Dad-isms: Advice from My Father

Happy Father’s Day! It’s that time again…and since I did a post for Mother’s Day, it only seemed fair to write one for Dad’s day. But that’s not the reason I did it, of course: it just so happens that both of my parents have really good advice and memorable sayings. And, they’re two of my best friends.

My dad and I are so much alike yet so wildly different at the same time. As I’ve gotten older and spent more time in the “real world,” the similarities have only gotten stronger. Things that my dad used to tell me resonate in a way they may not have when I was younger. And while we may not like any of the same foods, we have pretty similar moral compasses.

So, here’s some of my favorite advice from the #1 guy in my life. Thanks for always encouraging me to be my boldest, brightest self, Dad. I love you!

Colorfully Yours,



If you don’t ask, the answer is always no.

My dad has been saying this for as long as I can remember, but in all honestly, it didn’t really set in until college. Today, it’s one of my favorite sayings—I even say it to my friends all the time! It’s such a simple phrase but it holds so much truth. My dad has always encouraged me to ask for what I want, because the worst outcome is that the other person says no. But if you don’t ask, you have no chance. It has helped me immensely, both at work and in my personal life.


Revenge is best served cold.

He’s not talking about setting someone’s house on fire, don’t worry. My dad really means that when someone wrongs you, it’s best to just keep your head down and continue kicking butt at what you do…but behind the scenes, be making moves! Success is the best revenge.


You’re either with us or against us.

Translation? Family is everything. My dad puts his family first in everything he does, and for that I am forever grateful. He loves his wife and kids more than anything in the world, and he makes it clear to us all the time. My dad has always taught my brothers and I that our loyalties always lie with family, and we stick together no matter what. Another way he likes to put it is #BrennanStrong. (Yes, he has a Twitter. But that’s another post for another time.)


Be fiercely loyal.

This is a bit of an extension of the last one—but loyalty truly is my dad’s biggest “thing.” He is hands-down the most loyal person I know, and he values it in others. He will go to bat for his friends and loved ones, and rightfully expects the same from them. If you are disloyal to his loved ones, he will never forget it. (So to all those guys I’ve gone on dates with that have ghosted me, or friends that have left me out, you’re pretty much dead to him. Oops.)


Always keep in touch.

My mom and I joke that we can’t go anywhere without my dad knowing somebody. But this doesn’t just happen by chance. My dad works at keeping in touch with people. Not just college buddies and past coworkers. We’re talking mechanics he’s used once, people he’s met on airplanes, waiters and waitresses, you name it. Not only will he keep in touch with them, but he’ll remember their kids’ names and where they go to college. This guy is an amazing relationship builder, and I envy it!


Cream rises.

Sometimes I get down. I feel like I’m doing everything right and being good to people, but karma isn’t paying me back. My dad’s answer to these moments? “Cream rises.” His idea is that even though the road may not be easy, the best, most kind-hearted people will always rise to the top. Being a good person and a hard worker is never in vain.


Honorable mentions:

  • Why put off until tomorrow what you can get done today?
  • Vote with your wallet.
  • A little scotch will cure that cold.
  • Do what you love, because you’re going to spend your whole life working.

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