Valuable Life Lessons: 3 Things My Pa Taught Me

We all have role modes and mentors in our lives. Some of them we grow up with—our family members, coaches, church leaders, and teachers. Others we find and adopt as we grow into our careers, whether we meet them in person, or simply find mentorship in their content. Regardless, our mentors serve to help us learn valuable life lessons and maybe even prevent us from learning them the hard way. 

One of my mentors was my GrandPa, who we just called Pa. Pas lived with my family on our farm from my 4th grade year until after I’d graduated from high school. He was patient, kind, helpful, and happy to work at a “child’s pace,” which was great for me and my younger sister. 

Recently, I read a lovely article about the lessons someone learned from her Grandmother, so I thought I’d share with you what my Pa taught me, and how I’ve applied that to my life ever since. 

3 Life Lessons from Pa

Pa taught me many wonderful things, of which I’ll share the three that have impacted me most. He loved to learn and kept at it his whole life. Below is a picture of him from Oregon State University, where he did continuing education classes and worked on the Experimental Farm. So without further ado, here are the valuable life lessons I learned from Pa. 

1. Keep it Simple

Farm equipment, gardening tools, toys… Pa could fix them all. He consistently made an effort to do the repair completely, yet simply. I find this guidance valuable because sometimes our own perfectionism can get in the way of making progress on a task, and yet, if the work isn’t done right, the solution won’t be permanent. You have to find balance.

Because of Pa’s example, I’ve found that balance is about tackling each project individually. Can the task be completed without a few bells and whistles and still perform the intended function? Some things warrant a 90% approach—where you need to be more meticulous and add a few more flourishes—while other tasks can be effective with a 70% approach. 

This is a powerful one for entrepreneurs, who may feel like they have to do it all. Just keep it simple so you can keep moving forward and do what you’ve got to do. Even life insurance works this way—start simply, get the coverage, and move forward. You can add more policies with more bells and whistles later. 

2. You are Who You are, Where You are

This is a reminder that we do the best in this world when our insides match our outsides. Pa was a steady, stoic, hard worker. It didn’t matter whether he was at church, on our farm, at the county fairs where we showed 4-H animals, or attending one of our sporting events. He always showed up as himself. 

Sometimes it can take some work for us to get clear on who we are, and then show up that way consistently. Especially if we find that our environment doesn’t match our “insides.” For me, working with my sister on the Blueprint Process has helped me become clear on exactly who I am, and what I’m on this earth to do. This helps me to stay passionate, excited, and ready to serve no matter where I am or what I’m doing. 

3. Happiness is an Inside Job

Pa was always happy. Not giddy, just quietly happy. He had a quiet inner confidence about him that all was well. And sometimes happiness is found in the comfort of knowing that “this too shall pass.” In other words, Pa did the hard internal work that enabled him to be a happy person, regardless of the external circumstances. 

Happiness doesn’t come from the clothes you buy and wear, nor how much money you have or don’t have (cash flow issues don’t go away, they just get bigger zeroes), nor does happiness come from the weather, politics, your history, or any other external source. Happiness comes from inside of you. 

You’ve got to dig out happiness—through gratitude, Love, and purpose. Find the humble confidence that things will work out. How do you find happiness? And what do you do if you feel like you’ve lost it? 

Growing from Life Lessons

I hope that what I’ve learned from Pa can help you, if only to inspire you to think about what your mentors have taught you and the lessons taught by life. The wisdom we gain from these relationships helps us all to grow into our best selves, and hopefully unlock some secrets of life earlier on our journey than if we walked alone. 

If this resonated with you, allow us to be your resource for life insurance and financial wisdom. We release content weekly, and you can get updates by signing up for the Prosperity Action Pack. In addition, you’ll get a valuable e-book called Your Guide to Activating Prosperity

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