When I was in elementary school I was always terrified to go to my grandfather’s house. My grandparents lived several hours away which made the anticipation, and my nerves even more unbearable. The reason that I was so afraid to go to see my grandpa was he was brutally honest. When I was young I was overweight. My grandfather would remind me every time that I saw him that I needed to lose a few pounds. Looking back on my experience with my grandpa now I realize that he was not such a bad guy, and his words are part of the reason I am who I am today. Here are a few important lessons that I learned.

Be Comfortable with Who You Are

My grandpa’s words and criticism of my weight has taught me now to be comfortable in my own skin, and be thankful for who I am. I always use to let his criticism affect me emotionally. Today, I am not afraid to tell others when they hurt my feelings, and I don’t really care as much about what people think of me. Why? Because I am happy with myself….and that is what is important. Pleasing others may get you somewhere in life but pleasing yourself will get you through the entire journey.

Don’t Be Afraid to Identify Your Challenges

As I mentioned earlier in this blog post my weight has always been a clear-cut challenge for me. My weight has fluctuated my entire life. I am now in my thirties and still struggle to stay in shape. Fortunately, my grandfather taught me to not be afraid to identify challenges in my life. I do not necessarily agree with his approach, but I do thank him for calling me out on an area that could use some improvement at least in my own mind. I am not saying that being overweight is a bad thing but in my opinion focusing on one’s health is very important.

Every day now I spend thirty-five minutes on the elliptical machine, in the morning, before starting my work. I think of my grandpa every time I finish my workout. His criticism has become my inspiration for wanting to be a healthier version of myself.

Anticipation and Nervousness Does Not Help the Situation

One of the most important lessons going to my grandpas as a child has taught me is that negative anticipation, and nervousness does not stop or make a situation better. It only prolongs the emotions you are getting ready to feel. Learning how to cope with my feelings has helped me in my personal life and in the business world. I have learned to be more patient which has helped me to make better decisions. I have also learned to accept the outcomes that we can not change and make adjustments to prepare for all possibilities. Learning to understand your emotions really does allow you to feel free.

Love yourself in order to love others

The final lesson my grandfather’s actions taught me was to love myself enough to let others into my life. I treat everyone who I meet the way that I want to be treated, I work hard to lift others up emotionally and not affect them negatively. I am consistently thinking about how my actions could have an impact on the people around me, and I do my best to optimize my actions to add the most value to the most amount of people.

My grandfather may have been very honest, and sometimes that honesty really hurt. But at the end of the day, my grandfather was a hardworking man who had a lot of love and compassion in his heart. He taught me so much that I wish I had an opportunity to thank him for helping to shape me into the man I am today. Thanks, grandpa!

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