Recently, during the annual inspection of the home heating system it was discovered that the unit unexpectedly needed replaced. I requested that the technician call his supervisor so I could get another opinion and a better explanation of the problem. The technician complied and while we waited for his supervisor to arrive, we got to talking. He asked me how I became successful. We talked for 30 minutes about how I believe life should be lived, and the supervisor confirmed the bad news.
This conversation got me to thinking about just how thirsty younger generations are for guidance on how to live their lives. Many know something is not right, but do not know where to turn for advice. They see what someone has accumulated over a lifetime and see no way they can get there. Things will always be for them, as they are today. Why even try? They have so much, yet feel so needy.
After the technician left I decided to jot down my thoughts, and wish to offer them to you.
It all begins with prayer. Quiet time, just you and the Lord somehow lowers blood pressure and relieves the stress of the day. Being thankful for all that you have is important and Who else is more deserving of a thank you?
Planning for the future is important. Sadly, too many young people do not take school seriously. This is bad, because studying hard and always doing your best is what sets you up for future success. Further, by high school a career (not a job) should be chosen, and that career’s requirements decide what education after high school is needed. People with a job have to worry about if the job will always be there; people with a career much less so because they have marketable skills that set them apart.
Be loyal to your employer. Your employer provides the dollars that make everything else in your life possible. You expect certain things from your employer (paycheck on time, safe working conditions, etc) and it is only right that you treat your employer with the proper respect in return. I see loyalty as the key component of that respect.
No matter your level of earnings, always live below your means. Work hard to limit interest paid, limit government payments and know that having a savings account is not about interest rates. Interest paid simply increases the cost of a purchase, anything from the government comes with strings attached that aim to change your behavior in some way, and a savings account is about having options not earnings. Everyone has good times and bad times, and it is your preparation and reaction to these times that decide future wealth.
To drink little and smoke less was the best advice I ever received. What good comes from either drinking or smoking?
We live in a society where being polite is an almost lost art. If you say please and thank you, people many times are actually shocked. Use these words and check out the reaction you get.
Finally, it is not all about us. It is also about our interaction with others. Try to do a random act of kindness every day. But it only counts if you get no credit. Everyone knows someone that they like, but cannot put their finger on why. I believe that our deeds, not our words, are where these positive feelings come from.
I am sure that most reading this could put together a better, more complete list. But these were my thoughts to the technician on the actions that lead to a satisfying and fulfilled life. I just hope I provided some good food for thought.
Editor’s Note: Michael Evanish is the manager of MSC Business Services, a member service of the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau. MSC Business Services provides business analysis, consulting, income tax and tax planning, and payroll services to businesses throughout Pennsylvania and Maryland. For more information call 717-731- 3517.