Although originally written for a young teen, it has been suggested that perhaps we could all find something of benefit by talking a moment to think about ourselves.  As this is the beginning a new year and the hope for a brighter future is upon us, we as managers, leaders of others and individuals seeking more should help prepare those around us.  For; our success is directly tied to the success of others.

Jack, Thoughts to share with you.

It was good to have you visit with us in New Jersey and to see how much you are growing as a person.  Hopefully you can tell how much you are loved by your extended family.  You really do matter to us and I hope you keep the lines of communication open.  I share this with you because as a young teen more decisions in your life will have to be made by you.  As you continue to mature you will have to be accountable for your actions.

I am certain your mom and dad love you dearly.  I am just as certain your aunts, uncles, cousins, Jake and Jack and myself do as well.  I encourage you though, to begin thinking for yourself; about yourself.  This may seem like a far-away thought, but, what matters to you?  What are the things that interest you the most?  Where are places in the country or world you would most want to visit?  What would you be interested in pursuing later in life?

My point is that in life “shit happens” to everyone.  However, more shit happens to people who are unprepared, who live each day not knowing what they are going to do, not having a plan of what they want to achieve, and ultimately like a reed in the changing wind, get blown all over the place.  I really encourage you to make a list, whether on your lap top, or on paper, of everything you can think of that holds interest to you.  There could be a hundred things.

From this list you may find a pattern of interests or one dominant interest.  The idea is that you will begin to develop a direction, a target of what is important to you.  You will find that you will want to reach your interest and will do things to get there.   What this does is make everything you do each day have a purpose.  For instance, you aren’t just going to school to go through the motions.  You will go to school to learn something to help you get closer to your interest.  You will look for something and find something and do something every day that helps you reach the goals you set for yourself.  And that is what is important, to set goals, targets for yourself.  Take responsibility for yourself.  It doesn’t mean you ignore your parents or others that care.  But it does mean you are accountable for yourself.  And that is what life is about.

We all have great confidence in you and want to see you mature and be happy.  Just know that sometimes the people who love you the most can also hurt you the most.  Not intentionally of course, but more because they try to protect you from pain.  Mostly, pain of failure, trying something and it doesn’t work out.  I will tell you that you must fail in order to succeed.  You must try things, fight for what you want and if it doesn’t work out, so what?  Get back up, dust yourself off, evaluate what went wrong and go back after it again.  Failure, while not pleasant, makes you a much stronger and better person.  You will succeed if what you want is a burning desire within you.

With love and care for you…

Sincerely,

Uncle Ernie

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