9 people reveal the best advice their dad ever gave them

As Father's Day approaches, we celebrate the men who help make us who we are.

Dads. They’re known for their dance moves, barbecue skills and giving the best shoulder rides.

They also contain a treasure chest of lifelong Dad knowledge, dished out to their offspring at key life moments.

We asked nine people to share their father’s sagest words of wisdom.


On relationships

"When I was single in my 20s, my dad always listened patiently to my relationship troubles. But the chat I'm most grateful for was when I was complaining about everything an ex was doing and he said, 'Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country.' Okay so technically it's JFK's advice, but boy did it turn everything around for me. I learnt that rather than blame/get mad at/write passive aggressive texts, you have to do your bit too for a relationship to flourish." - Harriet McCready, 32

On work

"'Use your head, not your hands,' was my dad’s career advice. He was a joiner for nearly four decades, and left the building site to do less physically demanding work, albeit with a deformed finger that had twice been shattered on the job. He'd stressed the advice from when I was a kid to save me from working in the wind and rain - the weather, he said, made him feel older than he was. I became a journalist, and I’m hoping my love of language has rubbed off on him - he’s best man at my wedding in a few months’ time." - Paul Taylor, 35

On taking risks

"I moved out of home at 17. Dad called to see how I was on the first night, typically excited and proud. I burst into tears, freaked out. He said, 'What's the worst thing that can happen? You can’t pay rent and bills, are you going to end up on the street? No. You’ll come stay with your mum or dad until you get back on your feet. So, what’s there to be worried about?' Now I always think of the worst-case scenario, rationally, and it’s usually not that big a deal." - Ailie Freeland, 41

On marriage

"Dad advised me that when I wanted to marry someone, to watch how he speaks about, and to, his mother. Because, he'd say, that's how he’ll end up treating you when the honeymoon glow has worn off. Wonderful advice from a wonderful man, gone for thirty years now." - Di Carmody, 67

On driving

"My dad wasn't one to confide in emotions and we never had "life" deep and meaningful , but when I got my car licence he insisted I knew how to check my oil and change a tyre (came in very handy), drive stick and drive on the road as if everyone else is a complete "f*ckwit"! He also said you can fix anything with gaffer tape... which he did and you can. I placed a roll of gaffer tape in his coffin when he died in 2015.” - Erin Gill, 47

On gratitude

"My dad's advice is, 'Life isn't fair, but it's still great.' It's a simple line, but it encompasses so much. My dad has been through a lot, but he's found it within himself to accept his circumstances and be grateful anyway. I think that's the best kind of role model you can ask for - it's taught me that, although life can be bloody hard, if you approach situations with gratitude and equanimity, you'll find that things are just that little bit easier." - Georgia Rickard, 32

On decision making

"When I was struggling with making the decision to move overseas permanently, where I had both a great job offer and a boyfriend, my dad told me, 'Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.' I asked what he meant and he said, when you’re young don’t bank 100 per cent on love or a job being the be-all, give equal to both and you’ll be happier. He was right. Thankfully they both turned out to be winners." - Sarah Winter, 43

On self-conduct

"'Always be polite and always ask people about themselves.' This is the cornerstone of my dad’s approach to life and the feel-good life goals that I’ve striven to achieve, with varying degrees of success. Like my old man says, life can be a dark place but it’s also a mirror, if you approach it with positivity and good fellowship, that’s what you’ll get back - most the time. Life’s too short to embrace negativity and cynicism." - Andrew Sumner, 53

On money

"I bought a house at 24 and the reason I was able to do this was dad drilling into me the importance of ‘paying yourself’ each pay day. After bills and living expenses come out, I had to ‘pay myself’ a sum that eventually became a nest egg. He didn’t call it savings and it seemed less of a sacrifice to do it that way. Cheers dad." - Adam Ward, 39

This article is brought to you by Ryobi.

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