Today is my father’s 59th birthday. He’s come quite a long way, from living under communism during the Vietnam War, to becoming one of the most respected engineers in the Silicon Valley. He’s been my greatest role model, not only for what he’s achieved in his professional career, but for the life lessons he’s given me each and everyday.
My father’s advice has been tremendous, and so I’ve decided to share them here to you guys. Here are my father’s 5 greatest tips on succeeding in life.
1) Learn how to study.
There’s a difference between studying and studying effectively. One of the mistakes I made when I was younger was not knowing how to study. I would spend hours reading and reviewing material for exams, but never seemed to grasp the concept of what I was learning. My father urged me to find a set of technique I could use to study well. His tips were to always highlight important parts of the book, review those highlighted areas, and write down as many questions as possible while studying. Once you can answer those questions, you’ll be that much closer to mastering the material.
2) Read the first chapter of every textbook.
This may seem obvious to do, but a lot of students, including me, bypass the first chapter and start reading the material that’s ‘important’. This is a huge mistake to make because as my father best puts it, “you must learn what you’re going to be learning about before you can learn it”.
3) Do something instead of nothing.
It’s important to always be doing something. I spent a few summers not knowing what I wanted to do, so I decided to sit on my butt and wait for something to do to come around. But rather than waiting around for something worth doing, my father stressed to me to stop waiting, and just do something. Do something you’re interested in or intrigued about.
4) Make your bed every single morning.
Organizing your bed in the morning leads to a more organized day ahead. “If you keep your room clean, you keep your mind clean”. It’s been told to me so many times that now making my bed is habitual. And regardless of how bad or unexpected my day goes, it’s nice to come back home to nicely made bed.
5) Be patient.
My father didn’t graduate college until he was 29. He preaches to me daily about being patient and waiting for the right opportunity. Success isn’t reached overnight, but it takes consistent hard work on a day-to-day basis to become successful. There is no need to rush into anything. Take your time, get the experience you need, and enjoy the process. Patience is a virtue.
Thank you dad for what you’ve taught me. I love you and have a great birthday!