A friend of mine, Nevin Adams, was inspired to write today because his son just graduated from high school. As the Editor-in-Chief of PLANSPONSOR and PLANADVISER, he had some sage advice for young adults as they enter the workforce. His list of ‘exhortations’ is prompting me to write a letter to my son as he is turning 5. I wrote one earlier this year and it was my intent to periodically do this for him. I think this is a pivotal year, as he begins kindergarten and is less of a baby and more a regular boy. Well, that has been the case for a while but I am confronted by it more often now.
I am going to lift a few standout points here from Nevin’s list (you can read it in its entirety here) and continue with a few of my own:
If you wouldn’t want your mother to learn about it, don’t do it.
Never miss a chance to tell someone “thank you.” This can be a friend, a teacher or anyone who you see helping others.
You’ll fall in love more than once – or at least think you have. I don’t want to burst your bubble, but that girlfriend you have in preschool, she’s just the first one.
Hug your parents – often.
Listen. It is better to listen than talk. Learn what you can before telling others your opinion, then don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Read. You can expand your horizons without leaving your home! I cannot stress this one enough. You should anticipate that learning will happen throughout life, not just in the classroom.
Teamwork comes in handy off the playing field.
While winning is good, you will learn a lot from losing. Some of our biggest lessons come from our most difficult challenges.
You can learn a lot from Dr. Seuss. He communicates well with a limited vocabulary. He has an extensive imagination. He finds fun ways to share life lessons—read those books again when you’re older.
Life is about to change for us, especially for my son, this year. I hope that he continues to enjoy life as he adjusts to more rules, a schedule, and the pending grades. His carefree life is about to be a thing of the past.