Successful Life Lessons My Father Taught Me

Life Lessons engrained in our minds thru years of family generations 

Many of you have parents who taught you the benefits of living a successful life whether it was at home or in the workplace.  Utilized properly this advice can create a significant influence on every aspect of your daily lives.  This is a tribute to my father who recently passed away.  

For all those parents who are supportive role models guiding their children thru this journey of life, please read on. 

A few months before my 93 yr old father passed away his doctor asked him "Jim what is the secret to living a long and happy, healthy life".   Dad thought about it for a minute and said,

“Be true to yourself and be true to your wife”

It is with this sentiment that I share these valuable personal & professional secrets about life.   A mindset that I have gratefully developed thru the years.


This probably is the most important advice dad ever shared with me.  For someone who loved his work for well over 40 years he became a constant advocate of this thinking.  Although he always created a healthy balance between work & family he lived and breathed his work every waking moment of his life. 

He became such an expert in his job working as an Operating Engineer thru the years that an Ontario newspaper did a story about him regarding the work he contributed to in the province for almost a half a century. 

He was 90 years old when he was interviewed and the story of his working life was published.  I still have his story lovingly framed up in my office.  How many people do you know that worked in the same job for over 40 years, that is a milestone nowadays,  AND still loved the job ?? 


This is another surreal tip dad drilled into me over and over again all throughout my life.

“It really doesn’t matter if you are digging a ditch or if you are the CEO of a large corporation we are all the same”    

Everyone’s choices in life are different so we should always treat others with respect no matter their social status, color of their skin, language or ethnicity.  We should be grateful for the role we play in our career so we can perhaps contribute to making this world a better place to live.   


I loved this tip from him.  Whenever I thought about quitting a job I would always remember this advice.   I became a stronger personality as a result because he taught me to keep going when things got tough.  Be independent and never quit unless absolutely necessary. 

  “If you aren’t going to do your VERY BEST at your work place then you are just wasting your time”  

Any child that has been taught by their parents to dream big, work hard and maximize their potential are truly privileged because this is not the case in the majority of families nowadays. Nor is it taught in the educational system.  We shape our lives from what we are taught, from those role models we have in our lives, whether they are a positive or a negative influence.  


For my dad to maintain a positive attitude towards life was really second nature to him.  It is the milestone that created such a happy, healthy, successful life, one that allowed him to live so well,   right up until his nineties.   I witnessed several times when his positive attitude overcame many obstacles in his life, and because of this upbringing so did I. 

This also included taking calculated risks in business, finishing when you’ve started something and always staying focused on the task at hand.   Plus, being kind and generous to all those you associate with. 


Even though my father worked hard he also played hard and spent a lot of time with family.  He had an infectious laugh.  His constant jokes and ongoing positive personality will never be forgotten. 

There are so many people in the workplace these days that do not have a healthy balance in their career and their family life suffers.  Consequently it does affect their children, and sadly sometimes its too late to remedy the situation.     

I don’t know whether dad realized how his inspiring behaviour and ongoing high energy levels helped the entire family with our life’s challenges.  He truly made an impact with people wherever he went.  The day before he died and was rushed to the hospital the nurses confided in me that he was joking with them that he may not be back to keep sending them ‘love notes’ anymore.  Everybody loved him.    

I personally will miss sitting over a cold frothy beer with him just chatting about life,…the knowledge I acquired was truly unprecedented and I am grateful for these fabulous memories I have of him, who in my opinion was an icon with integrity well worth remembering.   

My wish for all my readers is this.   That you have the same family experience I was fortunate enough to have to enable you to grow and prosper.  To be happy and love your work.  To reach new heights you never thought possible and to make an effort that when you have children you will provide the same valuable advice & encouragement when they are growing up as I have graciously been blessed with in my own lifetime.


Looking for motivation to improve the results in your life?  For inspiring tips, blogs, e-courses and a unique line of motivational products join us today:

Lori Gradley


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  • Denyse Gray on

    I love this story about your dad. What an insightful, caring and wonderful man! I`m sure you miss him terribly. Luckily, he will live forever in your heart!
    You, Lori, have applied in your life all of your dad`s lessons! Thank you for having me as a friend.!

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