Yesterday was Father’s Day, and my first one as a father. Now for the first time, I got to experience Father’s Day from both sides of the fence. Wishing my father this year felt a bit different, maybe because he was keen on getting some airtime with his granddaughter than talking to me about the lousy conditions in Southampton, preventing the ICC World Test Championship finals from going ahead. Over the years, my father has taught me a lot of things, directly in conversation, and in his exemplary actions, in the face of adversity and triumph. Here are his top three lessons:
- There is no learning opportunity when you are only within your comfort zone
My father always said that a constant comfort lulls you into a sense of complacence and you start taking things for granted. Everything is predictable and expected, so there is nothing new, nothing different, nothing that requires you to put any effort into preparation. You stagnate. However, get out of that zone, do something new, experience something new, something different, a little bit of discomfort, and you learn, you adapt, and you grow.
- Never give up but do not be stubborn
Some of you are aware of my take on the difference between resilient and being stubborn. Resilience is about not giving up, but stubbornness is about not trying. If something does not work, try a different approach. If possible, seek help. Nothing that is worth achieving has been about individual effort and trying only once.
- Be grateful, always
Gratitude is something my father has in abundance. Even to this day his humble and grateful nature, despite his career success is inspiring. Same thing goes to my mother also, but this is about Father’s Day. There are two ways to live life. Either complain about the things you do not have and go down a pessimistic spiral, or be grateful for the things you have and aspire towards a better, optimistic future.
The fact that it is my first Father’s Day as a father made me reflect on these, because I wanted to know what values I will pass on to my daughter.
Now, I have no doubt you wonder what this has got to do with business. Business is about relationships, relationships are about people, people have stories, and stories are the essence of life itself. Now, what is life without loved ones, and a sense of purpose they give us?