When my first child was born, I remember looking at her tiny, helpless body wanting desperately to be able to protect her from every physical and environmental influence society would throw at her. As she grew and began soaking in elements of the world and developing habits—some positive and some I didn’t approve of—I realized I couldn’t possibly shelter her from every potential threat that could throw her off the course I thought she should follow. Now that I’m older, I understand that I made some mistakes. Instead of delicately shielding our children, fathers need to teach them principles that will help them become productive men and women. Kids and teens: pay attention to these golden nuggets of truth.
What Others Think About You Isn’t as Powerful as What You Think About Yourself
Childhood and adolescence can be filled with satisfying, memorable experiences. It can also be a confusing time when many of you and your peers are swayed by the untrue, judgmental words of others. Fitting into the right group or gaining approval of friends and classmates becomes a quest. What your fathers need to teach you, though, is that the opinions of others doesn’t dictate your happiness or self-worth. They can hurt you, definitely. But what really what really packs the most punch is the type of self confidence that only you can give to yourself. Strong confidence is built on integrity: being true to what you know is right, in any circumstance. This is where confidence comes from; not the mere opinions of your friends. Your father has seen this lesson a time a two in his lifetime. Ask him about it and learn from his experiences.
Pursue The Things You Enjoy and are Good At
“You can do anything” is the truth; follow your passions. This broad statement can be a bit overwhelming but try to focus on opportunities at hand and don’t be afraid to just go for it. You father will encourage you to try different hobbies and activities. Take this as a great foundation for trying new things and see where it leads you. Maybe playing basketball at your father’s request will lead you to love running. You never know where the small steps you take each day will lead you 10 years down the road. I’m sure your father can look back on his life and tell you what he wished he would have done differently. If he is like most humans out there, I bet he regrets not taking a risk or two. Talk to him. His ability to see his life backwards sheds some real wisdom that can be invaluable to you.
There’s no Substitute for Hard Work; Unless You Make a Viral Video
A select few of us get insanely lucky and make it big in an instant as a reality TV star or an overnight internet sensation. It seems like a lot of people can make this happen but trust me, as far as percentages go it’s a tiny, tiny number. For the rest of us, this life is real and it’s tough and the only way to be successful is to work hard for a long long time. Ask your dad. He will confirm this important truth. Don’t get caught up with a large portion of society that feels entitled to handouts and freebies. They’re going to remain ungrateful and disappointed. Hard work in your youth builds character and prepares you for adulthood. Sweat, tears, and trials build emotional and physical strength that will benefit you for your whole life. If I were guaranteed that my child would learn ONE lesson from me, it would be this: the difficult things I’ve faced in my life have been the most important and enriching experiences that I wouldn’t trade for all the instant fame and fortune in the world. They are worth it. Don’t give up. Don’t pine for an easier situation. Work hard and reap the rewards.
Budgeting is THE KEY to Financial Strength
Money comes and goes. Through feast and famine, sticking to a budget will help you and your future family to feel financially secure. Anyone can be wealthy if they know how to live within their means. Few things cause more heartache and stress than financial difficulties. But these unnecessary trials can be lessened, if not avoided altogether, if you can learn to budget your finances and have a real understanding for where and how you should be spending your money. While we’re on the topic, as you look for a life partner seek someone who has a similar financial mind. This will help you and your partner to have long term financial and romantic success.
Many adults like myself only began to understand these important lesson as we’ve had children of our own. How much easier and more fulfilling would life be if I had implemented these tips in my life as a youth! It’s never too early to begin developing positive lifelong habits. No, your life won’t be free from challenges, disappointments or setbacks, but your chances of success and happiness are far greater.