My grandniece is four, and she and I were talking about her future. (Just kidding. I was thinking about her future in her presence.) In case I’m not around to give her advice when she might be willing to listen, I decided to write it down now.
With over thirty years as an executive coach which has enabled me to be around some highly successful-in-life people, I found some simple truths that will help in her personal life as well as work-life.
1. It’s easier to make a living than find someone to do it for you. Do not partner up (or marry) anyone for money, power, or position in society. It’s easier, longer lasting, and more meaningful to you if you earn it for yourself.
2. Marry only if the person makes you laugh every day and helps you get better in whatever you want to get better in. With that kind of supportive partner, you won’t need or look for approval from any other source. Give it back to your partner, similarly.
3. Be wise to be happy. Foolish and dumb people aren’t happy. So get to know yourself. Know humanity. Understand basic human psychology. Appreciate that life is not always fair, clean, happy, or fun — but it beats the alternative.
4. Find something you love to do, and then get really, really, really good at it. You can always find a way to make a living doing most anything if you work hard to truly excel in it.
By the time she’s ready to hear it my list might be longer, but I think this will serve my grandniece — and your loved ones — well for now.