As Father’s Day approaches, I’ve been thinking about my dad and the many timeless life lessons he’s taught me.

He even showed me how to live in Wise Mind before that term entered the lexicon.

Now when I teach people about Wise Mind Living, I ask them to think of someone (real or imaginary) who embodies what it means to live in Wise Mind.

It’s a helpful way to make this complex concept more concrete and it gives you a role model to use as an inspiration when you’re practicing Wise Mind Living strategies. (You can read more about those strategies here.)

When I do this exercise, the person I think of is my father.

My dad is one of the wisest people I know. He’s compassionate, intuitive and nurturing, while also being incredibly logical, analytical and astute. My father truly lives in the balance between emotion and logic mind.

My dad has always been my greatest teacher, and I want to share three of the life lessons he taught me that truly shaped my life:

Girls can do anything boys can do.
My father taught me to always be independent, self-sufficient, and to value myself. He had the same expectations of me that he did of my brother, so he taught me how to change a tire and put my furniture together. He even got me my own tool box!

But most importantly, he taught me that there were no limitations to what I could achieve as a woman in this world. And that I should never allow a man to treat me as if I was less than.

Don’t settle for anything less than what you really want.
In the fourth and final year of working on my PhD, I hit a wall. My friends had all finished school long ago and were well into their careers, but I was still living the life of a student.

While they were going to Nobu and getting summer houses in the Hamptons, I was struggling to write a dissertation that I didn’t think anyone would ever even read.

There were many days that I wanted to quit. But my dad was always there to remind me that sometimes you have to push through and finish what you started—especially when it gets really tough.

Your mindset creates your reality.
My father taught me that by building self-awareness and challenging your thinking, you can manage how you feel and do anything you set your mind to.

There are countless times my father helped me cultivate this skill but there’s one moment in particular that I will never forget. I was learning how to water ski but couldn’t get up for the life of me. I was afraid but didn’t want to admit it, and that fear was really getting in my way.

After my sixth fall, my father pulled me into the boat and said, “Do you want to do this or not? Because it’s only your thinking that’s holding you back right now. When you decide that you’re going to stay up, you will.”

And of course, he was right.

I took a deep breath, reminded myself that I was totally safe and knew what I was doing, and I got up on the very next try!

This Father’s Day is a reminder of the tremendous gratitude I have for my father and all that he’s taught me.

And I want to say thank you Dad, for being my biggest supporter and number one fan—and most of all, thank you for teaching me how to live in Wise Mind.

Happy Father’s Day to you Dad, and to all of the inspiring dads!

Do you have a favorite life lesson from your dad? Please share in the comment section below.