I was able to spend some time with my dad who turned 58 years young last week.

I am very lucky to have him in my life and can honestly say he and my mother were the “foundation” that my entire life has been built upon. I have been very fortunate. Not everyone has a positive role model from day one of their existence.

We cracked open a Guinness and celebrated by discussing life, leadership, and anything else that came to mind. However, what was most exciting for me was our discussion about his “Top 3” things he felt were important in life. As he always does, he went above and beyond and gave me his “Top 5.”

1. “Live within your means.” – my dad has seen good and bad times throughout his life and raising 4 boys wasn’t cheap. However, I can never recall a moment that my dad didn’t make sure we had everything we needed.

2. “Help your community.” – my dad has always given back and he has been an amazing influence for me to help others. He always led by example when it came to going the extra mile for those in need.

3. “The 5 Love Languages.” – This book has been sitting on my coffee table since my wife and I had our Pre-Cana weekend before our wedding. I’m officially adding it to my “Books to read asap!” list. He talked about how important it is to know what makes your partner happy. And more importantly, how they prefer to be treated in order to KEEP them happy. He stated that his biggest regret in life was not understanding this at a young age.

4. “Don’t be anxious.” – He said this is something he continues to work on each day. It’s a constant INTERNAL battle trying to prepare and anticipate the EXTERNAL things in life. Enjoy life, even the parts you can’t control.

5. “Character and Integrity.” – I still remember my dad telling my brothers and I at a very young age, “Your name is all you have.” He always spoke of having integrity and to be a person of character. Of all the things my dad could have taught me, this was one that could not be learned through words, but rather, by him leading by example. He always reminded us, “Your actions always speak louder than your words.”

I hope this shined some light on some things we can all work towards.

May we too become another year wiser in 2015.

Enjoy your day my friends!

-ibbjames