The butterfly effect and “lemon”osity

There is no time in your life more important than your teen years. From 13-19 it seems like every little decision you make potentially has a huge impact on how you live your life as an adult. Screw off in school and the next thing you know you are flipping burgers at 42. Study hard for every exam and become president of the company by 35. Smoke that first cigarette and die of lung cancer at 60. Because before you know it, you will be 42…or 35…or 60.

New Bitmap ImageI will share my experience as a teenager that had a huge impact on every day of the rest of my life. My work ethic – every day – is a direct result of the influences I had as a teenager. My mom worked hard, sometimes at crappy jobs. I saw her effort and it stuck with me. I worked for a couple window cleaners that knew no other way than to hard work every day. They taught me how to work hard and the benefits you get from it. But there is another part to work ethic. The part that makes the butterfly effect positive. All of my influences taught me that work can be enjoyable. It’s okay to enjoy the work you do. Even if it isn’t exactly what you want to be doing right at that second…or forever… you can find a way to make it enjoyable. See, when you enjoy what you are doing it doesn’t seem like work. However, if you hate what you are doing, well, it will seem like work all right. In the worst way.

As a teenager the decisions you make today will have an effect on your confidence in the future. It might affect how rich or how poor you are. How well you live, or how well you wish you lived. How stressed you are, or how relaxed you are. How you define success or what you value. How you treat other people or how they treat you.

But here’s the trick. You don’t always (or ever) know what or who will be impacted tomorrow by your decisions today. It’s been said – by everyone from Aristotle to Walt Disney according to and pinterest boards – “We are what we repeatedly do. Therefore, excellence is not an act. It is a habit.”

So maybe it’s not every little decision that needs to be agonized over, but rather working hard to consistently do the right thing. The smart thing. To consistently work hard and consistently have a good attitude toward work and life and other people. Be consistent with excellence. Be relentless with enjoying work and persevere with “lemon”osity.


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