Learn to know yourself.
For myself, I learned that if I worked and took some college classes, one of them would suffer. I took a couple of night classes while working, but didn’t do well because I wanted to work. So I realized that to do justice to them, I had to do one or the other. I arranged to attend college full-time to avoid the conflict. The lost income made it very expensive, but it motivated me to do better in my studies and to take advantage of the opportunity to learn.
While taking an accounting class, I realized that what was taught on Monday, for example, I didn’t really understand for about a week. After realizing this, I didn’t worry about it. I would continue studying the old and the new, knowing I was just slow or had a different learning curve. You may have a completely different experience, but learn how you learn.
In the business world and our personal lives, whoever takes the best notes wins. So when talking with a customer or client, take good notes over the phone, and if in person, record the details when you have left the person. Record the date and time, person(s), location, results, and so on.
In your personal life, consider recording the date something was purchased and the cost, either keeping the receipt or writing it on the item. I have done this with books, clothes, canned food, furniture, computers, and other items. It doesn’t take long, and can be helpful months or years later, and is also interesting to see how long you have owned something and how much the prices have increased. (When you get old, you can regale people while reminiscing what things used to cost.)
Take an inventory of all your belongings, either with photos, videos, or a list that includes the date purchased, where, and cost. Should you have a fire or burglary, this will help with insurance claims. You should be able to file a copy with your local insurance agent.
Keep a journal of your life. This can be as detailed as you want, but it is helpful to review. Even if you only record highlights: when you started a new job, births or deaths of family and friends, health problems or treatments, when and where you lived, how much you earned, etc. It’s fascinating to review them a few years later. I had a medical appointment recently and provided an extensive history of health-related visits for [my doctor]. She expressed her appreciation for it and said she wished every patient would do the same. It made the meeting go faster, things weren’t overlooked, and there was more confidence in the treatment proposed.
Make it a good day!
Paul Johnson, North Dakota
My Dad was always my hero. He started his career as a professional baseball player in the late 1930s right out of Willamette College. His first love was baseball, and he had a wonderful career from 1936 to 1942 with the Spokane Indians in Spokane, Washington, my home. In 1942, he left his MVP role to join the Navy and spent the war as a naval pilot instructor in Ottumwa, Iowa. After the war, he returned to Spokane and was one of the best-known citizens due to his former career in baseball. The largest insurance agency in Spokane recognized this and brought him into the business. Needless to say, he was very successful, since he could walk into any company in town and be welcomed.
I was born in 1942, so I missed the thrill of watching my Dad play ball. But I was always proud that everyone in town knew and respected him. He was very successful financially, and I grew up in a normal neighborhood with normal neighbors and amenities. We never lacked for anything, but we never owned a Cadillac. I don’t ever remember missing that. We did have a small old lake cabin north of Spokane that Dad said he purchased for $2,500. I always knew we weren’t poor, but I never knew we were rich. One day when I was older, about 16 I think, and had started thinking about the future, my Dad said, “Son, the best way to live your life is to always live below your means. I’ve lived my life that way, and it has served our family well.” I have never forgotten that advice, and I try to live by it and to pass it on as often as I can.
Dwight B. Aden Jr., Washington
Work at something you enjoy, something worth your time and talents. You never know … you might be doing that job 10 or 20 years down the road.
Have a grateful heart.
Practice self-discipline. Save money, no matter how modest your salary. Discipline yourself not to overeat or overspend. Exercise a little every day.
Take care of the people and pets you love.
Be honest and a person of integrity, be loyal.
Vote. Many have died to ensure you have this privilege.
Take responsibility for yourself, your life, your actions.
Be bold, be brave, and have courage. At the end of your life, you will regret the things you didn’t do much more than the things you did.
Remember to be happy, optimistic. You won’t find these in power or possessions. They are in a person’s character and view of life. Never forget to count your blessings.
Nadine Leyton, California
One day while speaking to my granddaughter, I asked her a simple question. “Why should you do what’s right?” She gave several reasons: so she wouldn’t get in trouble, so she would get a reward, so that she would please the grownups, and so on.
I told her that those were all good reasons but that the only reason a person really needs to do the right thing is because it’s the right thing to do. It was no more complicated than that. I then explained that as she was growing up, she had been taught about God, what was right, what was wrong, and that gave her a conscience, which, like God, was always present, so whenever she found herself doing the wrong thing, she would instinctively feel badly inside without anyone having to tell her it was wrong, and because of her conscience, she wouldn’t be able to fool herself into thinking otherwise.
Conversely, when she would do the right thing, she would instinctively feel it was right and feel good about her decision, which meant that she would have no need for someone following her around, constantly praising her to build up her self-esteem. In fact, her greatest self-esteem builder would be doing the right thing when no one (except God) was watching! So now when I ask her why she does the right thing, she smiles and replies because it’s the right thing to do. And from the way she has grown and matured, I believe she means what she says.
George A. Rivera, Colorado
What advice would you like to give to the younger generations?
We call on all of our readers to share the timeless values that define right and wrong, and pass the torch, if you will, through your wisdom and hard-earned experience. We feel that the passing down of this wisdom has diminished over time, and that only with a strong moral foundation can future generations thrive.
Send your advice, along with your full name, state, and contact information to NextGeneration@epochtimes.com or mail it to: Next Generation, The Epoch Times, 229 W. 28th St., Floor 7, New York, NY 10001