If you’re close to your dad – or another beloved father figure – you’ve probably got big plans today to show him how important he is to you. Of course, if you really want to make his heart soar, the best thing you can do is listen to him. It might even be in your best interests: while dads tend to be on their kids’ side, and thus far from neutral, their perspective is pretty valuable and could give your career the boost it’s been lacking.
Consider, for example, the advice these famous fathers offer:
1. “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.” – Wayne Gretzky
Often referred to as “The Great One,” Wayne Gretzky is still the leading point scorer in the National Hockey League. He’s also dad to five kids, at least two of whom have played sports professionally or semi-professionally. No word on whether he’s ever repeated his famous advice to any of his offspring during times of professional trial, but business writers and inspirational speakers love it. The phrase has over 880,000 search results on Google, and can be found on everything from memes to mugs.
2. “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” – Harry Truman
The 33rd president of the United States had one child, daughter Margaret Truman, who wrote a successful biography of her father, after first forging a career as a singer and media personality, to mixed acclaim. Her father almost certainly would have been supportive of whatever career she chose; after all, he also said, “I have found the best way to give advice to your children is to find out what they want and then advise them to do it.”
3. “I have always maintained that, excepting fools, men did not differ much in intellect, only in zeal and hard work; and I still think there is an eminently important difference.” – Charles Darwin
Darwin is known as the father of the theory of evolution, but he was also father to 10 children. According to History.com:
“He played a central role in raising and educating his brood at a time when childrearing was seen as women’s work. The death in 1851 of 10-year-old Annie was a crushing blow for Darwin and his wife, Emma, and some have speculated that it caused him to lose his religious faith.”
4. “When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.” – Mark Twain
Samuel Clemens had four children, only one of whom outlived him, but his wit and wisdom have made his writings both a go-to Father’s Day present and an inspiration to anyone who’s ever had a father (or been one). His most famous father-themed quote, above, reminds us of the most important thing about dad’s advice: it’s likely to seem smarter as we get older.
This post was updated from an earlier version previously published on PayScale.
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