Capitalist Note - An oldie, but a goodie on Father's day. Miss you dad.
My dad gave me a lot to move forward with in life. Like most of his generation, my dad was old school - a little bit great santini but nuclear family through and through. In addition to all the things you expect (food, shelter, TV), my Dad served as a role model for two things in my life - the ability to grind/work hard and the ability to work on skills that would give you a competitive advantage in life. Although he passed away in 2005, I still think about the memories related to those themes at least a couple of times a week.
The first memory is a recurring sound- the sounds/vibrations of my dad's work boots going through the house each morning at 6am as I laid in bed. Regardless of what happened the night before, my dad always answered the bell the next day. With that role modeling, I've always had the ability to grind away at a task or goal once I put my mind to it.
The second memory is skill and talent-related. I have these memories of my dad guarding me on the basketball court when I was roughly about 10 years old. I was right-handed, and in an effort to develop skills that would make a difference, my dad would savagely block my shot when I drove to the basket using my right hand. It was brutal - imagine how Bill Murray would block a kid's shot in that over the top way.... However, he'd let me shoot when I went left and told me why he was doing it. If you know hoops, you know the ability to use either hand at a high level is required to play at an advanced level and have success. A couple of years later, I started a self-directed path in basketball that led to a college career, and subsequently, a lot of things in life I wouldn't have had if not for that lesson. It all started with my dad teaching me a simple lesson on developing skills that matter (which are the ones with market value that other people don't have).
Of course, now that I'm older, I also see that the skill and work ethic lessons are hopelessly linked. As a result, I try in the best way I can to share the same types of lessons with my sons. When it's time to do some work with them that will give them a competitive advantage, I've taken to asking the following question if they whine:
"What do people named Dunn do?"
To which they reply (grudgingly at times, but at times with pride):
My dad's gone now and that sucks. However, any time I get down and wish he was here, I think about the role modeling he did why he was here, and it quickly becomes more of a celebration in my mind, although a sad one since he's not around to see the same lessons coming through with my sons.
Work = Success = Enthusiasm to do more work