3 Lessons I’ve Learned From My Dad

I have been blessed in my life to have had a number of male figures to look up to while growing up. I have been even more blessed by the fact that the most influential of those men was, and still is, my father.

In honor of Father’s Day, here are the three biggest lessons my dad taught me over the years.

1. You can have fun doing anything.

When I was younger, my family took many vacations, most of them road trips, in which hilariously disastrous events took place. One time, we drove a Winnebago to the Grand Canyon and the side storage panels opened up going over a mountain pass, littering camp chairs and propane tanks across the road to the serious dismay of the other drivers. The toilet got backed up during that same trip, it snowed, and despite it all, it was one of the best vacations I remember from my childhood.

My dad would always say, “We’re the Husteds. We have fun anywhere,” and this phrase stuck with me in a big way. He taught me that the way you perceive a situation defines the situation. Things can go wrong, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be optimistic and positive. He has taught me to value the incredible enjoyment that life brings when you simply decide that any situation can be fun.

2. Do what you love and the money will follow.

My dad has done a number of pretty awesome things during his life. When he was in college, he started teaching skiing up in Vail, which led to his early involvement in the Beaver Creek ski school, a position on the US Ski Demonstration Team, and the opportunity to travel around the world skiing and teaching. He loves to ski. And he figured out how to turn that into a career.

When I was trying to figure out where to go to college and then deciding what to study, he always told me that I should pursue the things I enjoyed. He taught me that your happiness is critical to your success, and that success is what you want it to be, not just how many toys you have when you die.

3. People matter.

During my teenage years, my dad managed and operated an athletic club in Boulder, Colorado. My brother and I used to make fun of him all the time because it never seemed like he actually did any work. His days consisted of walking around talking to the members of the gym and riding his bike.

It was only in retrospect as I got older that I learned just how valuable it was to the success of his business that he spent his days interacting with his customers. My dad didn’t necessarily know everyone’s name, but he was friends with nearly everyone that frequented the gym. He would say hi to everyone and have a few words of encouragement to all those that needed it during their workout. He did it because he genuinely cared about the people that came to his facilities every day and wanted them to have a great experience.

The importance of caring for people, and the way in which my dad was able to do this in his business, became most apparent to me during my visits to the gym in the time since he sold it. The atmosphere is different. Not necessarily bad, but there just isn’t the same energy as there was when he spent his days walking through the halls interacting with everyone. The vibrance that he carried with himself and shared with others just isn’t there.

The relationships we have with people are critical to our wellbeing. I am so grateful to have such a wonderful father.