Everyone treats you like a kid, but you and I know better, right?
You’ve known the difference between boys and girls for a lot longer than anyone suspects. But girls aren’t the mystery you suppose them to be. They’re far more mysterious than that. You’re going to spend the rest of your life trying to figure out just one of them.
I remember twelve.
You’re about to start getting a lot of advice from people who love you and some of that advice will be pretty good. But you’re also going to be told some things that are absolute crap.
You’ll be told the secrets of success are to be smart and to work hard. But that’s not entirely true. The world is full of successful people who rose to the top simply because they overcame their fear and took chances other people weren’t willing to take.
Successful people usually fail multiple times before they succeed.
If working hard were the way to wealth, men who dig ditches in the heat of summer would be the wealthiest of us all.
We’re paid according to the size of the responsibilities we’ve been entrusted to carry.
You’ll be given responsibility when you demonstrate that you’re willing to do what other people aren’t willing to do. You’re not going to want to do those things, either. But do them and do a good job. That’s how you gain authority.
People will tell you that a single success can cause you to be “set for life” or that a single mistake can “ruin your life.” But success and failure are both temporary conditions.
Grown-ups will tell you that you need to go to college to be successful. If you want to become an employee and climb the corporate ladder, college will definitely help you do that. But the downside of college is that it trains you to think like everyone else. If you want to leave your fingerprints on the world you’re going to need to have your own way of thinking.
Good decisions come from experience, and experience comes from bad decisions. So never be afraid to experiment. Just make sure you can afford to fail.
People will tell you that you need to “find your purpose.” But this would lead you to believe that you have only ONE purpose and that it’s a secret.
Piffle and pooh. You don’t need to find a purpose; you need to choose one.
You fall in love with a purpose exactly like you fall in love with a girl: by reaching out and touching it each day. When you make daily contact with something, it becomes an important part of your life. You make your mark on it, and it makes its mark on you.
You’ll be told that you must plan your work and work your plan. But the winners are those who know how to improvise when things don’t go according to plan.
You can choose what you want to do, but you can’t choose the consequences.
There’s a big difference between the way things ought to be and the way things really are. If you moan about how things ought to be, you’re a whiner. And the only people who like whiners are other whiners.
But if you work to make things better, you’re an activist. If you fling yourself headlong into making things better, you’re a revolutionary. Congratulations, you found a purpose.
Grown-ups with good intentions will tell you that you should “enjoy these years of no responsibility, blah, blah, blah.” But grown-ups who have warm and fuzzy memories of the years between twelve and sixteen aren’t remembering those years as well as they think.
It’s pretty cool when you can hop into a car and go anywhere you want to go. But after a few years you’ll realize that no place is quite as special as the place you came from. But you can never really go home again because “home” changes just like you do. This is what Heraclitus meant when he said you can’t step into the same river twice.
The best advice I can give you is that you should marry your best friend and never let anyone or anything be more important to you than her. If you’ve always got your best friend with you, life is pretty amazing.
Hang in there, kid.
And remember what I told you.
Roy H. Williams
PS – As Pennie and Indy and I are out outside the U.S. for 2 weeks, the fact that you’re getting this MMMemo at all is a miracle. Our internet here is dial-up slow when it’s working at all. Anyway, there’s a chance you won’t have an audio memo next week, but we’ll move heaven and earth to make sure you get the text version. We haven’t missed one of those since the Monday Morning Memo began in 1994. – RHW
Stacy Swift is a business matchmaker. She helps entrepreneurs choose the right franchise from the thousands of options we currently have available. A franchise is a longterm commitment like a marriage and a good matchmaker understands the subtle dynamics that make for a happy marriage. Learn the secrets of a successful match this week at MondayMorningRadio.com