7 Lessons For 20's Something Men
School of Life Is Always In Session
It has been a long time since I was a college age student, almost so long ago it’s difficult to remember most of what I thought back then. Obviously, I remember having fun, few limitations, and more freedom than I enjoy today. Not that freedom as a result of my lack of inhibitions was all good, of course. There were many bad side effects to my zest for fun, freedom, and irresponsible behavior. A few of the consequences seem to be life long and irreversible. This fact is often hard to see as an invincible 20 something young man.
In hindsight, there are many things I would do differently, especially concerning the ones that contain lifelong penalties. But the thing I would change the most is my attitude. My motivation left a lot to be desired. As much of a competitor as I was as a young man (and still am) you would think I was Mr. Positive. You don’t continue to play at a high level without having the ability to positively imagine the outcome of the game. I can remember always wanting to strike out the last batter of a game or get the game winning hit. I always wanted the ball in my hands when the game was on the line. But somehow as life happens, the motivation or the ability to see the desired outcome wasted away in the sea of mediocrity.
I don’t want to insinuate that today’s college students are at all like I was back in the 70’s because in most ways they aren’t. The only comparison is we are both men. My passion today and my message to the young men of today has more to do with encouragement than anything else, but I can’t deny hoping to save some young man from a life of misery associated with guilt caused by poor motivation and poor decision making.
I recognize that everyone has to lead his or her own life and that making mistakes is part of learning the difference between good and bad judgment. There is, however, a motivation inside of me that has the desire to influence young men and women to do a few things I didn’t do in the hopes of avoiding some unnecessary pain. These few tips would be:
- Above everything else seek a close, personal, and abiding relationship with God, however you define the source of truth. Again, looking back I would say the most valuable element missing from my early development was a clear and identifiable relationship with my creator. Who else would know me better? Who better to show me who I really am, what gifts I possess and what my purpose is for living.
- Invest time gaining wisdom by studying, meditating and working on projects that will lead you to your own unique life path and spend quality time developing meaningful relationships with other wise people as you go.
- Waste no time attempting to accumulate the stuff the world uses to measure success. Invest time learning who you are and what you are here to accomplish, then immediately set out to accomplish it.
- Learn the difference between an asset and a liability, in all resource areas; Human, Capital/Financial, and emotional and learn it as early in life as possible.
- Learn how to listen. It will bring you faith, understanding and confidence as you are guided by the voice of one true source.
- Learn how to live in the present while you develop the habit of seeing beyond your current circumstances. Learn how to turn a negative into a positive and learn how to get up when you fall and “Never, Never, Never quit.” – Winston Churchill. Failure isn’t final and “the past does not equal the future.” - Anthony Robbins
- And if you never learn how to do anything else, learn how to love. Learn how to give of yourself when you don’t feel like it. Learn how to listen when you want to speak. Learn how to do something for someone else, especially if that person seems unlovable. Learn how to forgive others and yourself even when it seems impossible to do so.
And remember, it’s not about you! Everything you are and all that you possess were meant to be used by you to benefit posterity because you sure won’t be taking it with you. Not only are you the owner of some very special gifts, it is also your choice as to how you will use them.
Be creative, let’s see what you can do!