My father was an amazing person. I love him deeply and I miss him dearly.
My father was an engineer and many people reported to him. He was tough and admitted no errors. He was feared and most of all, respected. As his subordinates immediately picked up that he was first tough on himself. Nevertheless, he had an amazing sense of humour, making everybody laugh. He was charming and wise, having the right words for all circumstances and situations. I cannot remember him losing his temper. Maybe once when I fell off my rookie skates and broke an arm, which ended my career as a rookie skater. My father took them away saying that if I weren’t smart enough to skate, I didn’t deserve having them.
He was able to teach lessons without many words.
He was always making jokes about my appearance, usually about my big eyes (family trait from him); “Your eyes are so big that they slide down your cheeks” or that “unlike Darwin said in The Origins of Species, my next of kin were the lemurs and not the apes.” At that time I was angry, only later I realized that he was right and we should laugh at our flaws and also turn them into strenghts and advantages.
His lessons are as follows:
1.If you don’t work hard your luck will dwindle. And the better you work and prepare the luckier you become.
2.Always learn from your mistakes.
3.Always play fair and admit your mistakes. There is nothing to be gained by not admitting failure or defeat, you should acknowledge your shortcomings and become better.
4.Always look your best, neatly attired and pleasant and your demeanor should match your words.
5.Make fun and don’t take yourself too seriously. I sometimes let myself be a fool, but a fool in the right places.
6.Success comes with a lot of work and very good insight. Hard work is not enough, you need information and a good bird’s-eye view of things.
7.Do not ponder too much over your flaws. I do my best, speak my best and look my best. If this doesn’t do, move on.
8.Untidy people lose half their lives looking for lost things. This is a good one. Now I can find everything with my eyes closed. I am (have become) very organized.
9.Always have goals and objectives. Small and big. People without goals live plain and boring lives, lose time and consequently the time their lives are made of.
10.Time is of the essence. Do not squander time. When you see that you use up your time in activities with no return, stop.
11.Before making a decision, think but not too much. Use the information you have got but also your common sense.
12.Always have a healthy routine. I try to sleep early and enough. I eat properly and I have a fitness routine. In the evening I sum up the day, if I have done someting good (or bad) and if I have created value for others and myself.
13.Always hold your ground and stick to your good ideas. Especially in business. Believe in your work and be prepared to demonstrate your product as often as needed.
When I have a tricky issue on my plate, I ask myself: “What would my father do?”
He was a very talented person. He could draw and paint, his jokes were witty and his stories enthralling. He was the heart and soul of every gathering and he admired the Russian painters.
Art by Julius von Klever.