4 Personal Growth Lessons I Learned From My Father’s Letters

Dec 4, 2020

Your parents are essential in your life

They’re a key component to your personal growth.

Yesterday, my mother sent me an e-mail showing me some letters my father wrote from the early 90s till the mid-90s.

In them, he expressed how they were as a couple and how they were suffering about my future.

My mother got a lot of problems with her job. The company was laying off many people due to the hard crisis we suffered at that time.

3 years later, the same concerns still existed.

She was still in the same company, but she (and my father) had been suffering throughout this time. I’ll say it one more time: 3 years… They were 40 years old at that time.

In those letters, my father also describes my personality.

I laughed a lot. It’s a funny and exciting experience reading how you were seen by others when you were a teenager.

The most important quality he describes about myself is “insensitive”.

As a son and now as a teenager’s father, I can perfectly feel identified about this feeling because it’s what I see in my son’s attitude.

Reading my father’s lines has helped me understand both my father and my son.

Here I share with you how you can take advantage of this experience and how it can give you a giant step, talking about your personal growth as a human being.

1. Don’t worry if your children don’t listen to you

If you’re a father or mother and your son or daughter is a teenager, you perfectly know they don’t pay attention to you.

You think he or she doesn’t know anything about life, they don’t know what sacrifice means, how tough things are in life.

Don’t worry. Your father thought the same about you. And don’t worry, your father’s father thought exactly the same.

History repeats itself over and over again.

If you read any book by the ancient philosophers of classical Rome and Greece, you will see the same again.

There’s nothing new.

Children belong to other generation. They have a totally different perspective on life than yours.

It’s not until you grow up and you “suffer” real things in life when you understand your parents.

It’s then when you can tell them “thank you” for all the sacrifices they made for you.

Don’t think your children don’t listen to you. They do, but those thoughts are deep inside them. It’s overtime when they come to the surface.

2. People become more sensitive as time goes by

As you get older is when feelings come out. When you exteriorize them.

It’s impossible to make that earlier. It’s a sign of weakness and, on the other hand, you haven’t “suffered” enough in life to know how hard it can be.

You need experience, bad and good relationships, going deep into sensations such as confidence, perseverance, success, failure, loyalty… to know what “the story” is about.

You need to trust yourself and feel confident to talk about your feelings, being able to share them with someone else, and even make it in public.

3. Write down your feelings and sensations

It will help your future self.

If you don’t write them down, you will lose an excellent opportunity to learn from life.

I’ve been journaling for a long time ago, and it’s amazing how easy you can find out solutions to your problems just by reviewing your past.

It’s also very motivating when you compare how you react to similar situations, feeling you have evolved, you have become a better self.

I only use the past to learn. That’s why writing is so important.

I journal every day, but I also began in 2016 a document called “My own existential philosophy: Deep Mindset, Thoughts & Identity”.

It’s a document that I generate “on the go”, writing down my own thoughts, behaviors I see in others, quotes, inspirations… It’s like “my own wisdom”.

It seems kind of a mess, but it’s very useful to me because it’s divided into sections such as:

  • Inspiration.
  • Commitment.
  • Performance.
  • Motivation.
  • Spiritual.
  • Parenting.
  • Partnership.

I always dedicate 5–10 minutes each day to read any part of it.

It helps me to figure out better:

  • Who I am.
  • Why I am here.
  • Why I do the things that I do.
  • What makes me feel good or bad.

Those kinds of philosophical points any human being needs to feel as a whole.

It gives sense to my life and each day because I align my mind/deep thoughts with the actions I execute, the projects I decide to develop, and how I want to live.

It’s feeling like mind and body are working together to perform at their best.

It gives me coherence, calm, relaxation, peace.

All those good sensations are positive for my daily life.

4. Don’t worry about the problems

“I’ve been all my life worried about problems that never happened.”
— Winston Churchill

It’s true. 100% sure.

That’s how many of us spend our lives. Being angry about our past mistakes and feeling unsafe about our uncertain future.

All-time worrying, thinking about how to solve future problems. Those who usually never happen.

You can (should) use your past just to learn from it.

You should plan a little bit of your future. But just a little bit, and focusing on great lines, because each day our future is more unsteady.

But, it’s a MUST for us to live and enjoy the present. It’s the only way to achieve fulfillment.

If you have a “future” problem, something it’s more or less likely to happen, stop thinking about anything else, and focus on it.

Dedicate it 2, 3, or even 4 hours. Think about what you can do. Forget about others and the circumstances. Just what you can do.

Once you’re clear about what you can do, start doing it, but never spend more time on it. No more suffering, no more “what if’s…”, no more worrying.

You cannot be 3 years (not even a week) suffering about a future you cannot control. There are millions of variables that can affect you, and you have to accept and interiorize you cannot control them.

Just do what you can, and enjoy your present, your current situation, what you are and have today. Because I’m pretty sure it is great, awesome, something to enjoy each second.

Takeaways

It’s been a wonderful experience reading these letters, full of thoughts and wise advice for my future.

From these lines, I’d like to thank my parents for all their sacrifices to give me the best they had at all times. Something, by the way, all parents do.

We’re lucky to have parents and people who care about us.

Those are the kind of feelings and sensations you have to enjoy each day, trying to avoid the problems’ continuous focus. If you do so, you can be all your life living like that. And that’s not the life you deserve, the one your parents wanted for you.

Make their sacrifices worthwhile.

Photo at the top courtesy of Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash.

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