This dissertation will act as a compass for life, pointing merely to the varied directions in which one may venture. The individual only, can decide upon the actual path to be traveled including the choices in dealing with various obstacles. The two directions of concern on this compass at this time deal with adulthood. One can be done with virtually guaranteed success; the other is a considerable, yet worthy cause. As with any adventure undertaken, one must have the bare essentials relevant to the undertaking. These essentials form the nucleus required for success. Ask what the difference is between growing into adulthood and being an adult with honor? The former path requires nothing; the latter requires a nucleus in order to succeed. The focus here will be the formation of this nucleus, which is required for becoming an adult with honor. All are capable of venturing this direction. However, without the attainment of this nucleus, failure is inevitable. Which path will one choose?
A person’s success is in direct proportion with one’s character, making this a shrewd starting point. This is the nucleus that has previously been mentioned. Because an innumerable amount of attributes may go into the formation of one’s character, one needs to look through the microscope so-to-speak, and see what components are absolutely essential, for without them nothing else can happen with any degree of certain success. These aggregates that form the nucleus of the character all fundamentally have to do with the mind. Three in all, the well-cultivated mind, people skills and a code of honor are what will give a person’s character the necessary integrity to not only be accepted, but also be respected. Once this has been achieved, one will possess the necessary qualities for deciding what further complementary character traits to add to this nucleus, thereby providing the required ingredients to achieve whatever one has deemed worthy.
A person’s intellect is one’s ability to think. To be able to think there must be some raw materials for this intellect to use. Developing the logical and creative spheres of the brain will result in a balanced and well-cultivated mind, thereby providing the raw materials in which one needs to think. The creative side explores new ways of putting knowledge to use, while the logical aspect provides the necessary raw data needed to keep one grounded to reality. Just like a professional athlete keeps the body finely toned, likewise one should keep the mind well cultivated. This well-cultivated mind must remain calm in the midst of adversity and focused upon any given task. If haste, fear or any emotions are permitted to enter the mind, one’s thought processes will be adversely affected.
The way in which one deals with others is a fine art that can make or break a person. It may be a sad reality that one is judged by looks, but if one wishes to “play the game” then to an extent one will need to observe this fact—and if one chooses to live and be apart of society, then “playing the game” is precisely what one is doing. Although this is but an example, the skills and knowledge one must attain for dealing with other people spans from etiquette to basic psychology. Now will be the time to rethink the wisdom of mom always squawking “say please and thank you”, “think before you speak”, among countless other wonderful words of wisdom kids love to roll the eyes at. This is a topic that requires a book to do it justice and a lifetime to perfect. Such a book is available for the serious minded by Dale Carnegie titled How to Win Friends and Influence People. Possibly no other text on this subject was done quite to perfection as this. Meanwhile, strive for compassion towards others and it will be tough to fail at dealing with people.
Code of Honor
There are those who consider a code of honor and a person’s spiritual being to be one and the same. For immediate purposes these will be considered separate but integral to one another. This spiritual aspect may be taken literally with regards to religious orientation or symbolically, referring to that part of a person that is concerned with morals and ethics. Ultimately this will be what guides the mind, thus guiding one’s life. Although one may become successful by possessing moral and ethical qualities reviled by society, a wrongfully directed mind can have disastrous consequences. Cultivate and utilize this spiritual aspect of one’s being to form the code of honor. This code will be the final ingredient providing the glue that holds the entire nucleus together. This system of principles or rules in which one lives is what provides the stick in which one is measured. Other people may not know exactly what one’s code consists of, but will inadvertently make reference to it when asked what sort of person someone is. Phrases such as “always on time” or “his word is gold” may be uttered. Think of the code of honor as providing the attributes to be remembered by. This code will either positively or adversely affect other people when deciding to give or withhold respect. One may have appropriate people skills, but if people do not respect the individual, one’s endeavors will be in vain. Likewise, if one has a keen mind and lacks the skill to deal with other individuals, the likelihood of one’s thoughts being given just consideration is negligible. Those whose respect one will earn will be directly related to one’s code of honor. Cultivate the spirit so as to have a rightly directed mind, thereby making this code honorable and positively meaningful. Then make it tangible and dare to live by it.
Once one has a well-cultivated mind, sufficient social and people skills cemented together by a code of honor, respect and success are inevitable. These key components form the nucleus of a person’s character. This character is what brings success to fruition, with success being defined by what one personally places value or importance on in life—what life means to the individual. So consider the best character as being the one that is accepted and respected regardless of the environment in which it is placed.
Further consideration should be given to one’s body. With the adage of mind, body and spirit all that remains in this equation is the body. It has not been included within the nucleus previously mentioned because it is possible to succeed and be respected without being fit. Fitness as it is used here includes muscular toning, flexibility and nutrition, thus providing a balanced level of fitness. The shape one is in affects physical performance that may be needed to realize goals as well as the ability to think and retain information. Think of a monarchy of antiquity: the king is the mind, making the spirit the wise advisor to the king and the body is the working class. The indispensable ones that make it all happen. Good health fuels the mind, frees the spirit and is a significant factor in providing happiness and longevity. Take care of the tool that not only keeps a person alive, but also helps provide a means of making one’s dreams a reality. Above and beyond this all that is necessary is to have a good laugh everyday and enjoy the pleasures of life.
Money is the breath of society, making it a necessary topic in relation to success. Although one’s own definition of success will ultimately determine the true importance of money in one’s own life, it nevertheless is an issue that can, at the very least, impede one’s progress. Knowing some fundamental points about money will, like the nucleus of character, provide the foundation to build upon. This foundation begins with an understanding of the truth about what money is. Money’s only use and function is the attainment of something else. One must think carefully about one’s attitude toward money when seeking to attain it and hold on to it, strictly for the sake of having it. Although one should not be a miser, one should also not be a spendthrift.
Living within one’s means will put life and finances into harmony. By keeping expenses and spending below what one is earning means one is living within one’s means. A further threat to this concept is the temptation to buy now and pay later. Think of any mentality adverse to this theory as a python that will slowly constrict and squeeze the life right out of one’s aspirations. Be careful not to think of this concept as being simple and trivial. It has a way of sneaking up on even the most astute. Before one knows it, one is married with two children and requiring two complete incomes just to make ends meet.
Now that one has a handle on income and outgo, consider paying oneself first. The government, for example, among hoards of others places a hand in one’s pockets. Place one’s own hands in the pockets first, removing and setting aside at least ten percent of all net income. This payment to oneself is for the sole purpose of investing. The purchase of appreciative assets such as land would be considered an investment. Purchasing finer clothes and treating the family to a fine meal would not be considered an investment worthy of this hard earned money. Any endeavor that results in the increase of money as a direct result of it’s being outlaid qualifies as an investment. This monetary slavery is essential for proper handling of this money, so make it work as hard as one has worked for it.
With regards to initially obtaining money one should carefully choose a career. One will likely be doing it for most of one’s life, so enjoy it. Besides deriving pleasure and satisfaction from the career chosen, consider the way in which one is paid. Working for a wage plus a commission would be a way of handling this consideration. While the wage provides the safety net, the commission removes the roof, allowing one to essentially dictate how high the income may rise. Furthermore, the act of living within one’s means should also be integrated within one’s occupation. Keeping overhead down and an appropriate level of professionalism in perspective, one will be taken seriously and provide further protection of the money one has worked hard to get. In other words, it is not necessary to arrive to work wearing silk finery if one is a carpenter.
Congratulations on making it this far. Most disregard any compass readings. Some simply want someone to give directions from point A to point B. Still others do not care one way or another, simply content with whichever direction a path takes them. This dissertation merely provides the compass. It is left up to the individual to decide which direction to go and what additional qualities need to be assimilated into the nucleus of the character to make one’s chosen path a reality. At least now no paths will say “No Trespassers”. Being an adult with honor and ultimately being accepted and respected into adulthood is a crowning achievement at this major crossroads in one’s life. The serious-minded is left now with further recommended works for one’s library. Hold the head up and walk on.
The Law of Success by Napoleon Hill: All self-help literature, motivational speakers and the like are mere echoes of this fine work.
The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason: An indispensable work on the fundamentals of money.
Enzyme Nutrition: The Food Enzyme Concept by Edward Howell: Causes one to think how humans were intended to eat.
Franklin: Writings by Benjamin Franklin: A collection of his writings. Pay special attention to The Autobiography and Advice to a Young Tradesman, Written by an Old One.