What advice will I give my kids?
When the day comes that I’m fortunate enough to have children, what will I tell them? I often think about this because given the opportunity to start over, I don’t know if I would change anything in my own life. I didn’t go to University straight from school, and I used to think that was a disadvantage. I was angry with my parents for not ‘giving me’ the opportunities I ‘deserved’. But I was humbled by life, like many others, and I soon realised that I actually did have a huge advantage; in the words of Gary V I learned how to hunt. And this meant that I was able to realise my own dreams, on my own terms, and use the lessons learned to make them happen.
So, would I send my own child to a private school? Would I send them to University? Will I let them make their own choices, or will I push them in the direction that I was never able to go? Here’s what I hope I have the courage to tell them.
To my unborn child,
I hope you are brave enough to explore. I promise to let you fall over, even if it takes every bit of restraint I have. I want you to graduate high school, but do your own learning. What they’re teaching you is bare minimum, and everyone is learning the same thing (don’t be a robot). You want to be better? Achieve something great? You have to do your own learning. Read books at every opportunity. Remember that knowledge is power, and it doesn’t discriminate between rich and poor, or care about nationality or how attractive you are.
If you have the means to be smart, then you should be. Embrace failure. Taste it regularly and come to peace with it because when shit hits the fan later, you’ll have an acquired taste and you’ll be 100% ready. You won’t crumble, because you’re stronger than that, but you’re allowed to cry. Travel like you have nowhere to be. Get your heart broken so you know what love feels like when it comes along, make mistakes, and please work in hospitality at least once in your life. There’s no better way to bring yourself down to earth.
Eventually, when you’re ready, that cosy cocoon you’ve unknowingly weaved around you with all those experiences, will start to crack. And you’ll emerge, ready to take on literally anything. My guess is, you’ll still be in your 20’s when it happens. And you’ll wake up one day and decide you’ve done all the learning you can possibly do on your won, and it’s time to trust someone else to teach you. Find a subject you love. Study because it empowers you, and motivates you.
After all of this, you’ll understand the most important lesson I’ve been trying to teach you: the currency of life is not money, but experience.