in the metaphorical sense but literally, he was a high school teacher. While I never sat in his classroom, I can tell you that no one has taught me more about life than my dad, so in a way...he's my teacher too. My dad is also my cheerleader, my confidant, and my number one fan. Everything I do, even if it's something insignificant, my dad supports. Since today is his birthday, I thought it might be fun to share a few of the interesting things I learned from him.

Don't lose sight of the forest because you're too focused on the trees.
I used to still struggle with this one. My dad's been telling me this as long as I can remember. I tend to lose sight of the big picture because my Type A personality wants to focus on all the little tiny details. In a way, focusing on the details makes me incredibly good at what I do, but I always have to remind myself to take a step back, and not get so wrapped up that I lose sight of my goals.

Dress for the job you want, not the job you have. And somewhat related...dress how you wish to be respected.
For a long time, my father wore a suit to his teaching job. And this was years after most male teachers started going business casual. I always had fun picking out new ties for my dad for his birthday or holidays because I knew not only would he wear them (even if I picked out something atrocious) but that he would wear them with pride. In my own life, I strived to be the best dressed intern, the most put-together Gap employee, and now that I work from home and get to dress creatively, I try to be a pulled together person with a bit of funk.

Measure twice, cut once.
Self explanatory, but this sure did come in handy when I started building complex architectural models in design school. X-acto knife shaking in my hand, I heard his voice and always re-measured. Maybe more than twice.

Treat people how you want to be treated.
I had a rough go with my living situation in college. Living with others in close quarters truly brings out the worst in people, at least with girls. I truly believe I'm not meant to live with girls. I had great girl friends, but being roommates with girls was a different story. In typical girl fashion, it could get mean really quickly. When all I wanted to do was be vindictive and get back at them, he reminded me that killing them with kindness would actually serve me better in the end. Sure, it drove them crazy, but I had the peace of mind that I was never a jerk to them.

Always, always, always buy Apple products.
We were Apple people before it was cool to be Apple people.


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