214 Life Lessons Learned from a Marine Veteran Father

Life Lessons Learned from a Marine Veteran Father


Ever wondered how the pearls of wisdom from our elders shape our life? Join me on a journey today as I reminisce about my father, a 30-year Marine veteran, and his invaluable life lessons that have become the bedrock of my teachings. In his honor, I discuss three key lessons from him - not judging a book by its cover, thinking and dreaming big, and the essence of kindness in our lives. As we sail through these life lessons, you'll discover how they are intertwined in my work and the advice I share with you, our listeners.

But we're not stopping at just life lessons today. We're going full circle, celebrating the man who taught me so much and the impact he's had on my approach to time management and productivity. I'll be dishing out my most effective tips on staying on top of your goals, managing your time better, and boosting your productivity levels, all in a special tribute to my father.

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Well, I have a treat for you guys today, so I'm going to be doing something a little bit different. Don't worry, I do have a time management tip packed in here with you all. But in honor of my father's birthday this week, I wanted to share three life lessons that I have learned from him that have had an impact on me and, when I really think about it, I actually weave them into a lot of what I teach as well, because they are so fundamental for me. So again, happy birthday to you, dad. I love you very much and I'm thrilled to jump in here and share three life lessons that I have learned from my amazing dad.

Welcome to the Work Life Harmony podcast. I'm your host, Megan Sumrell. I'm the creator of the top program and top planner, teaching all things time management, organization and productivity for women. I'm also a mom and wife and, just like you, I'm juggling hashtag all the things while running multiple businesses and a family. Guess what? You don't have to feel constantly overwhelmed, exhausted and stressed out. There is another way. When you have the right systems and tools to plan and manage your time, you can live a life of harmony. This is your show to learn from me and other amazing women how to master your time, planning an organization to skyrocket your productivity, so you can have work life harmony. If you're ready to stop feeling overwhelmed, this is the show for you, and if you're new here, I'd love to get you started with my work life harmony assessment. All you have to do is DM me on Instagram, @megansumrell, with the word harmony, and my team will send it right over. Hey there, welcome back to Work Life Harmony.

Today I'm going to be taking sort of a little detour away from our usual deep dive conversations around all things time management, organization and productivity, because this week happens to be a milestone birthday for my dad, and so today I wanted to come on the show and share three life lessons that I have learned from him. If you have been a longtime listener of the show, you may remember a few years back, I actually had my mom on the show, and so you all have already had the opportunity to meet her. So I wanted to give you a chance to learn a little bit about my dad and again share three of the life lessons that I have learned from him. So happy birthday to you, dad. I love you so much.

Now, my dad was an only child and he was a Marine for about 30 years. So he joined the Marine Corps in 1964 and was in the Marine Corps until 1994. He was a tanker and he and my mom met working as counselors at a summer camp in college and they got married right out of school. So my first life lesson and the reason I wanted to kind of give you that background with my dad is again we were raised with my dad being a Marine. We got to move around a lot.

We lived some on bases, some not, and the book I think it was called Great Santini is that right Came out around that time which painted a very unsavory picture of a father that was a Marine. This led to a lot of people making really unfavorable assumptions about what my home life must be like because my dad was a Marine. So this leads to my first life lesson, which is this Don't ever judge a book by its cover, because what all these people didn't see is they didn't see the dad of three girls who was always ready with a compliment to make you feel like a million dollars. I loved nothing more than coming downstairs on a Sunday morning in a pretty dress for Sunday school and doing a twirl in front of my dad, because I knew that he was always ready to tell anyone of us just how beautiful we were. They also didn't see the Marine who taught the four-year-old and I think it might even been three-year-olds as well Sunday school class. Every week I used to sit at my Sunday school table and I could look across the room and see him sitting at those little preschool-sized tables where your knees are up to your ears if you're an adult teaching this group of preschoolers Sunday school. They also didn't see who is now the grandfather spending countless hours with his grandchildren walking along the shore of the lake collecting seashells I'm talking hours or the fact that there are special coloring books purchased that he would use only when it was time to sit down and color with them.

And I feel like this is always such a good reminder to me to not just assume, because of someone's job or the way they look or the car that they drive or what their family is made up of, to be able to assume what kind of a person they must be. That's something that I always really think about often and have to remind myself hey, let's take the opportunity to really get to know someone and not just judge them by either their external appearances or their job or whatever that may be. Now, the second thing that I learned a great life lesson from my dad is the importance of always challenging myself to think and dream bigger. I love the story and again, this isn't about me directly, but it is an interaction between him and one of my sisters.

We were flying home from living overseas and my oldest sister was very, very taken, apparently, with the flight attendants and just thought they were so, so cool. And so at the end of the flight she said when I grew up, I want to be a stewardess. And my dad just said well, why don't you be the pilot instead? And I think that was something that I really love to bring into and share with the women in the top program, one of the very subtle or kind of byproducts of the work that we do in there, when we are getting rid of all the clutter and stuff in our brains and in our schedules and putting more structure in them and actually having flexibility, thoughtful flexibility. What that does is it actually creates the space for us to think bigger, dream bigger and go. Well, maybe this isn't what I want. Maybe I actually want to go two or three steps further, and at the time you're listening to this, we've just wrapped up the annual planning event, the Plan of Palooza, and we did a lot of work around that. I just want to give a shout out to my dad for introducing to us at such a young age Really anything is possible. The sky is the limit. We don't have to have to put any set constructed boundaries about what we dream or desire to do.

And the third lesson that I want to share with you guys you guys knew of course I'm going to bring something time related into this right. My family has a saying, which is this to be early is to be on time, and it sticks with all of us. If you ever are inviting my family to an event, I can guarantee you this we're all probably going to show up about 15 minutes early. There is nothing that makes me laugh more that if my family is decided oh, let's all meet somewhere, let's say it's six o'clock for dinner, I can guarantee you, if you roll up at five 50, you're probably going to be the last one there.

But the reason I wanted to bring this up is I was taught at a very young age to respect time and to respect other people's time, and that's really what to be early is to be on time is all about. For me is the importance of not disrespecting other people's time by making them constantly wait for us. And I will have to say I remember so vividly going on my first date with my now husband. We met at a restaurant for dinner and, me being me, I was about 10 minutes early and I was sitting on a bench. It was literally just sitting down on the bench 10 minutes early. He walked up and that being my first face to face impression of him, was that he too was early. It was as if there was this unspoken like head nod of okay, good, like you respect my time as much as I respect yours, so I hope that you've enjoyed just getting a little peek into my dad. And again, happy birthday, dad. I love you so, so very much, and thank you for teaching these amazing life lessons to me.

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