As many of you know, I adopted a baby last year; his name is Kason Thomas and he is the highlight of my life… well, he just turned 1 on July 14th and he wants for nothing so in lieu of gifts at his birthday party, I asked that everyone write a letter to 18-year old Kason and I will give them to him, unopened, at that time. I sat down to write my own letter and once I finished, I thought “many of these things relate to business as well” so I decided to share parts of my letter with you in hopes that you may find a refresher useful in your business and in your everyday life…
Page 2 of my letter starts like this:
“As you go through life there are going to be many challenges and difficult times… it is that way for everyone. I hope that you not only recognize that in others so that you are able to understand that everyone has their own “cross to bear”, but also that you always know that difficult times are temporary – everything always works out exactly as it is supposed to. When you are confused, in pain, angry, or scared, just stay positive and do what our heart and your conscience tell you to do. I trust that you will try to make the correct decision – the one that allows you to maintain your integrity always!
As you go through life, your reputation, your education, your dignity, and your word are the most assets you have. If you are true to yourself and earn the trust of those around you, you will be revered as a leader, someone others can look up to and respect. There are going to be times when telling the truth, or doing the right thing, is the hardest thing to do – you will need to make these decisions knowing that for every action there is a reaction and consequences. I hope you always try to do what is good and just.
I hope you are completely comfortable with who you are – love whom you want to love, hang out with people that challenge and encourage you – surround yourself with people that you make you the best version of yourself and accept you just the way you are – you are your best self!
There are going to be jealous people, mean people, people that stab you in the back, people that don’t pull their weight, people that wish you harm – keep your head held high and continue to be your best self; you will always win in the end if you continuously take the high road.
Be Grateful! The world doesn’t owe you anything. Appreciate everything that people do for you – show them that you appreciate them! A “Thank –You” goes along way. Send hand-written cards, it is a lost-lost art means a lot to people!
Be confident! Take risks! Stay humble! People don’t like cocky people – you get more bees with honey that with vinegar. Let other people take credit, even if they don’t deserve it, give thanks for all things, appreciate what you have and give back whenever you can, without expecting anything in return… do it just for the betterment of the community, church, non-profit, or whomever you are helping.
Work hard! Nothing is going to come free in this life – you can have anything you want and you can become anything you choose with enough perseverance and hard work. Put your mind to something and do it! With the end-result in mind, work backwards to make it happen… all things are possible!
Love freely! Don’t be afraid to take risks. There is greater reward with greater risk, Take a leap of faith when you need to – go into this world knowing that you have the support of a loving family and that you are amazing!
Make mistakes! Know that mistakes are inevitable; everyone make mistakes, it is only natural. People will not remember what happened but they will remember how you reacted to it. Pick yourself up, apologize when necessary, and admit when you’re wrong – then move on to the next amazing thing, having learned something and growing intellectually.
Take the lead! Don’t be afraid to speak up – be a leader; people like direction and are often waiting for someone to take the lead – take advantage of that and do more than is required of you so you can float to the top of any situation – this philosophy will serve you well in life.
My main wish for you is that you are happy – love your life and appreciate the beauty in the small things – make the most of everyday!
I’ll spare you the rest of the letter as it is mainly sappy, mom stuff. Have you considered having everyone in your family writing letters to your child for the future? I expect that some of these people will not be around in 18 years and I am happy to be able to give this gift to my son. I hope that you enjoyed reading excerpts of my letter.
As always, if there is anything we can do for you, please do not hesitate to ask.