You are on page 1of 4

Seven Awesome Lessons My Dad Taught me By: Duane Anderson

best. Sometimes an A was not good enough.

have to be one of the luckiest kids on the planet to have a dad like mine. My dad taught me a lot. As a child and as an adult. But in many ways its what he didnt teach me that was so awesome. The hidden lessons, the wax on wax off, paint the fence moments is perhaps where I unintentionally learned the hardest and the best lessons. Lesson One Anything worth doing is worth doing Excellently If there was one thing that my dad taught me it was excellence. He was and still is a meticulous planner. A furious executor and a glorious measurer of the results. He demanded excellence from me. He demanded good grades from me. He demanded that I give me best in all areas of life. That didnt always mean an A. Sometimes it meant a C if that was truly my

I can remember being in the third grade and learning my multiplication tables. He worked with me and worked with me. One night I If you are winning all the time was up in the kitchen very late. then you are not trying hard I was crying but enough to lose he kept pushing me to learn -Unspoken quote from my Dad them. To this day I am damn good at multiplication. He was an excellent basketball player too and an even better coach. He taught me the game very excellently. He never let me beat him. It pissed me off at the time why I could never win. I got so angry and hungry to beat him but I never could. On some level it seemed that he was hardcore. Dare I say Clint Eastwoodish. One might think he took some pleasure from beating his son. But whether the lesson was intentional or not it taught me to be hungry for the win. Life is big. Sometimes you get your shot blocked. Life is never going to let you win. So you find a way to get your shot off. You change. You try different things until you find something that works. If you are still failing you have not found the thing that works yet! Be aggressive and take it to the hole. Oh yeah, and go to your left.

Lesson Two Choose Your Battles Then Fight He was hard on me as a basketball player but he also backed me up. I can remember being at the Bethlehem Baptist Church in a youth league game. I got called for traveling. I did not travel. But there I was 12 years old. I was wronged. I remember my dad telling me from the sidelines, Son, dont argue with the referee. I will do it. He cant call a foul on me I know some parents and others might have thought that this was over the top. And it was kind of comical as he was being escorted out of the gym. But it taught me to fight when you are wronged. More importantly it taught me to fight for others when they are wronged. Lesson Three Be one step ahead of your competition I loved football growing up. I never played organized football but every day when my dad got home from work, without hesitation; after the sun went down he would come out to the street and throw the football with me. But with a Dad like mine, this was not just the casual back and forth throwing. It was a spot- on lesson. He taught me different patterns. The fly pattern, the post pattern, the crossing route. He taught me to turn inside, then outside. The whole nine yards, so to speak.

He taught me the timing, when to cut, when to fake, and when to expect the ball. If you werent ready for the ball you got smacked in the face. Just like in life. This is stuff they teach in the advanced leagues. You even see it in the NFL. You cannot hesitate to throw the ball. If you wait for a player to be open to throw the ball its too late. If you wait until the opportunity is perfect, its too late. It also taught me an important lesson. Always be a step ahead of your competition. Always be ready for whatever life throws at you. Prepare. Practice and then Act. Pull that trigger. If you hesitate to act life might just smack you in the face. Lesson Four Always Demand the Best of Yourself As a basketball coach for some of teams I played on, he was harder on me than the rest. He demanded more out of me. He would not hesitate to sit me down if I did not perform. I can remember being a high school aged kid playing in the adult league with my dad. Thats right an adult league. My dad always told me that to be the best you have to play against the best. If you play people you can always beat you wont get to the next level. These are words that I later heard Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson and Larry Bird say. And what a pivotal wow moment that was. What did that teach me? Well for one, it taught me to always demand the very best from myself. Always expect the very best of

myself. Has my life always been excellent? Heck no. But has the pursuit of excellence always been there? You better believe it. It still is. I am still hungry and driven and I dont settle for anything less than my best. Lesson Five Pay Your Dues There is no substitute for hard work Later in life I got a job at the Marley Cooling Tower Company where my dad had worked for many years. It was not until then that I really understood how witty he was. At a glance you would think that he was a jokester and never did any work. He did have fun at work. He was driving a forklift taking it easy and there I was sweating my ass off on the assembly line. It was totally unfair. But as time went on I realized that you have to pay your dues. That applies to most things in life. You dont walk into a company and become CEO. The expert is anything was once a beginner. You have to work hard. There is no substitute for hard work. Lesson Six Dont be afraid to fight, but use your head Yes this is almost the same thing as Lesson two. Its that important. . Getting back to the earlier example of standing up for others. I really saw this at work when I watched my dad as a Union Steward. He was sharp. He really knew his stuff. He wasnt one of those stewards that was pro union and anti-company. If a union

person was wrong, he was not afraid to tell them that. But if you were wronged, he would go to bat for you and it was nothing short of watching a maestro lead a fine symphony. He knew when to sound the trumpets. He knew when to have a soft flute solo and he knew when to bring in the loud Tubas. He not only knew the contract inside and out, he knew what the company was going to say before they even said it. He knew what the outcome of any given grievance was going to be before it was even decided. He was so good at what he did that one of the plant managers often approached him to settle disputes because they knew he was the most level headed steward. And he flat out got stuff done. Lesson learned. Sometimes you fight and sometimes you dont. If you are wrong, correct the mistake and move on. If you are right sometimes its not the right battle. But if it is the right battle bring in the Tubas and kick some ass!

Lesson Seven Your Excuse is Invalid My dad had been heavy since I can remember. I never knew him any other way. If you would have seen our kitchen table growing up you would have thought we were feeding 10. Nope. Just 4. Then one day in the late 80s he decided to take up running. I didnt think anything of

it. But every night he would trek to Southern Parkway and run. Hed make it farther and farther with each passing day. Suddenly he began losing weight and running faster and faster. He was committed, dedicated and he defeated the voice in his head that I am sure told him he could not do it. He got to where he was running all the time. He started running in 5K, 10K, the mini marathon, the Triple Crown. He did the unthinkable. He did the unimaginable. He defeated his negative inner dialogue. He crushed it like a boss! The lesson? Your excuse is invalid. If a middle aged overweight man can suddenly start running and lose weight and conquer the mini marathon, any obstacle I come up against could likewise be defeated. Many times I have thought of that over the years. I am now 43 years old. Im about the same age he was when he first started running. I am going to use his example to do the same thing. Being diagnosed with diabetes I need to do something anyway. I am going to take up running. I am going to get into shape and I am going to run in a 5K by the fall. I am going to run the mini marathon in 2014!

Pictured : John Anderson Circa: 2006

Pictured: John Anderson Circa: 1975

Related Interests