Rich or poor is a choice! I realize that some of you may feel this is controversial, but give it some thought. You have control of yourself and you are not a victim. People who are rich, work hard. People who are poor generally make poor choices. It starts very young with education, role models and goals. Most rich people did not start out that way. They made a choice and you can too!
I sometimes ask my students what their goals are or career choices? They all say they want to be rich and successful. Given a choice, who wants to be poor? Unfortunately, many of them do not know what it takes to actually achieve success. At fifteen or sixteen years old, they have not experienced success in school, sports or their personal lives. They have a huge disconnect between work and everything else! Soon they will want a part time job and they will not be able to point to skills or knowledge unless they can demonstrate it in school.
When you are a teenager, school is your job! How well you perform your job as a student will carry into the rest of your life. You do not need to achieve the highest grades, but you have to demonstrate work place skills. They range from reading, writing, arithmetic and considerably more. When I interview a high school student for a job, I want to know their grades, work habits, cooperation, and their attendance. In this high unemployment economy, I can easily hire the best for minimum wage.
You will be in school for twelve (12) or sixteen (16) years! The habits you learn or create in school will be part of your life forever. Whether you have high grades or mediocre grades, how you approach learning and how you handle difficulties is indicative of your skills set. Employers are looking for people who will overcome obstacles, learn new things and succeed in a variety of situations. It is not that different from school! What kind of student were you? Did your skills and knowledge help you in the work place?
If you had some success in school, you probably carried it over into the work place. It may have come from the classroom, a subject, a teacher, band, sports, clubs or organizations. Not every student will do as well as others academically, but they still need to demonstrate success in their lives through some of the other outlets in school. If you never experienced success, how can you achieve it? Failure is a discouraging feeling and you may give up, if that is your only experience.
The level or volume of success is different for everyone, but necessary for everyone. How well are you prepared for the work place? School is a safe place to learn the skills necessary for success. Success will give you the confidence to try new things and learn more. We build from success and failure, but it takes success to learn from failure. If you always failed, you will give up before you can achieve success. Poor people usually are undereducated and do not have skills.
As a teacher, I often see students who have given up. They may or may not cut classes, but they stop trying in their classes. The usually have excuses because it worked with someone before. Excuses such as I don’t like math, English or science! It starts with lack of skills. How can you like a subject you are having trouble with or failing? Rather than asking for help, they just give up. Sooner or later, they give up on their education and drop out of school. It is the first step to a lifetime of poverty.
Work is different, but similar to school. You need good soft skills to get along in school and work. The skills you learn from sports, clubs, and organizations in school round out your education. Those skills are just as important as the academics. More often than not, you will be fired for your poor soft skills than you specific skills and knowledge. Can I teach you how to achieve success? Of course, but you have to be willing to learn. If you have had a lifetime of failure, are you willing to learn?
Success builds on success! You make choices all day, choose something you will experience success. It may be academics, organizations or sports, but you have to maintain a C average to participate in extra-curricular activities. Where will you find success? It may be in one of your elective subjects or sports, but you must maintain your grades to participate. Success is not easy, but you learn from the effort. School teaches us how to handle a multiple activities, if you are successful.
I often hear students complain about school. It is very telling about how they handle things that are difficult or don’t like. How we handle this and failure is real important to achieve success. Progress is never a straight line is an article I wrote about the journey of achieving goals. Having goals are an important first step, however you still need to know how to achieve them. Simply wanting to pass a particular class is not enough, you need to know how. It is a metaphor for life. Employers expect you will have all the necessary soft skills for success.
A good education is an investment in yourself! Although a college degree is becoming necessary to enter the business world, it is not the only choice. Education or the acquisition of skills and knowledge is important for success. “Ordinary riches can be stolen; real riches cannot. In your soul are infinitely precious things that cannot be taken from you.” (Oscar Wilde) Education is your first opportunity to invest in yourself and it is never lost! The return on investment (ROI) far exceeds the time and effort! Being rich or poor is a choice!
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