I took my oldest son out to the golf club last night. We hit some golf balls on the driving range. We stopped by A&W for some root beer. And then we picked up a couple of DVDs from Best Buy.
I value the time I spend with my children.
And yet I rarely talk to my teenaged children about the more critical and consequential challenges associated with preparing for life as an adult.
Character and values. Mission and purpose. Service and sacrifice.
I had difficulty sleeping last night. I thought about my own life. Have I been an appropriate role model for my children? Have I passed on to them my own learnings about life?
I thought about some of the important things that I need to pass on to them.
I came up with quite a list.
- Create a personal mission statement for your life. Be bold and create a compelling vision of the person you can become and guide your daily activities against that vision.
- Faith, family, career, service, personal growth, finances and health. All are important areas of focus. Give each one your personal best.
- Honour God. Seek to be a good and faithful servant.
- Choose your friends wisely. And be especially considerate in choosing your spouse.
- Be passionate about learning. Read. As much as you can and as widely as you can.
- Commit to excellence in everything that you do.
- You will often have to do things that you don”™t want to do. Just don”™t let it become a career.
- Think before you act. You will face many decisions in life. Think through them. Acting without thinking usually ends badly.
- Manage your money. Live within your means. Give 10% and save 10%.
- Doing things just for money has short-term benefits and nothing more. If you are going to do something for a long period of time your heart has to be in it. Or you are going to be miserable.
- Work hard. Be persistent in your hard work. Don”™t take short cuts in your work or in your studies. Don”™t just do that which is easy. Try hard. Do that which is hard.
- Listen first. Then talk. And choose your words wisely. Particularly if you use email.
- Learn from the experiences of others. Even if they are older than you.
- Keep a daily journal. Maybe even a blog. You will learn something about yourself and you will grow from that learning.
- Stay healthy. Eat well and exercise.
- Control your time. Be focused on how you spend your time. Time is more precious than money. Always use your time wisely.