I realized this past week as I was working through some issues with some people that I quote my dad back to people. Some of it is common stuff. But, with my dad’s twist on it. So, I bring you – motivation from my father.
“Always return something in better condition than when it was leant to you.”
For my dad, this was not just in the “thing” sense meaning you borrowed your neighbor’s lawn mower, so you make it it is returned clean, gas tank full, and grass free. Nope. It was also the other non-things. Returning the world in a better condition than it was leant to you. Making sure you spend your time improving upon it – and the human condition rather than expecting the world only give to you. Remembering that when you love someone or are loved by someone that you have their heart in your care. Don’t wreck it or return it back to them in worse condition. Do quite the opposite. Take care and return it better.
“If you admit what you did wrong, the consequences will never be as severe as if you lied about it first.”
It can sometimes be human nature to lie as a first course – no matter how minor – to keep someone happy or make them not feel bad. But here is the thing, if you lie and get caught, you commit two offenses with the lying piece being the worst. We all tell little fibs like “I’m fine” when things are not fine. What I have found over the years is that you don’t have to even tell those. Honesty is the best policy. If you screw up, saying “I screwed up” is more powerful than trying to cover it up. It really takes the winds out of someone’s sails too – especially if they are looking for a chance to catch you in a lie. As I told a good friend the other day, the hardest part sometimes is taking the deep breath before you tell the truth. But in the end, you are not responsible for the reaction – only the truth.
“Don’t blow smoke up anyone’s ass.”
Or, put another way, don’t tell people what you think they want to hear simply because it’s easy for you. And that is the key “easy for you”. Telling someone you’d love to do something simply because you think it is what you have to say to make them happy is not good. Telling someone their work is great, then redoing it because it really sucked did nothing for them but make them wonder if anything you are saying is true in the future. You discredit yourself.
Now there is a time to prop someone up – but do it carefully – do it with the truth, gently spoken.
“Hate the sin, love the sinner.”
I don’t recall pre-born-again-Christian what the exact phrase was he used to use, but this one has replaced it. The man was raised by incredible parents who did not believe in hating anyone. There is a great family story of my grandma booting from the house her father-in-law after he made a racist comment in front of the kids. It was like 1960, so he was livid that, on top of it, a woman was telling him how to act.
People don’t always do the right thing. It does not necessarily show you their core though. Sometimes it does, don’t get me wrong, but people’s actions don’t always define them. Like the modern parenting books make it clear you correct a child’s behavior without attacking them as a kid.
“What goes around comes around”
“Do it for shits and giggles”
“If you aren’t having fun, why are you doing it?”
“Did you try your hardest? Then the outcome doesn’t matter.”
“Remember, no matter how bad it is, the sun will rise tomorrow and life will go on.”