Last year on the TOMS Shoe Drop, we spent a lot of time on the buses driving through rural jungle towns in Argentina. In the "get to know you conversations" with my fellow travelers, I noticed that there was a consistent phrase I said when talking about my life: "My Dad always said..." It didn't really hit me until I was talking with Pam Mycoskie, (Blake, the Founder of TOMS, mom) and she stopped me mid-sentence, and said, "Andy, I really want to meet your dad one day."
I had to smile. I hadn't realized how much I was referencing my Dad until that moment. But then, as I continued to chat with other folks I met for the first time on the trip, I realized how often I was telling a joke or sharing some wisdom that I first picked up from Dad.
The piece of advice that Dad shared with me in Jr. High that has stuck and been something that I have given a ton of thought to is this:
"Andy, I want you to look at what your Mom and I do and think about what you think we do really well and be like that. If you there is someone else who does something else really well in their life, learn from them in that area and be like that. I want you to be the best that you can be in everything that you do and to do so mean you're going to have to learn from a lot of different folks along the way."
That encouragement and humility fostered what I like to think is my insatiable appetite for learning from anyone who is willing to teach me. I love sitting with people that are really good at what they do and asking really good questions. (My Dad is also really good at that. There is not a better listener on the planet.) I love learning the hows and they whys of success from folks that are further down the road from me. And I love that I can share that and talk about it all with my Dad.
My Dad has taught me more than anyone in the world about life and what it means to be a man, a husband, and a father. The nuggets of wisdom that he's shared throughout my life are the most referenced quotes that run through my head. But my Dad is not only quotable, he is also my hero.
Happy Father's Day Dad!