"If you want to build a ship,
don't herd people together to collect wood
and don't assign them tasks and work
but rather, teach them to long for
the endless immensity of the sea."
-- Antonine de Saint-Exupery
While teaching philosophy and global objectives is worthy, it only affects a certain percentage of people the way it is intended.
I attended a training session today for some "disadvantaged youth." I'm not sure I agree they are disadvantaged, but there were a number of professional people on the panel each giving a bit of history of their career lives and much more in hopes of widening their knowledge and encouraging the sharpening of their goals. All are in high school and about ready to move into the working world.
There was a lot of philosophy from personal stories presented and it was enlightening to me to hear all of them and appreciate their positions and see a bit of their path to whom they have become today. It will be interesting to see if any of the young people were convinced of anything, yet it created in me an appreciation of what many others have gone through, where they started and how they have overcome the odds.
Here was the closing end of my remarks. See if any of it resonates with you thinking about young adults:
Throughout my life, I encountered resistance, some from others, but much of it from myself. I used to call them problems. Sometimes it was called drama. As I grew, I began to call them challenges. And, now, I call it contrast. Still, the one thing that stands out is the fact that all of them were helpful though I may not have had eyes to see that immediately. The contrast has caused within me a desire for something else, something more, and I made new choices, or course corrections which has led me quite perfectly to where I am today.
Here's some of the best advice I can give from my own experience:
1. Be willing to try and fail. Take chances. Change the word work to play.
2. Never fear losing your job. Have confidence in your ability and abilities. Change is a given. Be the best you can be.
3. Always be looking ahead, while enjoying the present fully. Discovery is meaningful and valuable.
4. Invest and reinvest in yourself throughout your life. Become more every day.
5. Be a life-long learner. Educate yourself. Leaders are readers!
6. Do what you love, and love what you do. Follow your heart and passion. Be your own counsel.
7. Develop and expand constantly an attitude of gratitude and appreciation.
8. Learn to express yourself and your value. You are worthy and important.
9. Give willingly and openly. Become a generous person.
10. Enjoy yourself. Seek joy. Decide on purpose every single day.
Remember, the American Dream is not about money, things and position. It is, and always was, about freedom--freedom of choice, freedom to move, freedom of speech, freedom to grow. And, it has nothing to do with where you start because everyone starts somewhere. There is no way. There is your way, my way, and their way. Everyone has a way. You and you alone are in charge of your choices, decisions, and actions. You are worthy. You are loved, and you matter.
Words Don't Teach, Yet We Often Hope They Will.
Spread Some Joy Today--by appreciating whomever you are around today.