Today we’re going to discuss: How are, or did you raise your kids? It sounds like I’m actually talking about raising kids. Wait, it’s really going to be about you and success, but it’s a great way to do it analogically (if that’s the right word).
Remember a couple of episodes ago when I talked about immigrant mentality, and the strong desire to be better and succeed, and how they did this? But there was a generational problem. One of the things that is a problem is that passing on to the sons of the sons, or the daughters of the daughters, etc., that’s lost over time. “I want to make sure my kids have all the things I never had,” has that ever approached your lips, or how many people have you heard say it? If you really want the kids to have the things that you want; you have to let them build upon what you built; build beyond what you did; take what you teach and bring it on further. This is tough, particularly with peer pressure both on you and your kids.
It’s interesting, you go and take a look, forget the kids for a second, but just think of what happens when somebody buys a new house. Every neighborhood I’ve moved into, I’ve noticed that right away… Now, there were new homes in the neighborhood so that may be part of it, but anytime somebody does that, what do they do? They stretch themselves far beyond their means, something that really can’t quite afford yet, but they’re figuring they can afford it in a year or two after their increases in salary. Within six months, all of those people buy a car that they can’t afford on top of the house that they couldn’t afford, and they still haven’t received their pay raise, and it’s all peer pressure.
Do you teach your kids how to fight peer pressure? You’re facing it, too. You teach them, you also are teaching yourself. For example, there was one situation, there was a young girl who was halfway through middle school, who was a little bit concerned because she was a follower. She followed all of her friends. One of the things we told her was we talked about peer pressure. Did anybody every tell you: “You’re scared”, “You’re scared to do this”, “You’re scared to do that,” or: “Come on, come on, what are you afraid of?” What I did was say: “Turn around to them and say: ‘I’m not afraid. I’m telling you no,’” and then point to the rest of people that are standing around calling her “chicken,” or whatever, or “afraid,” and say: “They’re the ones that are afraid. They’re the ones that are afraid to stand up to you.” That’s the kind of thing I’m talking about.
You have to do the same thing in your own environment, that is, not cave nor try to keep up with the Joneses. Part of it happens with the way people talk to each other and address each other. In a little more sophisticated way as they are with adults, such as the thing with the car. I’ve had people say to me in that same situation: “You going to get a new car?” I’d say: “No way. No. It works great. Bought it for cash. Bring it in and get it fixed up regularly. Heck, I hope the thing gets to 200,000 miles.” I’m probably never going to go that far, but the idea is that you have to push it off, and you have to show your kids and other people around you that you’re just pushing it off. Then I follow up with: “I don’t know anything on any of my cars, on anything, actually, except small mortgage that feels great.” You’re setting and making a statement. The idea is that you have to fight it right away, and show your family, show your kids that you’re doing it. It’s not just your kids success, but yours as well depends on strong independent decisions.
What happens with this generational loss of this crucial motivation? One example was my Great-Grandfather was extremely wealthy. I didn’t know this until I was a little bit older, and I verified it with other relatives. What he did was he had come over to this country, had a lot, (this is on my Mother’s side), he actually was able to put his seven sons through college, set them all up in business. My Grandfather, then, actually was set up in a pharmacy in the premium location on the Concourse in the Bronx. He was a pharmacist and everything else, making lots of money, had lots. But some of that motivation didn’t pass on to him; he was given everything. He went, and as soon as my Great-Grandfather died, he went and floated around on ships around the world several times, and had a good old time. Basically, had sold off the business and everything, and that’s the way he lived.
Fortunately, my Mother had developed that drive, and part of it was from her Mother’s side and from living through the Depression. Going through all of that, she instilled and passed on some things to me, and my brothers and sister. That happens, but what happens to the next generation? How do you drive it?
What I am really proud of is the fact that my Mother was never resentful, she never even seemed to feel the slightest bit bad or anything else. As a matter of fact, she was just proud of the fact that her Grandfather had come over here. He built a church in Brooklyn, he did a few other things, etc., and she was just proud of her Mother and Father. But my Mother instilled in me that hard working ethic, not to depend on anything, not to expect anything. In a sense, to make people proud, just like you would do with your kids or tell them to do. The idea was getting it done above any expectations.
Now, you take a look at yourself, and realize what you’re trying to drive and draw on is something internal to you, that sort of immigrant mentality, but also that drive, even if you’re using, in a sense, as you are setting an example for your kids.
Why is this so important? You have to develop drive, and you certainly want your kids to have it. That is the purist form and requirement for success. It is absolute prerequisite. It’s not going to come across in dreams. It comes from drive and the inside. It comes from hard work, development of yourself, planning, and more work. Part, maybe the example for your kids and how your kids use it. Remember this example, in a sense, the same thing with my Great-Grandfather, etc. As it gets lost over generation eventually, you have to work to set some example for your children. Your success or failure will leave a legacy for them.
Actually, it’s not about your kids at all, really. Remember I said: You need many ways for self-motivation. This is sort of using your kids, in a sense, as a really big one. You’re not only setting an example for them, you’re not only helping to raise them and helping to motivate them, but you’re also really doing what you need to do for your own success.
Heck, birds teach their young to survive. If animals are domesticated for too long, what happens? They can’t survive in the wild. I believe that humans follow a similar path. You need to teach your kids to survive. Be an example and work together with your kids.
I hope this episode didn’t tick off too many of you, but it’s a duel success story; you and your kids. Thank you very much.