Lessons from My Father

Lessons from My Dad
By Kelli O’Brien Corasanti, TDMM Platinum Level Coach

My dad is one of the most important people in my life. He was my first coach, and at 75 years old, he continues to teach and inspire me every day. I have taken many of the lessons he has given me and used them to help others. Although it would be hard to write out all the things I have learned from my dad, here are 4 of them which have contributed to my success.

  1. Do What Needs to be DoneMy dad was a high school math teacher, high school principal and eventually a school superintendent. I remember one day when he was a principal, he bent down to pick up some garbage on the floor in the hallway and promptly put it in the trash can. As he did, he turned to me and said, “Cleaning up isn’t just for the janitors. When you see something that needs to be done, do it. Don’t leave it for someone else.”
  2. Recognize that Good People are EverywhereAs a school administrator, my dad interacted with all school personnel. I have a fond memory of walking into the school bus garage with him as he went to talk with the bus drivers and maintenance men about something. I can still smell the grease and oil of that garage, and also remember the way they greeted my dad. They shook his hand saying, “How’s it going, Mr. O’Brien?” My dad joked with them, and there was a strong feeling of mutual respect. It was in places like that bus garage where I learned that job titles and greasy hands do not dictate the character of a person. Good people are everywhere.
  3. Continually Learn and ImproveThe first self-improvement product I ever received was a CD that my dad gave me when I was in college. He handed me the package and said, “Listen to this in the car when you’re driving back to school. I think you will learn something from it.” The CD was Jack Canfield’s “Self-Esteem and Peak Performance” program. To this day I use quotes and examples from that program in my presentations and when I coach. It opened a doorway to many more self-improvement programs through the years, and was the foundation to the career I am in today.
  4. Don’t Dwell on Your PastMy dad was the oldest boy in a family of 6 children. His father was an abusive alcoholic. His mother walked out the door to get milk one day and never came back. He had the kind of background that could have ensured his failure in life. But it didn’t. Instead my dad went to the Naval Academy and had a long, successful career in education. What was it that allowed him to succeed despite every odd being against him? It was his belief that you shouldn’t dwell on your past. It doesn’t exist anymore. Move forward. Keep learning. Help others. Do your best. Those are the things that will ensure your success.

My dad has given me so many special gifts and insights through the years. He is one of a kind, and he continually demonstrates and lives what it means to be successful in life. I am so grateful for him, and so proud to call him my Dad!

My dad has given me so many special gifts and insights through the years. He is one of a kind, and he continually demonstrates and lives what it means to be successful in life. I am so grateful for him, and so proud to call him my Dad!


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