3 life lessons from my Dad on choosing how to invest your time

My Dad is the furthest person from Oprah that anyone could get. He grew up in rural New Zealand and moved to Asia with a no-nonsense attitude that helped him to build a strong career and marriage that have both spanned almost five decades. I never pegged him as a life coach, but looking back at some of the advice he’s given me, several gems stand out.

In the first semester of my senior year of high school, I got distracted with everything but schoolwork. One night at the kitchen table, looking over my report card, Dad told me that whatever results I got in my final exams would always belong to me and to no one else and that it was up to me to own that. He made it clear that I only got one shot at doing these exams.

When I dropped out of law school in my early twenties after only one semester, I was initially nervous to tell him. Part of me had always thought that maybe I’d follow him into the legal industry. Looking back, I chalk up trying on that path as part of growing up. Dad’s always been a proponent of doing things that make sense. Continuing with something that ultimately bored me did not make sense to him (or me).

We were having lunch near his office when he told me this. We were discussing my decision around moving to London from the Southern Hemisphere, but years later, I often found myself quoting him to girlfriends who were debating whether or not to stay in their relationship. Perhaps the city you choose to live in is as big a decision as the person you choose to love, and that nugget from Dad always stuck with me.

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