11 Important Life Lessons Dad Taught Us

Have you ever been called a daddy's girl? You aren't alone — we think dad is just about the coolest guy we know. While we may not have always paid him the attention he deserves, dad has spent years offering us some seriously sage advice.

Now that we've grown up a bit, we're hearing dad's lessons loud and clear, and all we can say is . . . thank you! Here are 11 bits of wisdom dad has taught us over the years.

1. Do It Yourself

Thanks to dad, the term DIY means so much more than just painting knickknacks. Getting handy with a hammer can save you a lot of time and money, and it's because of dad that we know our way around a tool cabinet. Even if our learning experience included a few splinters and bruises, we wouldn't be quite so handy if it wasn't for one talented teacher.

2. Winning Doesn't Teach You Anything

While we all have a competitive spirit, we've come to appreciate that some of life's best lessons come from our failures, not our successes. Though dad always had the softest shoulder to cry on after losing the championship game, he was also the first to point out that it's the times you lose when you really learn something about yourself.

3. Manage Your Money

If you're like us, keeping track of spending can be tough. Between drinks, dinners, and bills, paying off our credit cards can be a scary task at the end of the month. But, if there's one person who has kept us on track to avoid the red, it's dad. We can only say thank you for passing on meticulous budgeting skills and being the voice in our heads telling us to skip the shoes.

4. Lend a Hand

This lesson comes from the days spent peering out the window watching as dad mowed the front lawn, only to see him drag the mower next door and take care of the neighbor's grass too. Kindness can come in many different forms, and it's dad we can thank for setting the example.

5. Always Give 110 Percent

Sure, we'd all like to say that we aced every test in high school, but no matter how hard we tried, straight A's just were not happening. Though doing worse than we had hoped on a test was disappointing, dad asking, "Do you feel that you gave it your best effort?" was all we needed for a little perspective. Life is less about absolute numbers and more about being able to say that no matter the outcome, we gave it our all.

6. Stay Active

From our first memories of throwing a ball around outside, dad has been our outdoor-activity buddy. While cheering us on from the sidelines of our soccer games, he helped to instill the idea that no matter how we choose to do it, stay fit.

7. Never Stop Learning

Though our days on the school bus are long behind us, life is full of lessons to be had, and no one knew that better than dad. Whether it's through traveling, reading, or getting creative, dad reminded us that you learn the most outside of the classroom.

8. Be Confident

From the time we struggled to take our very first steps, dad has pushed us to stand straight and be confident in our abilities. Though these days our issues are a little more complicated than struggling to stay upright, fathers are still the cheerleaders who encourage us to feel strong and beautiful and to face the world with confidence.

9. Work to Live, Don't Live to Work

While it's important to appreciate and enjoy our hours spent on the job, there is a life outside the office that's important to hold on to as well. Dad always reminded us that saving time for family and friends is the key to leading a happy life — and we have to agree with him.

10. Sometimes Pancakes For Dinner Are a Great Idea

Every once in a while, when making dinner was dad's responsibility, something magical would happen: we would get pancakes! A tradition that started as a solution to dad's less-than-stellar cooking skills has become a special way to treat ourselves after a long week.

11. Never Stop Laughing

We've all fallen victim to the ridiculous dad jokes that every father keeps in his arsenal. Every time we moaned about being hungry before dinner, the quick response was, "Nice to meet you hungry; I'm dad." And while a lot of their jokes are really not that funny (sorry, Dad!), our fathers' lighthearted humor is a reminder that we should never forget to laugh.