7 June 2012
This is a very exciting 21st Century. Put aside the constant drip feed of awful news at home and abroad, whilst taking serious note of it and determining in good time to do your own bit, in your own way, to try and make this a better world in which to live. Get out there and enjoy life.
If you think small, you will achieve little. When you think big you will achieve big things.
It’s difficult though. Don’t expect success to be handed to you on a plate. Instant success is not good either. It can give you a false sense of security. You’ve built your house on sand and the first storm sees you washed away. “I’m a star”. Yes. You maybe. But not for long if you don’t learn your craft and learn humility. Build your house on rock. One of my friends, an old head on young shoulders, is quite taken aback by that problem with some of his working colleagues. Fortunately, he’s got his feet well and truly on firm ground.
And give substance to your ambitions. Don’t expect to make it by being a “blond bombshell know-nothing”. Oh yeah but she’s made it. She’s on the beeb and covered the Thames Pageant. Yes she did. And what a cock up!
Know your history. Know your roots. Know your family history on both sides. Allow what you learn, to spread wider into the community. Make a point of knowing about the sacrifices your family has made. That’s a difficult one. Most people have a tendency to keep quiet about them. So be investigative, and even then you’ll get little information. You’ll be surprised what you find out. I’ll be blunt. Most of the stuff you’re trying to find out you’ll only get to learn about from the personal papers left behind after death. And that’s when you then wish you’d spent a little more time listening than talking, and poncing on about this and that and the other. Suddenly the lofty pronouncement you made with some irritation, the old un had already experienced a decade, two, three, four, five, six, seven and more earlier. Ah! But why ever didn’t they say so? Well in a lifetime from now you’ll know that answer to that one!
So remember this one very important principle. Despite you being 21st Century bods and your elders being pre social media, worse still from the olden days, without exception they’ll have been there, done that, thought this, written that, loved like you, loved wrongly, loved rightly and so on, long before, decades before you were ever spoken into existence.
And your wallet. Easy come, easy go the saying goes.
Young twenty somethings look goggle eyed that their mate Jo Bozo is rich. Really? Yeah. He’s got fifteen hundred pounds in his account. Sorry, I thought you said fifteen hundred. Yeah I did. What did you think I said? Oh you did! I thought you meant fifteen thousand or a hundred and fifty thousand. Oh don’t be daft. True. But don’t go round thinking fifteen hundred quid makes you rich. Your mates will make you think that and will nicely spend it all for you. So get your thousand pound cushion as starters and never let it drop below that. Ever. And if you find your hands are easy come easy go, then have a chat with one of the old ‘uns and ask if they’d help you to monitor it, a bit like a bank. Many a granny up and down the nation is a superb secret bank clerk! (Wink) They’re great at balancing the books, cutting cloth accordingly, making sure you’ve got plenty to have a good night out on, and quietly helping you to build up the pennies.
So keep those ambitions high. Aim for the top and be always prepared to drop down. If you aim for a certain thing, odds on, you’re probably short-selling yourself in the long term. You’ll most definitely hit the target and then become complacent because you think you’ve arrived. The reality is that a whole mass of untapped potential remains just that – untapped, unused and then useless when finally, years later, the penny drops!
I remember one of my guys sitting in my office and telling me that he was going to fly jets. Sure. I was delighted when he came back with his flying scholarship at eighteen and I had the privilege of pinning his wings on, on parade.
Eighteen months later he was back in my office – this time wearing the most coveted wings of all – the Royal Air Force Pilots Wings. We chatted about this and that and ambition. Was he still on course I asked? He smiled. Winked and whispered, “Red Arrows Sir”. Blimey I thought. That is the tops. And I was made up. Here was a guy with the right mindset, the right attitude of mind, the right ambition.
He’s now a wing commander and oh what a joy it was when he came back as a young flight lieutenant and member of the Red Arrows and gave a lecture about being a Red Arrows pilot.