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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A Letter To My Daughters

This is a letter to my daughters, directly inspired by Jeff Jones' (Chief Marketing Officer at Target) letter to his daughters, posted on Linkedin (click here to read) a while back. He will be giving his letter to his girls when they're 18, I want to give it to mine when they're 14. If I had a son, I would give him the same letter.



Dear Indie and Stella. My two babies. I can't believe you're growing up so fast. You're about to embark on a challenging period of your lives, where you make a lot of important decisions. These are some of my life lessons, and I hope they can come in handy on your journey :) 

1.Find out what's important to you. This is a difficult one, but it can also be simple. For most people, it's probably to be happy.

2. So be happy: I chose happy as my number one priority pretty early in life. I've always strongly believed that happiness is a choice. Choose the things that lead to results that make you happy. Having this goal doesn't mean that you should always be happy, that's neither wise or human. We all experience things that suck, and I have too. The clue is how you deal with the crap you meet in life. Let yourself be sad, angry, frustrated, disappointed, furious, appalled, distraught, scared etc. Let yourself fall apart if you need to, but don't stay there. If you can fix the problem, try your best to do so (it can be scary, but you will probably regret it if you don't, and regretting things suck). If you can't fix it, learn your lesson, and make sure it doesn't happen again. Choose not to repeat your mistakes.

3. You're not perfect, deal with it. Perfect is boring anyways, right? There will always be someone that is smarter than you, prettier than you, faster than you, but they will never be you or have your combination of skills. That combo may be what sets you apart from the rest of the group. It's what makes you unique and special. You will make mistakes. Some won't matter, and others you may regret for life. Which obviously sucks, but it's a part of not being perfect. 

4. Don't listen to people that tell you you can do anything. It's bullshit. We all have our talents, and you need to find out what yours are. Both of you have many to choose from, and they're very different. Find out which ones you want to purify and crystalize. I'll help you if you let me :)

5. Surround yourself with people that make you a better you. People that give you energy and challenge you. Generous people. Weird people with strong personalities. Quiet and introvert people full of wisdom and kindness. Loud people that "take the room". Look for people that are different from you and that can help you grow. Get rid of the ones that pull you down. It's part of life to "break up" with friends if you no longer have a valuable relationship.

6. If you choose to work full time, part time or not at all, make sure that your decision is well thought out, that you're comfortable with your choice and that it makes you happy

7. Your personal life will ALWAYS be more important than your professional life. Work to live, don't live to work. That doesn't mean that you shouldn't have a fulfilling career, or work hard (be efficient and reach your goals), but it means that you need to know your priorities. The number one regret for palliative care patients (people on their deathbeds) is that they worked too much. Remember that. It's not worth it.

8. Don't be afraid to fail. Remember, perfect is boring. If you don't try, you don't win. You can gain SO much by moving outside of your comfort zone. You might feel embarrassed and stupid, but at least you tried. Sometimes the only reason for failure is giving up. Just because something is difficult doesn't mean you shouldn't try. It means you should try harder.  

9. Try to be truthful and honest as often as you can. It will be easier for your surroundings to understand you and relate to you. And sometimes, being honest is giving negative feedback. If you're angry with someone, let them know, and let them know why. But it's equally important to give positive feedback. If you're happy with someone, let them know, and let them know why. 

10. When you find that special someone, don't let him or her slip away. A great (not good, but great) partner in life is extremely valuable. Love hard :)

11. Be an individual. You are more than a wife, girlfriend, partner, mom, professional etc. Don't be the half of a twosome. You're you. A whole person. Never forget yourself, who you are and stay true to yourself.

12. There's no such thing as LUCK. Only hard work and determination. Research has shown that successful people does not experience any more "luck" than the average Joe. 

13. Be generous. I'm not talking about finances and cash, but in spirit. Remember that no one is perfect, and everyone makes mistakes, not just you. If someone is trying to achieve something, try to find out if there's anything you can do to help (sometimes, all the help they need is your encouraging words). Don't expect people to fail, but if they do, be proud of them for trying. That takes courage. 

Dont's are always stupid, but I have three (dammit) four: 
1. Don't settle. 
2. Don't do drugs. Every parent says that, but drugs are a way to escape from reality and painful experiences that can ruin you. Like almost all parents have, I've seen it happen several times. Every single druggie I've met is unhappy, scared and lacks in confidence. I will do my best to give you a foundation that makes it easy to say no, but in the end, it's up to you. It's your choice. 
3. Don't gamble. Calculated risks are ok, but gambling is not. 
4. Don't be afraid to show your emotions. 


And my last piece of advice?
(except for the spiking the punch part. Don't do that before you're 18)

Love you always,

37 comments:

Living Four Seasons said...

Lovely Dagny. I was just thinking about my own life experiences and I found out that I still have a lot to improve. I guess we will never end to fine ourselves, but that can't stop us from enjoying tje journey.

Klem
Vicky

Fargerike Dagny said...

Vicky, that is so true. It would be absolutely crazy not to!

hviit said...

Vakkert... og sant:)

Chedva said...

What a wonderful post, Dagny. Your daughters are so lucky to have you as their mother. x

Fargerike Dagny said...

Linda / Hviit - tusen takk :)

Fargerike Dagny said...

Chedva - thank you so much!! I feel lucky to have them :D

jual jaket kulit said...

I am just stopped to visit your website and I say a great visit anda very good..

Camilla said...

Så utrolig flotte ord. Fantastisk å få med seg noe slikt på livets landevei. Ble inspirert til å lage mine egne ord og gi i julegaver :)

IndieMum said...

I stopped by your blog looking for design stuff but this letter so much more important. Just gorgeous. Your girls are lucky to have you.

Fargerike Dagny said...

Camilla - å, tusen takk! Jobbet lenge med denne, og både gleder og gruer meg til å lese den høyt når de skal konfirmeres. En utrolig god idé forresten! Do it!!

Fargerike Dagny said...

IndieMum - Thank you so much! That really means a lot to me. Thank you. :)

Irene @ Fuiviagens said...

Great letter...I found it very inspiring! I'm sure your daughters will grow into well-educated ladies :) You're also a source of inspiration for parents around the world, they should all think like you!

Fargerike Dagny said...

Irene, thank you so much!! Your feedback def means a lot! :D

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The foundation of each one state is that the education of their youth.

Teresa Bergerud said...

Så flott og rørende... og inspirerende. Jeg har en konfirmant i mai og skal skrive min tale inspirert av brevet ditt, - og håper jeg ikke begynner å gråte! Takk for at du inspirerer!

Fargerike Dagny said...

Teresa - tusen takk!! :D Huff, jeg gruer meg til å lese denne selv, selv om det er mange år til!

toko jaket kulit said...

listening and reading an interesting article and a lot of helpful info I really like blogs like this

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