The Best Life Advice From Our #1 Dads

Updated 04/22/19
Steve Baccon for Captain and the Gypsy Kid

We can't resist a good metaphor, so for the sake of theatrics, let's compare growing up to ascending Mount Everest. The climb is arduous, risky, and tiring, leaving you with bumps and scrapes—not dissimilar to the bullies, braces, and bouts of acne in your elementary or junior high years. But the exhilaration you feel when you reach each meter and pass each milestone is worth it.

But if you're lucky, you're not alone. Your parents are with you every step of the way, able to nurture and soothe your aches and pains or give it to you straight and prepare you for the real world. They're your personal life coaches, drill sergeants, and cheerleaders—even science agrees on the positive impact parents have on your lives. They're your first (and oftentimes best) role model, and you love them for it. So, in honor of Father's Day, we decided to gift our parents with our appreciation, by taking a look back at the best advice they've ever given us. Whether it's from the single mom who acted as both parental figures or the blessing of two dads, here's the best parental advice we've received through the years.

"My father is the kind of man you can call at any moment no matter who you are. You can ask him for advice on anything from how to build your business to how to fix your relationship; he's got the answer. His ability to care for and charm others with a few simple words has always baffled me. It's also worked to my advantage because he listens to all of my rants and doesn't charge me for it. So when asked about how I should handle everything from failed relationships to managing work/life balance this is what the man with all the answers had to say:

"1. Quit looking for something outside of where you are. Live in the moment you are in.

"2. You're truly blessed, and you're wasting these beautiful wonderful moments and experiences worried about what tomorrow looks like.

"3. If you let your hair down, you're not letting me, or the world, down.

"4. You have the choice to hang out with the people you want to. If you want to hang out with socially consciously and mentally liberated people, go find them.

"5. Believe in yourself. There's nothing you can't do.

"6. Boys are stupid.

"7. Shift your focus, and that's a start.

"8. Stay positive. Life is too short to not enjoy the ride."

1. Money isn't the end goal.

"My stepdad is incredibly family-focused. He's essentially the glue that holds us all together. As a self-made entrepreneur, he worked really hard for decades and is a veritable treasure trove of business guidance, but his best advice to us has always been to work hard and be the best that we can be, but to always remember that money isn't the end goal—a quality life surrounded with quality people is."

2. Necessity is the mother of invention.
"Told by a true entrepreneur. My stepdad always said that establishing clear needs (or even wants) with strict timelines is the best way to get creative with your career, and push yourself forward. He always encouraged us to dream big. After all, if you don't know where you're going, how are you going to get there?"

Grace Alyssa Kyo for The Grace Tales

"My Dad is Texan. It's difficult to hone in on his best advice. It's all colorful. He's the most hyper-intelligent person I know. A few months back, I got a typed two-page letter in my mailbox of life notes. My most quoted:

"1. It's easier to hit three singles than a home run.
"2. Better to beg forgiveness than to ask permission.
"3. You can't be Patton without Eisenhower.

"1. It's easier to hit three singles than a home run.
"2. Better to beg forgiveness than to ask permission.
"3. You can't be Patton without Eisenhower.

"My dad is a man of very few words, but when he does speak up, you stop everything and listen. He's incredibly wise beyond his years; in fact, we lovingly refer to him as 'the oracle' because besides our (I'm one of five kids) regular visits to him for life advice, he has a few regulars who stop by his house (aka sanctuary) for guidance and answers to the meaning of life—rather, their lives. Dad makes time for everyone, he has compassion on tap, ears that are always ready to hear your woes, and a really big heart. There are so many sage sound bites I could fill a book, but here are some that stick out the most:

"1. Always finish what you started.
"2. You either pay now or pay later.
"3. People are people.
"4. No one is better than anyone else.
"5. Make everything an exercise."

"My single mom was both my mom and dad for the better part of my childhood and young adult years, so for Father's Day, here's her best advice. Of course, there are so many gems to choose from, but here's one that was provided more recently:

"1. Relationships—and life—are hard.

"2. One day you'll be met with a difficult enough situation where it'll be easier to walk away than try to figure it out with your partner. And while living together is a commitment, it's much harder to break a marriage than a lease.

"To wit, marriage, though not as a means of entrapment, is also a more surefire way of having someone commit to dealing with the hard stuff. That's why I decided to not move in with my S.O. until after the ring is on my finger."
Want to make your dad feel special this Father's Day? Write him a handwritten note to show him you care with some of our favorite stationery below.

Memori Pen $65
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Connor Monogram Letter "D" Stationary Set $75
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Smythson The Boss Wafer Notebook $65
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What's the best advice you've ever received from Dad?

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