12 Lessons…

…I Learned from My Parents and a Few Great Teachers (Some old advice worth repeating)

by Leslye “Joy” Allen                                                                                                            Historian, Educator, Theatre and Jazz Advocate & Consultant, Doctoral Student

Copyright © 2012 by Leslye Joy Allen. All Rights Reserved.

  1. BE PREPARED TO BURN THE MIDNIGHT OIL.  If you rush and get something done in ten minutes, there are probably ten errors in it.  Take your time and do it right the first time.
  2. DO NOT BE AN ADULT WHO IS ALSO A SPOILED BRAT.  Temper tantrums and crazy demands are bad enough in children, but completely intolerable in adults.  In fact, tantrums and crazy demands will not likely be tolerated by anyone other than an idiot who is a glutton for punishment.  No one owes you anything.  Get over the idea that because you are sad, financially broke, angry, or frustrated that the world must accommodate your bad mood or your rudeness.  Go somewhere alone and be quiet and think about how you got to this point.
  4. TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE BAD STUFF.  Remember that there are some memories of bad or traumatic events that will bother you from time to time.  Call a good friend who will let you vent, or seek counseling.  If necessary, shed a few tears.  Yet, do not cry over five minutes.  Get back to your work.  Do not get into the habit of believing that because you have big problems that you bare no responsibility for your life.
  5. BE DEPENDABLE.  No one needs a friend that barely returns a phone call and no employer needs an employee that is chronically late or who does lousy work.
  6. BE INDEPENDENT and take responsibility for your personal and financial life—You are not an adult until you do.  Avoid people that do not encourage your independence. People who support your dreams are not supposed to continuously pay your way, but they should be encouraging you to do so.
  7. CHOOSE  YOUR ASSOCIATES AND FRIENDS AND MATES, CAREFULLY.  Suppose your associates or friends or mates can be defined as any of the following: unreliable, lazy, bigoted, racist, narrow-minded, sexist, uncouth, ill-mannered, elitist, promiscuous, untrustworthy, and/or just plain dumb (you can add your own negatives, if you like).  All you need to ask yourself is whether you would want your son or daughter to acquire about half of these characteristics.  If your answer is no, then you have no business hanging out with, dating, marrying or mating with any of these folks.
  8. DEAL WITH WHAT IS REAL.  Avoiding reality will never change reality.  Daydreaming and talking about what you want to do has its limitations.  Dream big, but stop daydreaming and get to work.
  9. FINISH WHAT YOU START.  So what if what you are working on is going to take five years or more to complete?  Work toward that goal with concrete and practical steps everyday, and avoid taking detours.  It is not what you say you want to do, but what you actually do that matters.
  10. PARTICIPATE IN THE ARTS (music, theatre, paintings, sculpture, dance, writing) in some capacity.  The arts help you remain creative whether you have any artistic talent or not.  Creativity, put to good use, will help you solve problems.  Occasionally, it will help you forget about your problems when necessary.
  11. This is an old adage, but NEVER STOP LEARNING.  Make education a lifelong journey.  Always be ready to discover something new.
  12. MAKE SMILING A HABIT.  Frowning always turns people off.  Smiling helps your appearance and your attitude.


Copyright © 2012 by Leslye Joy Allen. All Rights Reserved.

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