1. Family is everything, and they aren’t just blood. Show up for your people. Pick them up from the airport. Bring them coffee to work. Travel the country for the big events in their lives. Celebrate even the little things in their lives. Hold their hands during the hard times in their lives. You might not know what to say. You might not know what to do. The important part is that you’re there and they know that.
2. Follow your heart. If you like a shirt, wear it, even if your grandkids make fun of you for it. If you want to dance, do it, even if you have two left feet. If you have a dream, pursue it. Life is too short to be spent impressing other people.
3. A Dad joke or two makes everything better. What do you call a fake noodle? An impasta! What do you call an alligator in a vest? An investigator. Bet you can breathe and smile at the same time… gotcha!
4. Travel. Your money will come back to you, but time won’t. If you are given the chance to travel somewhere, especially with loved ones, take advantage of it. You don’t need to spend every second of every day working. When you look back on your life, you’ll remember moments like these, not the moments you spent slaying at your desk.
5. Forget about it. Let’s be real: Dads don’t always have the best of memories. Maybe it’s better that way sometimes. Forget the hurt. Forget the pain. Forget the bad days. Focus on what is ahead. Life is too short to hold grudges and dwell on the past.
6. Get smart and have fun. That’s something my Dad told me every day before school. Everything in this life can be a lesson. Everything in this life can be enjoyed. Don’t have expectations when you go into an experience. Just stay present and try to get as much out of the experience as possible. You’d be surprised at how much you can grow from an experience when you subtract the expectation from it.
7. Be the best you can be. There is only so much we can control. We can’t control if we will get that promotion at work. We can’t control how many people like us. We can’t control the roadblocks that come our way. But we can control our own efforts. We can do our best. And at the end of the day, that’s all that matters.
8. Love without conditions. If you love someone, tell them. Tell them often. Tell them without expecting them to say it back. Love people strongly. Love people fiercely. Love is what makes us human.