Monday, August 28, 2017

Things You Will Never Learn In School

There is a myth out there floating around about whether or not some of the following things that I am writing about actually came from Bill Gates or not. The first place that I heard of them was on a You Tube video about Science and Engineering. Throw in some of Colin Powell's suggestions of rules to live by and add in my own two cents worth...there you have it. I always want to give credit when I get ideas from other sources. These sayings are so true and I believe that somehow we need to find better ways to teach our children well! Life is not always easy, therefore, we need to lead the way to help them steer a pathway of level-headed responses. These guidelines to live by are not in the curriculum in our school systems, sad to say.

As a parent and a teacher, I did use the expression of, "Life is not fair." There are times that I must repeat this over to myself, as if it were a mantra . No one ever made this promise to any of us. You take the lemons and make lemonade. That has always helped my mindset to never give up. Usually, it is never as bad as you think. Take a moment to vent and then let it go.

Our egos can be our own worst enemies. Others, in general do not care about my self-esteem nor your self-esteem. Nothing is more boring than hearing others talk about how important they are. That old saying about the bigger they are, the harder they fall is so true in this case. If you hold your ego so close to your position in life, your ego will fall when your position falls - one only need to study history to find this to be true. If one must tell others just how important they are, then they probably are not!

Most of us will not earn the mega-bucks right out of college, much less right out of high school. You must work for them. It is a slow process and depending on the career path that we choose, there are ways to earn more if that is your goal. There are no short-cuts. Flipping burgers and bagging groceries are not beneath anyone's dignity. It is called opportunity. What I learned in my first job besides how to make that cute little curl on the top of a Dairy Queen ice cream cone is how to deal with customers, many of whom are not always polite. Remaining calm and kind in the face of an irrational customer had a lasting effect on me. It was not a lot of money, yet it was the start of learning how to budget not only my money, but my time. I never remember this being taught in school. It is a life lesson.

There were times that I came home from school, as early as third grade elementary, complaining to my mother about how mean a teacher was. The reply that I received back was, "If you think your teacher is tough, just wait until you get a boss." At the age of 9 or 10 that really did not register with me. Once I was in high school, it made a bit more sense, in that I could relate the power that a teacher had over his/her students vs. what a boss would have. This life lesson of finding out exactly what is being asked for me to produce in order to correct my mistakes saved me from receiving bad grades, as well as from receiving bad evaluations in my job, much less getting fired. 

Some bosses can be quite nasty, as can some teachers or professors. It is up to us to respond accordingly. I know there are some horror stories out there. The one that I am choosing to share and ask my readers about is: Ever had the 'top dog' boss speak at a meeting for those supervisors under him and have him say, "If you don't like the way things are going, then go on down to McDonald's. I hear they are hiring." He meant it. All 300 plus employees had to make a choice. When you are out in the real world, your fate is in your own hands. You can walk away from such bullying tactics or stand up straight and tall and deal with it. Be careful what you wish for, as you just might get it!

Along, sort of, that same subject is to always be nice to nerds. There is a good chance that we all will be working for one some day. The boss man that I spoke about above was not in this category of being a nerd. Let's just say more of a perfect example of an ineffective leader. Many, not all, of us sitting in the room being spoken to were probably considered nerds at some stage in our lives. I have learned that it is always a good thing to spend time with people from whom I can learn something better. This has always taken me closer to my dreams.

In the end, remember, life is not divided up into semesters or quarters, where you receive the summers off. This is even true of teachers. Contrary to public opinion, they do attend workshops and conventions over the summer without any extra pay. It is considered the "norm" now. Television and movie teachers are definitely not in the real world. 

Perpetual optimism is an attitude and a strategy for life. As Thomas Friedman stated, " Hope and optimism aren't just attitudes, they are life strategies."  We need to always work on sharpening our skills to become the best that we can be.  

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