Updated: Sep 11, 2020
I was in undergrad in Chicago and I had a big essay exam in Animal Physiology (if I recall correctly) coming up very soon. I was pretty stressed out about it and decided to call my parents for some reassurance.
My dad picked up and asked me what was wrong. I started venting to my dad about the exam, and all I wanted was for him to calm me down and gently tell me everything would be fine.
But, to my surprise and my (initial) chagrin, he started to laugh.
I was angered by his response and let him know it; I very nearly hung up on him. He then stopped laughing and told me still with some mirth in his voice (to the best of my recollection):
"Manoj, you always do this. You stress about things and you do great, every time. I have 100% confidence that you're going to do great on your exam. Focus on the things you have control over and leave the rest in God's hands."
It wasn't just the words he said; it was the supreme confidence in his voice behind those words that lifted my spirits. My dad never bullshitted with anyone, even his kids.
And I knew that if my dad believed everything was going to be okay, then that assuaged any doubt I had.
It was just one more thing that made Daddy a great dad: he usually knew even better than me what I needed at any given moment.