The Value of Fatherly Advice

There are moments in time when no matter how old you are you find yourself reaching out to your parents for help.

“Dad, I need your help and I need it now. I am stuck between the proverbial rock and the hard place and I am trying not not to make it worse.”

I was 37 when I made that call and I will always remember it because my dad listened and offered some advice.

“Get back in the car and drive.”

Those words caught me off guard.

“Is that the best you have got? It is a cliche, but I need your ‘A’ game dad. I need more. Can you help me?

He didn’t hesitate or apologize. He just said that sometimes there are no good answers and then he said good luck and hung up the phone.

It was another teaching moment but this time it wasn’t me trying to pass something along to my kids it was my father passing something along to me.

I am big on this kind of of stuff. I like asking questions like Am I The Father I Want To Be because it makes me a better person and because sometimes you encounter questions that don’t have easy answers.

Practical Advice

Even though I like getting lost in the theoretical I prefer practical advice that has an immediate application. It is part of why I enjoy  The Sunscreen Song (thank you Frank) which doles out all sorts of good advice that children and adults can benefit from.

You might not realize this but blogging provides multiple gifts. One of them is the opportunity to look back at moments in time and see just how much progress you have made as the practical advice you have offered.

It may seem self indulgent to say that or to link back to posts like I Am A Father & A Writer but there is a purpose. One day my children may read that post and wonder what I was talking about when I wrote:

Three weeks ago I said that 2011 was a real motherfucker. I meant it then and I mean it now.

If they don’t allow themselves to get stuck on that line they will see that I shared some other thoughts there that I think are of paramount importance:

  1. Do the Work
  2. Have Fun
  3. Stop Trying So Hard

I didn’t list them in order of importance but if I did I would say Have Fun is the one that I focus on. Life is short and you need to remember that change isn’t coming it is happening now.

There is time to try different things so that you can figure out what makes your heart sing but there is no time to sit around and wait for good things to happen. You have to make them happen. When bad things happen and they will you can’t let it knock you in a rut forever. You can’t sit and wallow. You have to figure out what happened and then get back up.

Do the work refers to taking the time to figure out what it is you want to do and then taking the steps to make it happen. Stop trying so hard is a reminder that things don’t happen overnight. Sometimes you just have to stand up and walk for a while before you figure out what it is you really want. That is ok. You can’t force some things and believe me I have tried.

March To The Beat Of Your Own Drummer Even If He Has No Rhythm

You can blame Danny Brown for introducing me to Whyte and Mackay’s master blender, Richard Paterson. I haven’t yet tried any of their whiskey but I can promise you that I will. Watch the Father’s Day gift guide video and tell me that Paterson doesn’t do a great job of capturing your attention.

Wrapping It Up

That video caught my eye because Paterson understands how to tell a story that incorporates his passion and knowledge.  But it is more than just that, he is fun and my perception/impression of the man is someone who has done the work to figure out what he likes to do and is having fun while doing it.

What do you think?

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  1. Frank Strong August 2, 2014 at 10:58 am

    Huh. Just now got a ping back on this post! Thanks Jack — and I like the reference to the song. Such a timeless piece of advice.

  2. TheJackB June 13, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    @CraigMcBreen Hi Craig. Looking forward to hearing about BWNY. Hope you are well.

  3. richescorner June 13, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    Being a father is a special thing. I always feel a special connection with my Dad and take pride in building that same kind of relationship with my children. I hope that some day they look back and think of our relationship that way.

  4. JD84 June 13, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    I was glued to the screen watching those videos. I can’t really put my finger on it, but there is something with us (men?) ignoring the advice we get from our fathers. We ask, get the advice and then somehow still try and figure out a better way. Maybe it’s something that pass with time. But then again I think back and remember my dad and grandpa so maybe not..

  5. belllindsay June 13, 2012 at 8:25 am

    I really enjoyed this post Jack. I don’t reach out to my parents that often. I wonder whether my son will reach out to me. Also, I watched that video with Danny and absolutely loved it!! Cheers, LB

    • TheJackB June 13, 2012 at 1:59 pm

       @belllindsay This aging/parenting stuff is a funny thing.My father tells me that I am really good at asking for advice and then ignoring it.
      I hope my kids always feel comfortable coming to be about advice, but I suppose that we shall wait and see what happens.
      That video and the others he is in are just fun. I really appreciate people who are passionate about their work.

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