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15 Little Life Hacks

What’s the best thing you learned from your parents?

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One of my students asked this amazing question, and I loved it so much that I want to share it with the entire IWT community.

She asked my group of top-performing IWT readers — members of Ramit’s Brain Trust — what we’d learned from our parents and what we’re GRATEFUL for. I included my response below.

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I’m curious — what did you learn from your parents that you’re grateful for? How has it changed your life?

Believe it or not, I don’t exist on this earth to reprimand you every day. Sometimes, for moments as momentary as the Big Bang, we can find joy together.

Share your comments below about what you learned from your parents.

P.S. Check the comments later today, when there will be even more feedback from other readers. And if you’re interested in meeting other amazing IWT students (in person, and in our specially curated community of top performers), sign up for the wait list here.

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185 Comments on "What’s the best thing you learned from your parents?"

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Khuram Dhanani
2 years 5 months ago

Ramit ,

The best thing I learned from my parents was to be honest no matter how ‘hard’ it may seem at the time. In the long run, the honesty always outweighs any short term benefit. I’ve found this to be true over and over again. Such a simple but true statement – nobody believes it, until they experience it for themselves.

I’m sure you agree, yeah? 🙂

Hannah Mang
2 years 5 months ago
I love this question, Ramit! I guess the most important lesson I learned from my parents is to NEVER waste your talents. The “sad” part is I learned this because they kinda did… My dad is a natural born sales-man, he loves cars and knows everything about them but never took action on his talent + passion. He worked at the UN for 30+ years and went into early retirement because he couldn’t take another day at this place. My mom has amazing creative talents like painting but also gardening and she knows everything about plants and what they can… Read more »
CG
CG
2 years 5 months ago

My parents are the most incredibly generous people I’ve ever known – with their money, their time, their compassion. It’s an abundance mentality that they thought me from a very young age and that I hope never to lose.

CG
CG
2 years 5 months ago

Ooooops, taught me. No edit button here?!

Meghan
Meghan
2 years 5 months ago

Never, ever carry credit card debt. I remember finally realizing that you could “charge” things and asking my parents, “What do you mean people spend money that they don’t have?!?!”

Also: you should ALWAYS have at least six months worth of expenses in a separate savings account.

Such invaluable lessons.

Tim
Tim
2 years 5 months ago

All throughout school, my parents always encouraged taking education seriously. As a result, I now have a career in programming where you are encouraged to be life-long learner (otherwise you may become irrelevant after some amount of years).

Tek
Tek
2 years 5 months ago

My parents taught me that what I had or didn’t have was a result of work. If I wanted ‘extras,’ I had to work for them. If I didn’t have something, it was because I didn’t work hard enough for it. My family was poor so we all had to pitch, in some way or another. Now I know that if I want something, I need to focus on it and work at it.

Noah Gibbs
2 years 5 months ago

That in the end, *stuff* isn’t important. If you’re intimidated by your stuff, or by money, you’re doing it wrong.

It’s nice to have a nice house and nice things and all… But in the end, you can always get more stuff. Everything else (people, time, how you feel, your health)… *Everything* else is more important.

I’m trying hard to pass on that same lesson to my daughters.

Corey
Corey
2 years 5 months ago

1) Nothing I want will come easily but if I want it enough and work hard towards it, it will come and I will value it more than if it was given to begin with.

2) The most important thing in life is family. Everything else is just “stuff”

Alexa
2 years 5 months ago
Great post. Exactly the shift in thinking I needed today… So, here’s what I’m grateful for. 1. They taught me great manners. Never underestimate the power of a written thank-you note + a great handshake. 2. They taught me to never take anything for granted. 3. They taught me that marriage and life can be messy sometimes, but you deal with it. 4. They taught me to work for my dreams, not expect them to happen. 5. They taught me that when you really need them, they’ll be there. Thanks, Ramit. Thank you for your authentic voice. It matters.
Ryan S Goff
2 years 5 months ago

Alexa,

Thank you for sharing your list. Number one really hit home for me. Manners are an undervalued ability nowadays.

Ryan

Rajiv
2 years 5 months ago

The one thing I always come back to is what my dad would frequently tell my brother and I growing up about working hard:

“I never want you to look back and say, ‘the best years of my life were when my parents provided for me.'”

Cedric
2 years 5 months ago
I’ll add to the heap of responses about honesty. My parents instilled such a strong sense of honesty in me, that I grew up preferring to be punished for telling the truth, rather than lie, cheat and steal my way through life. Funnily enough, this attitude has had a very odd offshoot that has affected my relationships in a peculiar way. I’m very honest, but if a person “punishes me” for my honesty, then I distance myself from that person and kill off the relationship, whatever its nature. This because I have a deep rooted need to be around honest… Read more »
Cory
Cory
2 years 5 months ago

Hi Ramit,

I signed on to talk about how my parents impressed upon me the importance of honesty, and I see Khuram beat me to it! My mom always noted that the truth is going to come out eventually, so let it be from me. Personal integrity and being able to look yourself in the mirror as a person of character is better than any short-term discomfort owning up to the truth is going to bring. This really stuck with me. Plus I’m from Illinois and Abe Lincoln is practically our patron saint….

Matthew McNulty
Matthew McNulty
2 years 5 months ago

My parents instilled a couple of maxims in me that remain in my head to this day:

“Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” This always encouraged me to at least try something, even if I fail.
“To begin is to be half done.” This maxim was actually framed on the wall in our house. This maxim taught me that half the battle with a project is just getting started.

Donnalee
Donnalee
2 years 5 months ago

I learned that being an alcoholic, with all the drama that accompanies it, is going to wreck your life. It helped me to not be a drinker or drama-addict at all.

Marina
2 years 5 months ago

To stick to a decision once I have made it and to put in any amount of work necessary to accomplish a goal. That mediocre is never good enough and to love everyone.

Mary Shabestari
Mary Shabestari
2 years 5 months ago

What my parents taught me that has stayed with me through life:
1) Nothing gets handed to you. You must work for what you want
2)Be resourceful – use tools and resources within your reach, including your brain
3)Be grateful for what you have and thank the people that do things for you.
4)Quit your bellyaching – there’s always someone else who has it worse than you.

Steven
Steven
2 years 5 months ago
Hi Ramit, I am most thankful to my parents for their continuous examples of giving more than what they had. They paid for private high school (which they could not really afford) for my 2 sisters and I. Now, I get so much pleasure giving my time, money and help to others. Along with this, whether they knew it or not they showed me the importance of love and caring for others; whether they were family or complete strangers. And last but not least, my parents instilled in me a killer work ethic. An example of their work ethic-they helped… Read more »
Hanna
2 years 5 months ago

Both of my parents were always open and honest about ALL things. Moreover they have allowed me and my sister follow our own passions and interests freely without any type of control, yet always being supportive and encouraging. My parents would also have full trust in us – they never needed to set any boundaries. I guess even many of my interests – languages, education, philosophy, interest in arts – came from my parents. So in a nutshell I would say: Love – trust – openness & freedom.

Jordan
Jordan
2 years 5 months ago
What I learned from my parents: -In my 23 years of life, I’ve NEVER seen my parents argue. It was completely confusing to me growing up to see a level of “perfection” in a marriage. Later in life, I talked to my dad about it and he said that it was all done behind closed doors. And that arguments don’t mean yelling, they can simple mean disagreeing. -My parents told me to work hard even when you want to quit. That’s the point that will pay off later. I spent most of my college days in internships and organizations which… Read more »
chelsea berry
7 months 28 days ago

Wow…… dis is rili nice.

Brian
Brian
2 years 5 months ago
Wow… this just made me sad. As soon as I though about this I felt my heart hurt and all I can feel about this is pain. At this point in my life there is lotsa’ anger and hurt I feel about my parents and I don’t talk to any of my blood family by choice. Maybe this will change, and this is what is real right now. I guess in one way I’m grateful of them being so twisted that I know I will never treat my own children the way they raised me and my sister. They showed… Read more »
Steve. O.
Steve. O.
8 months 17 days ago

I’m so sorry Brian. But pls, forgive them.

Ani
Ani
2 years 5 months ago

I learnd that,i ought to show my talent s as Possible as i can!!i should be strong & never give up.never waste me time and fell full of confident about my talent & and ability but dear Ramit i realy want to tell a somthing to every one “never shy or terror from someone”that was all of things that i could tell you!!😏

Josh Rhodes
Josh Rhodes
2 years 5 months ago
My parents were and continue to be huge influences on the man I have become today. I learned through my mother’s wisdom to always look at things through the other person’s perspective, think about how my actions would affect others. She also instilled in me a great respect for women, and taught me to treat everyone with the respect they deserve as person. My father taught me the value of working for everything that I wanted, not to just accept freely gifts that are bestowed, but earn them. Also through watching my father, I learned dedication and perseverance to succeed.… Read more »
Yolande
Yolande
2 years 5 months ago
I think that my parents, while being very humble human and free spirits helped me to understand how much we can love and respect people despite their flaws. What I learned from my mother is to always reach out to people, to bring a smile on their face if I can when times gets rough (she is the one of the funniest person I know). But she also taught me honesty as a core value, to keep my feet on a strong spiritual ground, and make every opportunity to travel and build real friendships happen. And so much more that… Read more »
Vasavi Kumar
2 years 5 months ago

Ramit, every single thing you learned from your parents I learned too. Must be an Indian immigrant thing.
I learned to focus on service first and foremost. I also learned to take responsibility for how my life looks. Also the power of prayer.

Em
2 years 5 months ago

My Mom taught me to “put a smile on your face.” People don’t want to hear about your troubles (which often aren’t that great, anyway). The person you’re facing may have much worse problems than you would complain about. People are attracted to positive people. The self-fulfilling prophecy . . . smile and pretty soon you may surprise yourself that you’re in a good mood and your troubles now seem minor. Actively address your problems, don’t take it out on those around you.

So true. It’s stood me in good stead.

Kristina
Kristina
2 years 5 months ago

I learned a lot of invaluable lessons from my grandpa, who was also my personal softball coach. Two of them were, “Keep your eye on the ball” – to hit your goals, stay focused. And the other one was, consistently throw strikes first, then add more speed to your pitches. This can apply to life in a lot of different ways, but specifically for my business, I’m focused on delivering results to my clients, creating systems, and only then scaling up.

Ealasaid
Ealasaid
2 years 5 months ago

My Dad taught me that life was very short, and precious, and you need to focus on what really matters each day, because days come and they go, but you don’t get them back. Every day wasted is a day that’s gone out of your life.

Lucienne
Lucienne
2 years 5 months ago
The best thing I learned from my parents (especially my mother) was that education and knowledge are the only gifts you can give someone that cannot be taken away from them. Some of my fondest memories of my dad are the times I was able to learn by watching him fix a lawn mower or repair a violin (my dad had a side business of repairing violins in exchange for my violin lessons when I thought breaking my violin would end my violin playing career. Boy was I wrong. The perfect lesson in making lemonade out of lemons). My memories… Read more »
Celeste
2 years 5 months ago

Both of my parents taught us from an early age..there are truly no class differences.
They treated people in authority with respect, the same as they treated other farmers, factory workers, blue collar or white collar workers, they all were a part of the human race.
The senators were no better nor deserved no more respect than the blue collar working person.

As an adult I treated my supervisors with courtesy and respect and received the same in return.
No one made me nervous to speak with as I always knew we are the same in the larger picture…Human.

Joshua Lutz
2 years 5 months ago

There are so many things my parents taught me, but, one that comes to mind is something my dad shared with me right before I got married:

True love is a choice, not an emotion. If you choose to love, even when the feelings aren’t there, you will make it.

My wife and I have been through hard times, but choosing to love, instead of making decisions based on our feelings, has kept us together and kept our relationship strong.

Angela
Angela
2 years 5 months ago

From my father: “Sometimes there are bad things that can be very good, and sometimes there are good things that can be very, very, very bad.”

From my mother: Just to be your quirky self. She had a crazy young-adult life (ignorance is bliss, to me. I don’t wanna hear about it!), but her outlook is so positive and her personality is so fun. She makes friends everywhere, and she has no apologies for how quirky/weird she can be.

Prisca
Prisca
2 years 5 months ago

Very interesting question and it took me some minutes to come up with the most valuable thing

My Dad learned me that I can do almost everything if I really decide to do it. He always believes in my capabilities which helped me to come up with the effort to do big and overhelming projects. So in short, if you are willing to put up the effort you can do it!

From my Mom I got that relationships are the most important thing, if its with family or friends. Which means as well supporting your loved ones in whatever situation they are.

Julia
Julia
2 years 5 months ago
What an amazing question indeed! The most important thing I learned from my parents, like Ramit, is also the value of hard work. They taught me that nothing worth having ever comes easy but I’ve seen the reward they’ve received by being persistent through the hard times. As a working single mother of three with an extremely demanding job, my mother has always been an inspiration to me. Although she is far from perfect, I watched her sacrifice incredibly to give myself and my siblings the best opportunities she could. She’s also taught me to give first as I’ve seen… Read more »
Eliot W. Collins
2 years 5 months ago

My Dad died when he was 55 (seven years younger than I am now). I learned not to be like him, so I don’t smoke, I watch what I eat, and I get regular exercise. He would beat me as well, and from that I learned never to hit my son. My Dad should have known better; he had a Ph.D. in sociology. On the positive side, he did teach me to read the newspaper every day, and I still do.

Lauren
2 years 5 months ago
I think about this question a lot actually. My mother died suddenly when I was very young and though it has always been something sad in my life because of that loss of security and love, I am grateful. She has taught me that life can end today, so pursue what makes your light the brightest because you can be gone at any moment. She also has taught me that the people that pass are still connected to you. They check in on you and communicate with you and in some instances protect you. Another thing she has taught me… Read more »
varun chopra
varun chopra
2 years 5 months ago

My father who is no more on this mother earth has taught me many lessons in my life that would always be my directing principle.
I am 20 and have many responsibilities but his words gives me the strength when it comes.
Just a day before his accident his words to me were ” Treat your duties as your god”.
My mother always been the generous one tells me never to cheat,lie or steal.
My father and mother made me what I am today.

AK
AK
2 years 5 months ago
Both of my parents are immigrants. Despite the difficulties and hardships, my parents provided for my siblings and I everything I needed; food, water, shelter. I never went to bed hungry. While I didn’t appreciate it as much then as I do now, my parents never really instilled materialistic values. Whatever we couldn’t afford, we just simply did not buy and that was that. And stealing was nothing honorable. I was to be content and grateful with what I had. When I was younger, I may have wanted a nice car, or nicer clothes, but now I see what my… Read more »
Alison
Alison
2 years 5 months ago
Hey Ramit! Over the years, I’ve actually thought a lot about this. Both my parents are hard workers. In the past I might have said this wasn’t all good, because they didn’t work “smart.” Now, I have no judgement of them and think they are awesome. They taught me to not believe I am owed anything. Throughout my time as an adult, I’ve noticed so many entitled people. It got me thinking why am I NOT entitled? aaahhh….bc of my hardworking parents. Thanks mom and dad! Both my parents are very loyal and look out for their families. Modern society… Read more »
Christine
Christine
2 years 5 months ago
I’ve learned that being “forced” into doing things as a child…3rd grade – Japanese dancing; 4th grade – girls basketball; 5th grade – piano lessons; 9th grade – marching band…isn’t as bad as it seems at the time. I screamed and cried but in the end I ended up liking and/or loving all the things I was “encouraged” to do and stayed with them for years. The experiences and memories I have are priceless but even more so, it gave me the opportunity to become a well-rounded and open-minded individual…one that I continue to this day as I always want… Read more »
Shea
Shea
2 years 5 months ago
What I learned from my parents: – Always try to do what is right. Work hard and be ethical in whatever you do. You may not make great money (my father worked for the Union Pacific railroad all his life and my mom worked for a company for nearly 30 years as a CSR), but you will feel fulfilled knowing you are working hard and doing the right thing. – Look to help and give, not just get. My dad is the one guy in the neighborhood who would give you the shirt off his back. He tills gardens of… Read more »
Yelena Aganesova
Yelena Aganesova
2 years 5 months ago

The best thing my mom ever told me (which has been passed onto her from my grandma): “For an individual to be completely happy he/she needs at least one true friend in his/her life, a loving family, and a job, where you go to work with a smile and leave it with a smile too. If at least one thing is missing the person is not happy”. This proves to be exact right on over and over again. Wish you all to have that!

Barb
Barb
2 years 5 months ago
I learned a ton from my parents, here’s what comes to mind right now. 1. You are not the only person that matters, you are part of a community and your actions affect others (simple example – wipe the snow off your car, not just so you can see, but so others won’t get hit with your snow!). 2. Work hard for what you want. If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish whatever you want. 3. Be a conscientious worker. Your work is your “signature” to the world. If you do a crappy job at something, you’re… Read more »
Crystal
Crystal
2 years 5 months ago

What I learned from my mother is what not to do. I can’t blame her totally because she is mentally ill, but I have learned alot from those horrible situations she got herself into. As far as my father, I did not meet him until I was older. I learned that if I had children that as long as the father was a good person that my child would always have access to him/her. Luckily I picked a guy who is a great dad.

Matt
2 years 5 months ago
When I was a young kid, I saved up $250 through doing work around the house, selling lemonade, etc. The one thing I wanted most was to buy a Sega Genesis and play Sonic the Hedgehog. I had all the cash I needed to buy it, but when I told my parents I wanted them to drive me to the store, they told me no. I was frustrated. It was my money and I wanted to spend it right then. Instead, they made me wait a week and if I still wanted the Sega, then they would take me to… Read more »
Liz
Liz
2 years 5 months ago
What a great question, Ramit! These are some things I learned from my parents: 1. The incredible work ethic of my mom, who was widowed when I was only 2. She went to work as a school secretary when it was still rather unusual for women to be working outside the home (late 60s). Also, she loved and took immense pride in her work and she worked until the day she died. 2. Both my mom and my dad, when he was alive, revered education, and my mom as well as my extended family were always telling me and my… Read more »
felicia | Dish by Dish
2 years 5 months ago

Hi Ramit, loved this post!

I’ve learned a couple of things from my parents, but among the most important (although cliche) are:

From my dad:
(1) Practice makes perfect
(2) If you fail to plan, you plan to fail
(3) Persevere and you’ll eventually reach your goal

From my mum:
(1) Prayer solves everything
(2) Actions matter so much more than words

Tara
Tara
2 years 5 months ago

The best thing my parents taught me was regarding money.
-Money is just that; it in of itself is not evil. But money will buy you things and experiences that you can enjoy or make like easier for you.
-Retirement seems so far away when you’re twenty–but that’s the time to start setting aside money for it so that you can take advantage of compounding.

Joy
2 years 5 months ago
My childhood was full of chaos and abuse. I didn’t know my mom, so I don’t have an example to share. We lived in upstate NY and on Sundays my dad used to love to take long drives in rural places – over hills and through forests. My brother, sister and I would pile into the car with him whenever he announced a drive; we loved it! He would find the most beautiful space, park the car, get out and proclaim “This is God’s country; this is Mother Nature at her finest.” The reverence in his voice was often as… Read more »
sonia
2 years 5 months ago
The most valuable skill I learned from my mom , was the value of creating and maintaining a network, (though she never called it that, they were just her friends). In the course of her life, she cultivated a wide circle of friends all over the world that she could visit, get advice from, and just generally have as a resource. She kept it up by never forgetting a birthday (particularly of their kids), a thank you note, or an opportunity for a thoughtful gesture.. My upbringing was pretty humble, but my access was huge thanks to mom. My tenacity… Read more »
Marcela
2 years 5 months ago
What a great question, and one I have pondered many times over the last years, especially since becoming a mother myself. From both my parents I inherited a deep love for learning pretty much everything and anything, and a fascination for travelling and foreign cultures. From my mother I learnt to love unconditionally, to nurture and support those that I love. She taught me by example to be generous, honest and kind with everyone, to love foreign languages, to cook, to style. She taught me resilience and that it’s never too late to start over. From my father I learnt… Read more »
Cheryl
Cheryl
2 years 5 months ago
My parents mismanaged money and basically left me to raise my brother and sister while they managed their businesses in another town an hour away at night, when I was 12. They didn’t care if I went to school or what my interests were as long as I was nice to their customers(not “customers”)when they did decide to bring me with them. I started working for them at 14 and didn’t get paid except for lunch. They treated all of us terribly and were alcoholics and physically & verbally abusive. I learned so much from them and the lessons I… Read more »
Eleanor
Eleanor
2 years 5 months ago
I have a difficult relationship with both of my parents. Through observing my Mum’s actions, I am learning perseverance, to always consider the consequences of my actions and how they effect others. After the divorce she stopped treating us as children, despite our young age, so I was much more prepared for uni than most of my peers! I’ve learnt to be patient with my Dad. It turns out he can’t communicate about his feelings that well, and I was wrong during all those years when I thought he didn’t love me. Now I am trying to make it up… Read more »
Faye Zandi
2 years 5 months ago
I learned to always question things. For me this meant learning not to take no for an answer and that the rules didn’t always have to apply to everyone. That is you were smart enough, you could make your own rules. They taught me to investigate things further, rather than blindly believing. They taught me to seek out information when I was interested and that there was always a way to learn how to do anything that I wanted to. This built a curiosity and boldness (along with the natural entrepreneurial spirit that comes with being Persian) that has led… Read more »
Andrea
Andrea
2 years 5 months ago
My mom went back to school twice in her 40s in an attempt to find what truly lit her fire and is now so happy with her career as a massage therapist. She taught me that it is never too late to reinvent your life, even if it means scrapping 80% of it. When I decided to pursue acupuncture during my last year of studying Econ at Rutgers, she was my inspiration to go for it and never look back. My father and I have had a strained relationship for the majority of my life, but he taught me very… Read more »
flycat
flycat
2 years 5 months ago

I learned from my parents to always do the right thing, even if no one is looking. I remember when we were kids that we found a $100 bill at a busy campground. My parents made sure that we turned it in and the person who lost it was very grateful since that was his grocery money.

Holli
2 years 5 months ago
My parents divorced and separated by the time I was one years old. They biggest thing they taught me was by example: You can choose to be a victim of your circumstances (my father), or choose to be a survivor and not let that hold you back (my mother). As a result, my mother was able to teach me much more. The thing most resonating with this community is to always ask, “How can we do it?” Instead of saying we can’t, she always encouraged us to ask how we could. Oh, and she also taught me how to whip… Read more »
Armando
Armando
2 years 5 months ago
I am grateful to have an open minded mother that allowed me to pursue whatever dreams that I wanted for myself without a no response. Dreams are really important in my family and my mother in particular is always there to say anything is possible so long as you have worked for it. I don’t know where I would be without her. Money is something that was almost always scarce in the household and because of that I have decided to make a conscious decision of not consuming and overindulging myself with material possessions, goods and services that are not… Read more »
Omar
Omar
2 years 5 months ago
I learned from my father that your word counts more than anything, and you have to honor commitments no matter what. I also learned from my mother to always do my best, not “try hard”, not “put the time”, but honestly and authentically doing my best. It felt tough as a kid, since she would not be happy with less than A+, but she did do all the best so I could get those A+´s, and I ALWAYS did. I thought I was smart or lucky for a while, but it was much later that I realized the story behind… Read more »
Kyle
2 years 5 months ago
My single-mom opened her finances to me early in life. This allowed me to realize how much life cost and helped me, from a young age, look at opportunity cost (without knowing the term). We were also communal in our finances – I provided my newspaper delivery money and other monies from businesses I ran from a young age. I could pull and spend as I wished and it wasn’t done to make ends meat… This sense of community has lasted. I have a very high-level view of community and family finances that stretches beyond my direct family unit and… Read more »
Scott
Scott
2 years 5 months ago

The one bit of advice my father gave me that really shaped who I am today was delivered in two separate forms:
1. Always punch above your weight.
2. If you’re not the worst musician in the band, go find a better band.

In other words, put yourself into situations where you need to get better than you are if you want to survive. You keep doing that, and you’ll build awesome adaptability and learning skills.

I don’t always succeed in this, but the rewards are worth the occasional “learning experience.”

Marbey Hidalgo
2 years 5 months ago
My parents immigrated to the US from the Philippines; they gave up everything they knew to make a better life for me and my sisters. They’re humble, intelligent and kind people. I’m fortunate. My dad doesn’t say much — and when he does it moves foundations. So I take care to listen when he does speak. I almost missed the defining lesson during one of our talks. What I “heard” during our talk drives me day in, day out: He said, I’m paraphrasing, ‘I can’t give you a lot of material things. What I can give you is our family… Read more »
Heleen
Heleen
2 years 5 months ago
I’m in the middle of the Zero to Launch program, and I was in a state of stress and worrying about my ‘new business idea’. My Mother (who once worked as a hairdresser until her 22nd, then married my father and never worked again) saw me stressing and looking at other websites, heard me talking fast and stressy, and she said: “You are worrying because you are thinking to much about the ‘how’ you will make money. Instead, think of how you can be of service to someone and how you can make your clients happy.” WOW 😀 that really… Read more »
Margaret
Margaret
2 years 5 months ago

I learned from my mom that being honest is more important than being right, and that when something isn’t working you either change your tactics or you let it go and move on to something else.
Righteous advice that has ALWAYS put me ahead of the pack!

beth
2 years 5 months ago
The things that my parents taught me for which I am most grateful is integrity and honesty. Like every kid on the planet when I wanted something that was a little under the tableish and not entirely honest I’d use the phrase “but no-one will know”. To which my dad would ALWAYS reply “you’ll know!” I hated it at the time but it taught me the value of self monitoring my own honesty. I use that phrase myself when kids I teach try the same plea to me. I also ask them, when they want to get away with something,… Read more »
debbie
debbie
2 years 5 months ago
The most important thing I learned from my parents was the skill of problem-solving. My dad was a mechanic at a chalk mine and my mom was a seamstress in a shirt factory/Tupperware saleslady/Avon rep/florist/cake decorator/postal clerk (in the evolution of her career). They both excelled at taking a problem, breaking it down, attacking it and solving it. They were also amazing when it came to trying anything once – they had no fear. I didn’t realize that not everyone had this “I can do this” attitude when it came to tackling problems until I met my husband. He is… Read more »
Laura
Laura
2 years 5 months ago
One of my father’s favorite sayings was “always be able to carry your own luggage.” Technically, it was specific to travel because he’d say that to me in airports (he certainly wasn’t going to carry my stuff for me) but the concept resonated with me. He was teaching me to be independent and to count on myself. He also exercised with us. He didn’t have sons so he took his daughters out running and had us do push-ups and took us rock climbing. My dad did a fantastic job of teaching his daughters that they needed to be physically healthy… Read more »
Brittany
2 years 5 months ago

My mom’s number one motto was “you do good things, good things happen to you..you do bad things, bad things happen to you”. This may not be true 100% of the time, but it is true a lot of the time. It definitely kept me on the straight and narrow.

j a shimel
j a shimel
2 years 5 months ago

my father taught me 1) to come only to him if i needed money or things – this was a tremendous help because the day after we buried him i realized he wasn’t around anymore and the rest was up to me. got up the next morning, went out and got a job; 2) to diversify my income stream, because although he was highly educated, he always had 4-6 different enterprises going at once. 3)to work hard and long; 4) to be kind and cheerful towards others; 5) to get the best education possible; and unfortunately 6)nothing about managing money

Jon
Jon
2 years 5 months ago
I am lucky to have great parents from whom I have learned a lot of valuable lessons from watching there examples, honesty, giving, patience, to name a few, but the one I want to share is what my mom used to say to me when I was a kid on summer break. I would say “Mom! I’m board!” Which would illicit one of two responses. “Well, there are plenty of things you can do. You could mow the lawn, wash the dishes, scrub the toilet, ….” which sent me scrambling for my Legos or ” Only boring people get bored.”… Read more »
Liz
Liz
2 years 5 months ago

One more that I forgot to add to my earlier list:

8. The value of caring for one’s health. My aunt the excellent cook was also chronically ill most of her adult life and was in and out of hospitals frequently. When she was well enough to function with daily tasks, she would tell me periodically, but with much seriousness, “Always take care of your health.” I absorbed that lesson by being active in sports when I was in school, and later, making exercise and a good diet a part of my daily routine, getting regular checkups, etc.

Barney Walsh
Barney Walsh
2 years 5 months ago

Laugh 5 times a day. Be nice to everyone, you never know when you’ll need help. Spend less than you make. Make sure they know you were here.

Barbara
Barbara
2 years 5 months ago
I was blessed with wonderful parents the lessons they taught me are too many to list, here are a few: *My mom and dad dearly loved each other. Their love for each other taught me to love and respect my spouse and for 37 years I have done my best. *Love is both spoken and shown: My mom had the gift of “talking”. Her wise words taught us to use words carefully and choose wisely what you say. My father was the quieter one and he used more actions that words to express his love. He always hugged us, patted… Read more »
Missy
2 years 5 months ago
My mom taught me that hard work is more valuable than sheer intellect. I always excelled at school when, especially when I was younger. I always came home and immediately finished all of my homework before doing anything else. It wasn’t until high school that it even occurred to me that you could do anything fun before you finished homework–it seemed physically (or maybe just psychologically) impossible. I’m not sure how my mother instilled this habit, but I’ll be sure to ask her about it when I have kids (it may have something to do with my mother being asian…).… Read more »
Jona
Jona
2 years 5 months ago
Hi, Best thing I learned from my Mom was : 1) Never blindly trust somebody : research and state by yourself. People ain’t no experts at nothing, they were just entitled to be so. That’s a great difference. So would you trust Experts? Or would you taste, compare & feel by yourself? 2) Education is the key : in my family nobody know how to read or right; they’ve never been to school for some reasons (we were poor…) She FORCED me to undertake free courses to obtain my Master degree and I’ll always thank her. 3) Life is a… Read more »
Maren
Maren
2 years 5 months ago

From my mom I learned not to take things personally, and to let other people think they’re right when an argument isn’t worth having. From my dad I learned to love expressively and explosively, and that learning is a life-long pursuit that is at the core of a happy existence.

Danny Debold
Danny Debold
2 years 5 months ago
Perfect timing on this question. This past weekend was my grandfather’s birthday. Since we’re a large and very weird family many of my aunts, uncles and cousins shared something that we have learned from him. So, I’ll shared what I said about what I learned from him. In one word: Community. In many words: My grandfather has in his time developed 2 very powerful and effective communities. First, my family. 7 children and 15 grandchildren who are extremely close, loving and caring individuals. For every major holiday and other times through out the year we all gather and actualyl enjoy… Read more »
Alexandra
Alexandra
2 years 5 months ago

The best thing I ever learned came from my Aunt Bon, who acted as a second mother. She approached life with a delightful blend of eastern and western philosophies. I can still hear her voice telling me to be true to myself, with personal integrity, and that there is a flip side to everything. Wisely, she would look at me and ask that I think through every decision because of the consequences of that very action. Then with a slight smile add that only in Vegas does one get a double headed coin.

Pat
Pat
2 years 5 months ago

My parents encouraged me to try anything I wanted to. The said “I could do anything I set my mind to.” I became an engineer when less than 1% of engineers were women. They supported that choice.

Michelle
2 years 5 months ago
Yes, great question. 1. Anything you do, do it properly. We’d have to make over the bed, or re-wash dishes, if it wasn’t done properly. Now, I try and not give people sub-standard work. 2. Maintain friendships. The majority of my friends I met at 11 years old and the others I met in my first job. 3. Travel often! They never let the opportunity to take a road trip pass, or to take a trip overseas. One of my family’s best memories are a Caribbean vacation we took to Bequia, St Vincent and Grenada. 4. Support your family and… Read more »
Brian Green
Brian Green
2 years 5 months ago

Ramit,

What i have learned from my parents is to never stop believeing in your dreams, never stop giving up on them because the journey was cloudy and fill with disbeliefs. To always remain true to yourself.

We can and always be able to acheive anything we set our minds to.

If thats not some good virture, then i dont know what is.

BG

Jean F
Jean F
2 years 5 months ago

My parents shared their love of music, art, and culture with me. Throughout my life I have been a regular and enthusiastic attendee and participant in all sorts of cultural activities. It would have been hard to gain this appreciation on my own without them pointing me on this path.

Kyra Hall
Kyra Hall
2 years 5 months ago

First do no harm. My mom wasn’t a doctor, but she was deep into Vedanta. My goal is to integrate the principle of Ahimsa into values based business practices.

Jason
2 years 5 months ago

Out of all of the lessons they taught me growing up, either through repetition or insight, one stood out above all of the others: The value of delayed gratification. There is not a single are of my life that has not benefited from keeping this principle in mind (Education, Business, Relationships, Investing).

Bharti
Bharti
2 years 5 months ago
My mom never went to school. My dad only went uptill 4th grade. He could just read & write our language. In our family we did not have any extra activities besides just going to school& doing chores at home As young girl I always had regrets that I could never had swimming lessons ,dance classes etc but as I grew older I have realized what my parents gave is far more important than any activity. I learned all basic survival skills of life from my mom. Nowadays youngsters are not interested in cooking, nutrition. My dad taught us discipline,important… Read more »
Jonathan Vaudreuil
Jonathan Vaudreuil
2 years 5 months ago
Taking a minute to think about this, I’m realizing how many things I’ve learned from them. It’s way more than I realized. 1) Families eat dinner together. I never realized how important it was for the whole family to have this daily ritual until I got married. It’s like a scheduled (essential) reconnect with your family that brings everyone closer and allows you to see what’s going on in everyone’s life. 2) There’s a fine line between frugal and foolish. Figure out when you’re cutting costs to the point where you’ll end up spending far more than if you spent… Read more »
Cecilia Lehmann
Cecilia Lehmann
2 years 5 months ago

1. There is always enough room and food for everybody (and he who speaks loudest, will be heard);
2. LAUGH – If you can have a good laugh at yourself, you can get through anything;
3. Get outdoors and breathe some fresh air – it clears your mind and makes you happy. Do this with the ones you love;
4. Family is everything (Apply this to your community);
5. Give wholeheartedly;
6. Never lend money if you can’t live without it.

Rebecca A.
Rebecca A.
2 years 5 months ago

The German genes run strong in my family. That means being punctual, efficient, and scheduling/planning the crap out of everything. As a teenager and young adult, this was highly irritating for me and felt really overbearing. But I now appreciate the original education I received in making goals, making a detailed plan, putting time on the calendar to get it done, and always showing up to get the work done. Mom and Dad’s own Power of Habit has served me very well over the years.

Marlisa Keyes
Marlisa Keyes
2 years 5 months ago
Ramit, thank you for sharing and posing this question! It reminds me of a previous post you made about your mom telling you that you were going to pay for a trip for her and your absolutely “awesome son” response. You sliced down to the most important core of relationships – love and caring. Not the kooky, family crazy stuff that we can all joke or complain about, but the things that bind us together. So on that note, my mom is a mixture of traditional and nontraditional. My husband calls her a throwback, but I am not so sure… Read more »
Natasha
Natasha
2 years 5 months ago
Don’t be afraid. My parents (like many of yours I’m sure) worked extremely hard to give me and my siblings the things they couldn’t have growing up, and not necessarily material things, but opportunities. This has been invaluable to me along with their mantra of never being afraid to try, and to ask. I’m naturally a timid person, so this was always difficult for me until I finally opened up and realized the value in these words. Like Ramit always stresses, what’s the worst anyone can say to you but “no”? Then you shake it off, learn from it and… Read more »
Rich
Rich
2 years 5 months ago

I am a son of single mother with four brothers. My mother made sure I acted according to proper manners and etiquette. I’m feel it is the greatest gift my mother gave me. So many people are ignorant to the fact of their own ignorance. It affects people in a profoundly negative manner, that only society suffers.

Thanks mom for teaching me

Marion
Marion
2 years 5 months ago
From my dad who is a amazing negotiator and self made success in real estate: 1. There is ALWAYS another deal. Do not be afraid to walk away, even multiple times. More often than not they will follow you and offer you a better deal. 2. Sometimes the best thing to do is nothing at all, i.e. don’t react, be cool. This applies to the market & to people in general. 3. Lowball. Most people don’t – you will be surprised what people say yes to. 4. The best deals are most often found on things “not for sale”, i.e.,… Read more »
SMO
SMO
2 years 5 months ago
My father is an entrepreneuer/ real estate developer and my mother is a classically trained oil painter. The combination is amazing. From my father, we were taught to always strive for the next “big thing” — whatever that may be (personal, professional, ect.). He also taught each of us to have really big expectations for our lives; we grew up with an understanding that we really could change the world if we worked hard. This also had the simultaneous effect of allowing all three kids to believe that their ideas were valuable and worth pursuing. On the other hang, my… Read more »
Andrea
Andrea
2 years 5 months ago

My parents taught me to FINISH things that were important to me and push hard for what I wanted. PATIENCE and FOLLOW UP- waiting and seeing how things turn out and not abandoning something I want (like a job) because it takes a while to materialize. Also, to ASK for what I need. To this day, I get more training at work than others because I will make a case for myself and they don’t. But most importantly – SAVE money where it didn’t matter and SPLURGE on what we love…

Alyssa
Alyssa
2 years 5 months ago

The importance of independence. My parents divorced when I was 13. Watching my mom pull her life back together and find a career was life changing for me. It didn’t stop me from getting married but I will never be dependent on my husband. It has been good for me as an individual and healthy for our marriage.

Yasemin
2 years 5 months ago

Both of my parents are givers by nature, and they are both very hardworking people with a lot of self discipline. They are good, trusting in almost a naive way, but then ı think the way they are also made me believe in a world of good. It’s almost like you are protected from negativity by the purity in your thinking. It’s not like ı don’t face trouble, I do.. Somehow , my ultimate belief of the safe world I got from them seems to save me- eventually!
God bless them.

E
E
2 years 5 months ago

Act, don’t react. When making a decision, clear out all emotions. Never seek vengeance–it will return karmically to hurt you or the ones you love. When making a decision, be strenuously objective. Do your research–lots of it. Ask around, don’t be too proud to. Invest in professional advice.

Tam
2 years 5 months ago
Answering a question like this makes me very homesick, also very nostalgic so here we go. I’m so very grateful for growing up as my dad’s sidekick, I learnt a lot about how to talk to people, to be patient with others, and how important great relationships are (my dad was the local police officer growing up). From my darling mum, I have learnt that you can achieve anything if you set your mind to it, after having 4 kids, she went back to school to become a teacher, then she took an interior design course and designed our house.… Read more »
Gabriel
Gabriel
2 years 5 months ago
I love my mother dearly, although arguments are more frequent than might be considered ideal. From her I have learned things which will stay with me forever: – (the most important of her teachings, in my opinion) Be cordial to ABSOLUTELY EVERYBODY: No matter how much I became vexed by somebody, my mother told me never to lose my cool and always retain my politeness. He/she who gets angry or speaks rudely is the first to lose the respect of his/her peers and superiors. The person that you want to punch squarely in the nose for their constant harassment might… Read more »
Lin
Lin
2 years 5 months ago
From my Mum I learned that to achieve most things in life, you have to be determined and work hard. She brought-up my sister and I on her own, for 10 years. During this time she had 7 part-time jobs at 1 point, and she worked so hard that she managed to buy a detached house in a nice neighbourhood. She always welcomed our friends home and would cook for us all even with many people sleeping on all the available floor space. She worked so hard to let me have the education that she didn’t have and also experience… Read more »
Dave
Dave
2 years 5 months ago
I’ve learned a lot from my parents, but the thing that stands out is a little secret my Dad told me that helped me quit smoking. He said “There’s no such thing as just one.” I had struggled for years and tried the patch, nicotine gum, etc. I would make it a few days and give in. My Dad had quit years before (when my 5 year old sister climbed in his lap and asked him why he did it). He knew all about that craving – the “if I have JUST ONE I’ll make it through” craving. It’s a… Read more »
Gretchen
Gretchen
2 years 5 months ago

My parents were both shy, sensitive introverts. They made huge contributions in the fields of science engineering and academia. I learned from them that the loudest person is not always the one most worthy of my attention.

Jennifer
Jennifer
2 years 5 months ago
Hard work matters more than talent and intelligence. Value the people who at least try to improve, even if they hit their peak at average. Cut back mercilessly on things you can’t afford and that aren’t important to save as much as you can. When you can, spend extravagantly on the things you love, like travel or your home. Education was always the highest priority. I’d like to take that a step further to hold that learning continues to be a top priority beyond/after schooling. You really don’t need to go out all the time. Sometimes the greatest joys are… Read more »
June Edmonds
2 years 5 months ago
I knew when I was in the 3rd grade that I was going to college and the importance of education. It was drilled into my brother, sister and I. They were fun and loved to party from time to time (so I ended up at a party school while graduating first in my class in my major) But they taught us the importance of consistent hard work and we saw this of parents daily. My dad never got sick and missed only one day of work that I can remember. He swore by his daily vitamin C tablet. We all… Read more »
Mish
Mish
2 years 5 months ago

My dad gave me some wise career advice: “Don’t do what you love. Whatever you love now, you’ll hate in 5 years when it becomes a chore rather than a passion. So just do something that makes a lot of money.”

I should have listened to him.

Dave J
Dave J
2 years 5 months ago

That being yourself is much more rewarding than trying to be perfect.

Bill
Bill
2 years 5 months ago

If you need to criticize someone or are mad at someone for something, make sure they understand that you are criticizing them or are mad at them for a specific reason. Then, even though they were bad at this next step, I learned that if the issue is addressed, you let it go and it does not need to be addressed again.

Peter
Peter
2 years 5 months ago

I learned from my father to always be inquisitive and curious about the things around me. He studied biochemistry in university and as we would take the dogs out for walks as a kid, he’d explain to me how this plant or that plant grows and why it does these things. It really gave me an appreciate later on for the importance of understanding things and using intellect.

I learned from my mother the importance of a spiritual outlook in life.

Keyboard_Navigator
Keyboard_Navigator
2 years 5 months ago

What I love about my mama is that she never sugar coated anything and still doesn’t. No, she isn’t a cynical bitch who thinks the world is some cold, rotten place, but she isn’t some naively optimistic, blinded by the light lady either.

She taught me compassion, respect, and helping your fellow man, but she also taught me how everybody is not your friend, people will take advantage of your kindness, and you have to look out for yourself as well.

In other words, she is a street smart sweetheart and I love it. 🙂

Vukasin
2 years 5 months ago

My parents taught me the smartest thing I could ever learn:

”Smart people can act stupid, other way it’s damn hard”.

Gina
Gina
2 years 5 months ago

Hi Ramit,

The best thing I learned from my mom was to be kind and to pay attention to animals and nature-they both deserve our respect and we should be good stewards of them. From my dad, the love of words and to choose them thoughtfully.

Tyrel
2 years 5 months ago
My father taught me three important lessons: 1. To always treasure resourcefulness – in myself and in others. Celebrate going the extra mile. (He was a national track star – in Trinidad & Tobago – who turned down a scholarship to Michigan state, to marry his pregnant, high school girlfriend: My mom) 2. To care for animals/pets As taking care of creatures who can’t take care of themselves is an indicator of how you’ll treat fellow human beings. 3. To always give yourself time to succeed by starting early, and finishing strong. My mother taught me empathy – to be… Read more »
Marcy
Marcy
2 years 5 months ago

From my mom I learned to be friendly and talk with people where ever you meet them – the grocery store, the doctor’s office, the car wash, etc. She had a great talent for getting people to open up and she made many, many strangers happy by smiling and asking them how they were, or about something they were doing or buying or wearing. I’m not sure she knew how many times she made someone’s day just through simple and brief conversations.

Miriam
Miriam
2 years 5 months ago
I always thought my mom’s advice on dating was criminally stupid- until I followed it, and she was absolutely right. My parents (who are full of good advice on every other topic) met while hitchhiking, and got married three months later. My mom would always insist that getting married quickly was the only way to find a good partner. According to her, if you aren’t sure about marrying the person two months in, it’s a bad match. I thought my parents had just taken a stupid risk and got lucky that it worked out. For a decade I was in… Read more »
Priti
Priti
2 years 5 months ago
From my mom a) never follow a cookbook recipe blindly – ask yourself does this recipe makesense- if it does not then read a few more and put things together. my mom is an amazing cook and when I was learning to cook she told me this. Now when I think of this advice I use it in many other areas of my life-it helps me problem solve. b) just because you messed up at something the first time you won’t mess it up again when cooking. Everyone makes mistakes and then next time you will know better. c) when… Read more »
Gemma
Gemma
2 years 5 months ago
Through working with foster kids who had been abused and/or neglected and aboriginal kids from remote communities who were culturally different and disadvantaged my mother exposed me to several important lessons. 1. Under a different set of circumstances I would have grown up to be a different person and by extension if I expose myself to new circumstances and behaviors I will morph into a different ‘person.’ 2. Every action and thought is logical within the framework that gave rise to it. Never stop your understanding of a person at “he’s an idiot,” or, “she’s a bitch,”because such labels are… Read more »
Amber Aebly
Amber Aebly
2 years 5 months ago
I’ve learned many valuable things from my parents, but a few that really stand out are: – Be a cheerful giver. Whether it’s volunteering or helping someone out, do it because you truly want to. Whenever someone had was sick, had a surgery, or a death in their family, my mother would make tons of food and take it to their place… It feels good to give. -Honesty. They taught us from a young age to always be honest and tell the truth. – Hard Work. This included everything from doing dishes, dusting, vacuuming, and other household chores to music… Read more »
Deborah
Deborah
2 years 5 months ago

My dad taught me how to always be there for friends and family – and how to build things. My mom helped me to be stylish. And my grandmother taught me to garden, sew and make pie crust … they are all gone now, but I carry them with me …

Matt
Matt
2 years 5 months ago
To save money regularly. My parents would give me a regular amount of money every week, and I would have to manually record it down, and keep track of how much I had saved over time. When a special occasion came, I was allowed to use the money I had saved to purchase something I wanted, and I would also have to do the manual recording and accounting of what I would spend. When I read about automating savings in Ramit’s book, it was basically the same idea. They also taught me to be nice to everyone, take care of… Read more »
Amy
Amy
2 years 5 months ago

From my dad, I learned the confidence to try things that I didn’t know how to do. Because of him, I’ve had the courage to do my own taxes, tackle some pretty bit home improvements, and move to an entirely new city. From my mom I got the deep-seated assurance that I was loved and that the universe was a good and kind place.

Dave
Dave
2 years 5 months ago

Looking back, the best thing I learned from my parents was about hard work. My Dad always had at least 2 jobs and a side business the entire time I grew up. It was just normal to work 6-7 days a week in my house. I never realized that this wasn’t how everybody lived until I got older. My in-laws still don’t understand why I have two jobs and want to start an online or other side business.

aaron
aaron
2 years 5 months ago

@ dave: I feel you with the two jobs and starting a side business. No one in my cohort understands why I do it or how, even…lol! Looks like we’ll both be laughing our way to the bank when it’s all said and done!

Ashley
Ashley
2 years 5 months ago

That a woman should be independent – my parents did not have shared finances and my mom managed her business by herself – and that the only limits to your potential are the ones you put on yourself.

Nickie
Nickie
2 years 5 months ago

I learned the priceless lesson of working for anything I wanted. I really wanted a car when I turned 16 so my dad said to get a job. The highest paying job was detassling corn…in the corn fields… In the hot summer Iowa sun. As a pale short girl, I had to wear a huge hat with long sleeves, not fun. It was the hardest job I’ve ever had but I will always remember what it felt like to buy my first car. To set a goal and actually achieve it is something I will always be grateful for.

aaron
aaron
2 years 5 months ago
Hello Ramit. The one thing I learned from my parent, my father, was the value of hard work. My father worked three jobs, with little sleep, I might add, to put both my brother and I through private school and college. I always admired my dad for the things he did to keep my brother and I clothed, fed and educated. The amazing thing was, he still always found time to spend with my brother and I whether it was helping us with schoolwork or taking trips to spend quality time with us. I have never forgotten the values he… Read more »
pam
pam
2 years 5 months ago
ramit, this was an interesting question to consider bc i’ve been working through a lot of my own childhood/parental issues the last few months and i didn’t know how to answer this question. my parents are good, ordinary humans who did the best they could with what they had. my mom sent me to class after class after class outside of federally mandated class and made me focus on academics just like a true asian parent does. she did many things for me that i really appreciate. but my parents both had a hard time handling their own emotions and… Read more »
Arsalan
Arsalan
2 years 5 months ago

The best thing I learned from my parents is how to achieve your goals within given resources through proper planing and saving and hard work

Carolina
2 years 5 months ago
I learned from my parents: The value of perseverance to create something from zero. The value and the power of working together, and be real partners to build a goal. To be authentically me and don´t let anyone or anything define me in limiting ways. The power of sharing, be givers and be generous From my mother I specially learned through her example the gift of being woman and the magic of being tender, generous and nurture others in many ways with kindness From my father that Actions speak louder than words It has changed me to let me flow,… Read more »
Kipp
2 years 5 months ago
My mom showed us over and over again that, when faced with a crisis, HANDLE YOUR BUSINESS. Do whatever it takes to resolve the situation, and THEN fall apart if you need to. If either one of us kids messed up, she would circle the wagons, and get the situation handled. If she felt like we needed to be lectured or punished, she would do that AFTER the thing was resolved. I was shocked when I became an adult and found that some people fall apart in the face of a crisis, instead of afterwards. Scary. Mom did good. 🙂
Heidianna
Heidianna
2 years 5 months ago

My dad taught me that if you see something that needs to be done, do it. Don’t wait.

st
st
2 years 5 months ago
I always say that my mother gave us roots and my father gave us wings. While one worked tirelessly to instil values of hardwork, the other taught us the ingenuity needed to overcome roadblocks that would most definitely overwhelm us. Here are some of my best learnings from my parents. 1. Leave no stone unturned. Research everything, practice 100’s of times & sometimes be prepared to meander, to go in the opposite direction to find your way forward. I cannot express how crucial this has been in my life. People talk of passion and belief – but they don’t acknowledge… Read more »
Lisa Kaats
2 years 5 months ago
One of the most powerful lessons my parents taught me at a young age was the concept of compound interest. Not only was it a lesson in financial awareness it was also a lesson in understanding the power of NOW. They taught me to take advantage of my youth and that one day my future self would be thankful. Perfect example: my parents convinced me to sell my goldmine of beanie babies when I was 8 years old. They didn’t force me, but appealed to me as an 8 year old and urged me to imagine 8 years into the… Read more »
Choong
Choong
2 years 5 months ago

Most important of all to treasure loved ones, honour parents even after their death and always remember that as their child , you carry their legacy and make them always proud of you through your words, action and deeds. Be humble always.

Jessica Rudder
Jessica Rudder
2 years 5 months ago
My parents taught me that there is always time, money, space, etc to help someone else. Not in the generic ‘toss-a-dollar-into-a-bucket’ sense. In the ‘down-and-dirty-in-the-trenches’ sense. By the time I graduated high school they had provided a temporary home for my cousin (and later my cousin her two kids and her boyfriend), my aunt and uncle and their two kids, a couple of foster children, two neighborhood boys (one of which eventually became my big brother), another cousin, a different uncle and a family of 7 from our old neighborhood. Those are just the people that lived with them. There… Read more »
Jude Chikwado
Jude Chikwado
2 years 5 months ago

Im very grateful for my parents, i learnt alot from my mom in particular, she is great woman, All i know today was induced to me by her, she thought me everything i need in life, kindness, smart, keeping evirons and myself clean, how to address public and important personels, ETC, if i begin to mention all, this page will full and it still remaining, i living happilly today because of mom, since my tender age im living positivelly without fears. She is a great woman

Mark
Mark
2 years 5 months ago

My granma who was my major parental figure when growing up taught me two things which probably shaped me more than anything. 1. Always be a gentlemen, class is about delicacy in action not money, power or authority. 2. Don’t suffer fools, if you suffer fools no one will be able to tell you apart.

Chris
Chris
2 years 5 months ago

She taught me to love and respect truth. THE truth. She was so specific about that. My dad taught me that you’re known largely by your friends and that some of the best ones might not be the most popular. Stick by them and it’ll work out for you in the long run. I miss them both so much now. They never really got to see me as a grown up. Thanks for this question.

Jon
2 years 5 months ago

Many things, but I will cover just a few important ones as they relate to me recently:

– Not everything that glitters is gold. People can preset themselves as being one way and act/perform completely different. So be skeptical, but learn to listen.

– live within your means; be satisfied with what you have. This does not mean that you cannot increase your means; but you don’t always have to follow fashion (which is another lesson) and have something because the other person has it. Make sure it makes sense to you first.

Marie @ My Personal Finance Journey

My father was a frugal type, but when it comes to the foods we are very abundant! He told us that we should be humble always, even if how far we have reached. Family is the first thing first before anyone else.

Adam Berenyi
Adam Berenyi
2 years 5 months ago

Hey Ramit and Everyone,

well, one thing that my mom relentlessly says to me is that “Adam, you should take a rest, and go out and enjoy being with others, go playing bowling or do something entertaining every so often because you seem to be too immersed, too busy with your work. ”

My answer always has been that “Mom, I enjoy working, Im having fun, cause I do what I love to do, I do not need rest”

Truth be told, of course every once in a blue moon it is nice to socalize a little.

Cheers

Caesar
Caesar
2 years 5 months ago

Travel as much as you can. A world of education is waiting beyond your immediate community. It will change who you are in incredible ways.

Mariana Umarusman
Mariana Umarusman
2 years 5 months ago
I love this question. Some of the greatest lessons I learned from my parents have to do with relationships. My parents have been married 34 years and been together 38 years, but they were always very honest with me and my sister about the nature of marriage and relationships. They taught us that relationships are not like they are portrayed in movies, that require commitment and work but that makes it even more worth it. Also, they taught us as women to not look as ourselves as a princess and expect to be taken care of by our partners. But… Read more »
Heather Jackson
Heather Jackson
2 years 5 months ago

Great lessons!

Jenn
Jenn
2 years 5 months ago
If you don’t know how to do something, take a book or a video out of the library (or 10) and figure it out. I have a memory of my mom watching a VHS on being an effective manager while working out on her Jazzercise step in our living room. She had been having some challenges with her team at work, so instead of complaining, she looked to how she could improve. When she started assistant coaching my soccer team when I was in middle school, she took out books on coaching soccer from the library. When my brother joined… Read more »
Gidds
2 years 5 months ago
The summer before I entered high school, my parents divorced and many of my childhood memories were “tainted” for lack of a better word. However, I learned something from my grandfather (mom’s dad), that has continued to stick with me in every project, effort, etc. I decide to pursue. He taught me to always leave things better than how you found them. When I get engaged on a special project at work, I won’t just lead the project to completion per its stated requirements, I leave the team and project in a better state than how it was given to… Read more »
Angela
Angela
2 years 5 months ago

My dad’s a big proponent for using common sense. One of his dad-isms was to look at whatever project he was about to start, take a step back, scratch his chin, and say, “Now, if I was smart….” and work out the best way to tackle it before jumping in. He taught me how to approach things methodically, and think things through before starting a project.

Weaver
Weaver
2 years 5 months ago

That is a great question. The most important thing that they taught me was to spend time with my children. No matter how long and hard their days were, both parents always did things with us to show that they cared. We never had a lot of possessions, but my brother and I knew that we were loved. I try really hard to do the same thing with my children, it isn’t always easy, but it is definitely worth it.

JunYi
JunYi
2 years 5 months ago
Such a great question. Helps refreshing all memories of parents back in the past. Things I learnt from: Being social ~~~ My dad is a great social person (even though sometimes I thought it’s annoying), but whenever there’s a time we need to reach out, he knows exactly where and how to start – what other options do you have if plan A or B doesn’t work – how to keep someone in the loop (that’s his best thing – he is such a Facebook expert to make friends around, including my friend, ends up he know them more than… Read more »
crackpot
crackpot
2 years 5 months ago
This is gonna sound snarky, but it’s not — exactly: Some people weren’t meant to be parents. My folks were both pretty cold people with a lot of insecurities. I was a weird kid and frustratingly for all of us, they tried to mold me into a vision of normalcy from their own childhoods which completely ignored the changes that had transpired since through a steady diet of ‘thou shalt nots’, while refusing to allow me to explore any pursuit that appealed to me. They told me I could do anything I wanted in my life with my intelligence, but… Read more »
Shanae
2 years 5 months ago
I appreciate having had the opportunity to live with both my mother and grandmother separately. My mom taught me the value of having fun and keeping a childlike spirit, and to be an unconventional woman in terms of building things with your hands, and being strong (as she is an athlete). My grandmother taught me the power of putting your mind to tasks and accomplishing them. Though this is still training I am undergoing, my grandmother is 76, president of her garden club, member of the art council, and several different committees and she is always creating things that influence… Read more »
Heather Jackson
Heather Jackson
2 years 5 months ago

My parents always told me when I go into a store, don’t buy something just to buy something, just so I don’t have to walk out empty-handed. They don’t necessarily always practice what they preach, which is maybe why this lesson stuck with me.

As a result, I’m forced to stop and consider whether I really need the item and need it now, or whether I’m just using it as retail therapy. This attitude helped me prioritize when I was a broke student (and when I returned to being a broke student after having an income for a few years).

Melissa Y
Melissa Y
2 years 5 months ago

What I learned from my Mom is to always stand up for yourself because if you don’t, no one will. I’ve witnessed a few times where my Mom was racially discriminated against and instead of keeping her head down and walking away, she let the other person have it. At first I was embarrassed, but I’ve realized that it takes a lot of courage to speak up for what’s right.

Ryan S Goff
2 years 5 months ago
I enjoyed reading some of the existing responses. Thank you to everyone who has shared. My parents were incredible supporters of what I wanted to do from the very start. Regardless of our circumstances, they made my dreams come true, even when things weren’t right financially. Now, I worked to raise money when it wasn’t there, but I know that there were some ancillary costs that I never accounted for that were taken care of. From my father, the power of saying “You’re welcome” instead of “no problem” has stood out for me. When you’re meeting with someone important or… Read more »
Ruth (Dar) Bass
Ruth (Dar) Bass
2 years 5 months ago

Ramit,

The best thing I learned from my parents was how they valued education. My dad always
encouraged us to go for as much education as we could. “Take advantage of all the education
you can get” he always said.

Ronnier
Ronnier
2 years 5 months ago

Generosity to everyone, family, friends, clients the skinny cats in the street…
Honesty, no matter how brutal it may be.
Hard work.
Never to sit on public toilets…

Susan
Susan
2 years 5 months ago

To be an self-reliant adult. When I was having trouble dealing with my messy roommates, my parents told me I could move back in with them on one condition- that I paid them rent. Since it was the same amount and I didn’t have to clean up after them, I was glad to. A year later I left, to get my own apartment with no roommates. I know many kids who got free room and board with their parents after college and they aren’t as successful as I am today.

Celeste
2 years 5 months ago

My parents taught me to be a person of my word. They were never wishy washy with an answer. Also, We never heard or saw my parents argue. That in turn taught me I needed to learn the art of disagreeing. I’m still working on this.

Andie
Andie
2 years 5 months ago
What a cool question! My parents have taught me so much. 5 lessons that I have learned from my parents really come to mind in no particular order: 1. ) Perseverance- Never give up during times of trial. It is important to keep your head held high and figure out what you need to accomplish to continue forward. Through out my life, I have had a lot of Up’s and Down’s and each time I have utilized this trait to get out of a rut or bounce back. 2. ) Kindness- Always treat others with kindness in all walks of… Read more »
Sonia M.
Sonia M.
2 years 5 months ago
This post really hit home, as my father died suddenly on April 9th. I’ll focus on lessons I learned from him. Reading it brought up a lot of memories and tears. Great ones. My dad was incredibly active in the community, if volunteering was paid work, my dad would have been a billionnaire. Taking action in any way you can to make a difference is a powerful lesson he taught me, no action is too small. He initiated many projects, founded groups and businesses, even brought a new sport to the seniors’ university right before he died. Actually, he played… Read more »
Sofia Garcês
2 years 5 months ago

From my mother I learned the value of becoming the best at what you do.
She is the best in her field in Madeira and that gives her a lot of freedom.

From my father I learned the value of hard work and persistence. He never gives up until he gets it done.

I’m glad they’re still around. There’s so much more that they taught me and that I know they still will.

Katie
Katie
2 years 5 months ago

Mom: Putting money aside for savings – she drilled this into us as kids.

Dad: He taught me to appreciate the small things in life: he would LITERALLY stop to smell the flowers! He was so calm and he taught me to take breaks and be good to myself when stress hits. He’d force me to go outside and chill out when I was visibly stressed about something – this trick always works.

Thomas
Thomas
2 years 5 months ago
The greatest thing my mom taught me or gave me was self-sufficiency. I am sure out of pure exhaustion of being a single mom and working long hours she have us more than the usual chores around the house. In 5th grade she wrote out the steps to doing laundry. How to separate it, how to wash and how to dry. She took us over to the laundry in our rental building and walked us through it. She said I learn to do it right because she would never do it for us again ( we earned the tough love… Read more »
Kathryn
Kathryn
2 years 5 months ago
My mother was highly critical of others and exclusive in the extreme. Of course, opposites seem to attract! My dad was inclusive, welcoming, and inviting. They divorced when I was quite young and went on to marry people more like themselves. From my mother’s side I learned a lot about judgement and critical thinking. From my father’s I learned acceptance and the importance of relationship. Yes my dad’s side was more easy going; however, I would not know how to push myself to achieve or expect more without my mother’s teachings. Both qualities are important. Life works better when both… Read more »
Wolf
Wolf
2 years 5 months ago
What I learned from my mother: 1. Networking is powerful 2. Even if you dont have confidence, fake it any way 3. Be generous to those deserving of such generosity 4. Education is important 5. if you say you are going to do something, then do it. 6. Nobody cares about your dreams but you…so get it done already. 7. Looks are important, so always look your best, and use it to get things accomplished. What I learned from my father: 1. Hard work is one ingredient to recognition 2. Dont be risky without a plan 3. Intelligence can only… Read more »
Louise Kay
2 years 5 months ago
The best thing I’ve learned from my parents: -Money is never the top priority: My pa may not be the most financially successful sibling in his family, but he’s the most highly respected one because of his kind and fair treatment of employees, and all that he would for was to ensure me and my siblings had a good education and future. -Kindness pays off: Again based on my pa from the first point, but my ma uses this wherever she goes, from getting discounts to having friends and relatives helping us out whenever we’re in need. -Family is important:… Read more »
Patrick
Patrick
2 years 5 months ago

Great question Ramit. Thanks for the offer to share.

The thing I learned from my mom was to be kind to everyone you meet. You don’t know their personal situations or reasons for their behavior. So be kind and everyone will benefit.

From my father I learned integrity in work and to treat others fairly.

I don’t always live these characteristics of my parents but they gave me great examples to follow.

Aida
Aida
2 years 5 months ago

My father, while he was still alive, at different points of my life used to ask me if I was happy, and if I was satisfied. (Not advice per say.)

Those used to be the most honest questions I ever received because they touched upon the crux of everything: how fleeting the life is, how little time we have here (even if we live to be a 100), and how the focus of actions we take, and things we do (on a large and small scale) should be to make the time here good for ourselves.

Javier Melendez
2 years 5 months ago

WHEN I CAME TO READ THIS I BELEIVED I HADNT LEARN ANYTHING FROM MY PARENTS, BUT ONCE I GOT TO THINK ABOUT IT I LEARNED
-LIVE THE LIFE YOU WANT WITH HARD WORK AND DEDICATION
-EVERYDAY IS A DAY TO LEARN SOMETHING NEW FOR PERSONAL GROWTH
-NOTHING IN LIFE IS GIVEN BUT EARNED
-TRUST TO A CERTAIN EXTENT BECAUSE WE ALL HAVE SOME SECRETS THAT SHOULDNT BE KNOWN

Jessica
2 years 5 months ago
10 things I learned from my parents: 1. Have the courage to be true to yourself 2. There are always two sets of rules. Or, “rules are for other people” 3. Do what you said you’d do, be there when you said you’d be there 4. You don’t have to believe in God; I’ll just wait for you to get there yourself 5. Do the things that call to you, just make sure you’re not running away 6. Ask yourself the tough questions and do the same for those you love 7. When others disappoint you look for ways to… Read more »
agnes
agnes
2 years 5 months ago

Thanks Ramit for this question! In all that frustrating dwelling about what my parents did wrong, what they taught me gets easily lost.
My mum taught me to enjoy music, good books and holidays, no matter how bad sometimes everyday life can be. My grandma taught me to cook out of almost anything, and my grandpa to pay attention 🙂

Alessia
Alessia
2 years 5 months ago

The most important things my outstanding parents taught me:
1. Family comes FIRST
2. Work hard to build a great life but NEVER EVER leave behind the ones who REALLY love you
3. No matter what happens, get you sh* together, get up and move on
4. Put your heart in your dreams, roll up your sleeves and pursue them
5. REMEMBER THAT YOUR PARENTS ARE THE ONLY PEOPLE WHO ALWAYS ALWAYS PUT YOUR HAPPINESS BEFORE THEIR OWN!
6. NEVER EVER DOUBT YOUR PARENTS’ LOVE FOR YOU!

Reid K.
2 years 5 months ago

Probably the most important thing my parents taught me was that traveling is the best teacher. Visiting other countries has opened me to countless business opportunities, connections and new ways of thinking. Those in turn have contributed to making my life far better than anything else.

Robert Main
2 years 5 months ago

My mom was used to say: “The only things I regret in life are those things that I didn’t do”.
Thanks Ramit for bringing up this question.

-Robert

Anna Marie
Anna Marie
2 years 5 months ago
I would have to say that the most important lesson my father lived by and taught me was to always “Do to Others what you want done to you at any given moment” so if I expected to be treated a certain way I would treat others in that way. That also meant consequences too, not just the rewards. So I wouldn’t be shocked to receive consequences for my actions and I wouldn’t be shocked to receive the rewards. I received what I deserved in every situation with out hesitation. The second lesson was to always “think ahead before you… Read more »
TC
2 years 5 months ago

One thing that I am grateful for my parents is that they thought me never to give up even when all the doors seem to close to your face. That is why, I always keep searching to find another solution to a problem. In most cases I am rewarded handsomely for my persistence. We hear to many “no”s in our lives that after a while it doesn’t really mean no. It may mean tens of things including; what you are asking is perfectly alright request but the person in charge isn’t willing to help you.

Brad
Brad
2 years 4 months ago

Critical thinking skills, although I did not know it at the time. My folks were cautious about being taken for fools and always seemed to me to quickly understand when they were not getting the full story. Years later in business and econ classes I learned concepts like “bait and switch”, but the healthy skepticism passed on to me by my parents had already taught me to look out for things like that.

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Corey
Corey
2 years 4 months ago

The best thing I learned from my parents, is how to effectively advocate for myself, and how to speak clearly. I learned to not be shy about asking questions and using resources, and how to be extremely polite while still being assertive and communicating what it is that I want. I learned how subtle differences in attitude and execution could mean the difference between someone saying no, and saying yes. Do I need someone’s help, or would I be most thankful for it? Do I want something, or do I have the right to it?

Nikki
Nikki
2 years 4 months ago

My parents taught me:
1. That complaining is a waste of time and energy. Taking action is better. No one is going to fix it for you, so get off your butt and just do it. Take personal responsibility for your life.
2. Gratitude is an essential life skill. Practice it every day.
3. Always act with integrity. Without integrity you are less than your potential self.

But most importantly they taught me, by their early deaths, that you’d better be enjoying your life in some measurable manner on a daily basis. You never know when you’ll be shown the exit door.

Juan
Juan
1 year 10 months ago

I agree with most here. Do what you love, apply your self with tasks assigned, and learn from your mistakes. The day you say your a professional/expert/doctor you stop learning. I love my parents for their support, guidence and help with my bad marriage. Thanks a million I will not be able to repay the favors. If I had to pick to be rich or be poor with my folks that is easy poor as hell is my answer.

Lindsey
Lindsey
7 months 24 days ago
So I’ve been doing some soul searching.. Well, in truth I have been experiencing a magnitude of different awakening processes. My mother passed away when I was seven years old which left my older sister and I with my divorced bachelor father. We would go to my dad’s on 4th e weekends and spend the week with my mum. I never liked going to my dad’s. He was strict, guarded, and to be blunt… An awful cook. I was so young when my mom passed that, at the time, it didn’t have a huge effect on my immediate life and… Read more »
Tanja
Tanja
2 months 6 days ago

The best thing I learned from my parents is that I don´t want to become like them.

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