Work Smarter Not Harder. As any successful person will tell you: it is not what you know but who you know. Of course to be mentally and physically prepared for anything you might want to do in life can be very helpful. However, I have found the most important thing is to be an opportunist. So when a situation arises always be ready to ask that right question or be available so you can be chosen by a Potential friend, a potential lover, a potential employer or whatever you goal might be at that time.
At about age 9 or 10 I realized that there were different kinds of kids going different directions with their lives. At first I was frightened by this realization. However, I soon began to see all the different types of choices that I could make with my life.
I started working at delivering newspapers with my bicycle at age 10 and the same year when I trained the next newspaper boy within 2 years after I moved to the same junior high he went to we became best friends throughout high school. I can remember at age 12 being paid 1 dollar cash per hour to dig a ditch. I worked with 2 friends 8 hours that day. When I got paid my hands were blistered from digging without gloves and skin peeled off in many places as I was paid the 8 dollars. I remember thinking, "That was an awful lot of work and aggravation for 8 dollars. That same year I began working for my father every summer until I was 17 years old.
By the time I was 13 or 14 he gave me 2 dollars and 50 cents per hour, because I had learned enough of the Electrical trade in building houses and warehouses to be worth that to him. So I was happy to be learning so much not only in learning a trade but also to be meeting many tradesmen and business people and learning how awful and strange the real world was for most people. I couldn't talk about this to my mother and grandmother because they were not worldly people and besides it wouldn't have been polite to do this in 1960 to 1965. So I just kept to myself mostly how horrified I felt to be exposed to the insanity of the workaday world at 12 to 17. Because I had worked so hard at jobs from ages 10 to 21 I was so exhausted from working by age 21 I felt I was ready to retire.
However, I also was going to college and my first major was in Computer Data Processing. What this meant was that I was studying working with IBM Computers(There would be no microcomputers or PC's for about 10 years more then in 1968 and 1969.)
So I was working and studying about programming and operating mainframe computers. So the computers and peripheral equipment, for example, would occupy the size of a very large living room or small warehouse and be worth about 1 million dollars at least. So you can see it was very different than now. Also, there was only batch filing then. Random access memory was only a dream then and hadn't been invented yet. Neither had the computer chip made of silicon.
So, First I worked on an IBM 1620 computer that did automatic grading of all multiple choice forms for all the testing done from kindergarten through junior college in the city I grew up in. With this experience I got a job working for Foremost McKesson helping to automate one of their warehouses. After that I worked for a company that did automated accounting for the biggest car dealerships in my state. At that point I was working 7 days a week midnight to noon. However, since I couldn't physically adjust to working a graveyard shift I eventually found I had to stop after I had a car accident from lack of sleep.
I found as the years passed and I married and had a son and then 2 daughters I realized that like my father I preferred to work for myself and own my own business so I owned several businesses.
What is amazing to me looking back is that all the most important events in my life started when I was young in seeking out the right people to hang out with who were going toward college and who had a future. It wasn't that I didn't have other friends that were going in other directions. It was just that I realized that to have the life I wanted there were certain decisions that I had to make. Everyone values different things so it is important to make choices you can live with long term. For if there is any one thing I know for sure it is that: "Don't do anything you can't live with the rest of your life". Because if you do you might take your own life. That is a given!
So if you want to have a life that is worth living, "Work Smarter Not Harder"