Saturday, February 26, 2011

My Tough Guy Role Model

"Choose the harder right rather than the easier wrong." ~ Bob MacDonald

Both my dad and father-in-law were tough guys. They weren't tough guys in the traditional sense of the term. They weren't muscular, intimidating or avoided by others. To me, they were mentally tough, in how they lived and even as they faced death. Otherwise, they were regular guys. Here's what I thought made them tough:
  • Did what was needed. Both men did what was needed throughout their lives. I don't think they ever backed down from any hard task, personal or professional. They both had strong work ethics and strove for excellence in whatever they did. They also worked full time and earned PhDs part time while supporting young families. Although both were born into hard economic times, they were able to achieve financial success as adults. In addition, they accepted any responsibility that was theirs, never delegating it to others.

  • Can do attitude. Both men had a very positive attitude about their capabilities and their futures. My dad was laid off from three different jobs. Each time he quickly found another job within the industry. His started his final job at the age of 65 and worked for seven years before retiring. My father-in-law retired from the military, became CEO of a privately held company for ten years, and then taught college level course for another decade.

  • Rarely complained. Neither man complained much. They generally "played the hand they were dealt" the best they could. They never played the "if only" game. I should have known both were ill when they mentioned they weren't feeling well, which I had rarely heard from either one before. It wasn't long afterwards that minor complaint that both became very ill.
  • After my dad died, my uncle informed me that my dad had a severe stuttering problem as a young adult. I never knew my dad overcame a severe stuttering problem. He never mentioned the issue and he rarely stuttered. He, like my father-in-law, was a tough guy. To my dad, severe stuttering was only one of life's issues to be faced and conquered, as he did with many other challenges in his life.

    For more on Reflections and Musings, check back every Saturday for a new segment.

    This is not financial, or personal development advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

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