As we enter Father’s Day weekend, I am reminded of the most underrated advice I ever received. This advice came from my late father. The guidance was subtle but packed with substantial meaning.
It was the summer after my freshman year at Michigan when I was home for the summer (after my collegiate track season concluded). On one of those hot July days, my father asked me to accompany him to run some errands (which usually meant that he wanted me to drive him around). However, on this particular occasion, my father decided that he wanted to drive and we ended up at the post office. I asked him what we were doing here and his response was “you’re going to need a passport.” Confused, I followed him into the post office to complete my application, pay the fees, and take the required photo.
Driving back home, I asked, “Dad, why do I need a passport? I’m not planning on going outside the country anytime soon.” It was at this moment that we pulled up to the house. My father looked at me and said, “Because you need to be ready for any and every opportunity that comes your way and that includes being ready to travel overseas.”
This was the summer of 2004 and 18 years later I still remember that conversation like it was yesterday. Since then I have traveled the world on the original passport that I received with my father (that is until I needed to have it renewed), been to almost event continent, visited numerous countries, and made 2 Olympic Teams. Talk about insight. But at the time, this advice/guidance was so underrated that it took years for it to make sense.
I appreciate the foresight of my father and continue to utilize his guidance in every area of my life. Because as my old man said, “You need to be ready for any and every opportunity.”
Happy Father’s Day!