Satya's blog - Pro tip: fatherly advice

Feb 24 2009 18:53 Pro tip: fatherly advice

My father gave me two pieces of advice, and one skill:

  • Always be presentable,
  • Use the right tool for the job, and
  • Riding a bicycle

Always be presentable

He really meant, "Shave!", but it also applies to general appearance: you never know what kind of opportunities will present themselves when you're wearing ratty shorts and a torn-up shirt. He didn't mean wander around with a suit and tie at all times, of course. This comes in useful, in the literal sense, when you suddenly get a meeting scheduled and... oh, good, you've shaved today!

Use the right tool for the job

Literally, he meant don't use a flat-blade screwdriver for turning a Philips-head screw, but he also meant in general. You can't approach a problem with a mind-set that doesn't fit a problem. I've been struggling with a particular construction problem, that I just fixed (or vastly simplified, we'll find out after the... stuff... dries) by going out and getting the right $5 tool.

Riding a bicycle

He forced me to learn to ride a bicycle, which became my primary transport for years in college and the first few years of work. Everyone should learn to ride a bicycle, and swim. Then you can compete in triathlons (he doesn't say that, I'm saying that). Yeah, no deeper lesson here, except: learn to ride.

The examples I use are literal, because those are the contexts we encontered them in. He's a technical/mechanical person, an electronics guy, so that's what we usually talk about. Soldering, hanging drywall, and stuff. Except we didn't have drywall.

Tag: tip