Ten Things I Learned From My Father
By Ian Anderson, From Squalor to Baller
1. You’re not defined by the things you own.
2. There’s no hurry to make up your mind.
My dad didn’t start his career until his mid-forties. Before that, he dabbled in many professions – forest firefighter, mailman, writer, carpenter, engineer, and more. Each of these experiences has added to his complex character and has played a role in preparing him for the next step. As a kid, I assumed this was normal; it wasn’t until later that I realized most people are more direct when it comes to careers. These days, there is a lot of pressure on kids to get into a good college, pick a major, and then get a job; I was lucky to learn early on that less linear career paths were just as viable.
3. Read and write every day.
… I’ve still come to appreciate the importance of reading and writing on a regular basis. It’s good for your brain and for your vocabulary (and it’s one of the reasons I started this blog).
4. Don’t let the sun catch you sleeping.
… I have long since discovered that time for yourself in the early morning will do wonders for your mood, productivity, and well-being.
5. Be Handy.
…I spent a lot of time in college reading and writing about how things work in the world, but I’ve slowly come to realize that although being book smart is good, being life-smart is better.
6. Go Outside.
I was lucky enough to grow up in in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, where there are endless opportunities for outdoor adventures. For a mountain man like my dad, getting out of town and exploring the wilderness was not an optional activity for our family. Because of this, I spent much of my youth running down trails, rafting rivers, and summiting mountains. Looking back, I’ve come to appreciate the huge effect it had on my childhood and on the adult I became. Nature is a beautiful thing – go experience it. Go backpacking, rafting, biking, or whatever it takes to spend some time away from the mayhem of your daily life.
7. Eat your Vegetables.
… Learning to cook for myself and understanding the core concepts of nutrition was one of the best things I learned as a kid. It only took a few months of greasy college dining halls to show me that a good diet and active lifestyle really are the foundation for a strong body and sharp mind.
8. Travel while you’re young.
9. Always have a hobby.
It should come as no surprise that I come from a long line of tinkerers, dabblers, and otherwise curious minds that put great value in breadth of knowledge…. I …always try to balance my life with a variety of activities that keep me well-rounded.
Nobody likes a grouch. Add some happiness to the world.