Excerpted from here’s how by who’s who, a compilation of messages from successful men. The following article was written by Tom Anderson, Editor in Chief of Farm & Ranch Publishing Co., in 1965.
Most parents want to make it easy for their children, either because the parents had all the “advantages,” or didn’t have. Thus many young people are ruined for life. Your albatross could well be too much opportunity, instead of too little; for hardship builds character like forging builds steel. “Sow a thought, you reap an act; sow an act, you reap a habit; sow a habit, you reap a character; sow a character, you reap a destiny.”
In the final analysis, neither your parents nor your government are responsible for you —you are responsible for yourself. Someone said, “The young man who thought the world owed him a living is the old man who is blaming the world for his failures.” Neither expect nor want others to provide for you.
One of life’s most rewarding blessings is work. How sad that so many people go through life doing the wrong work. Make money the by-product, not the goal. Happiness comes not from having much to live on, but much to live for.
Every person can excel at something. Develop your God-given talents to their highest pinnacle. Do not accept mediocrity. There are few born geniuses. Most great deeds are mainly mixtures of courage and sweat. You can do and be almost anything you want to do and be, by making the necessary all-out effort and sacrifices.
There’s no disgrace in failure. The only disgrace is to fail the last time you try. Be the first to see and admit your mistakes. Make it a practice not to repeat the same ones.
Society advances mainly through those who are unafraid to be different. Truth outranks togetherness. The majority is not always right. Don’t be a conformist; be a sovereign individual.
Believe in your God, in your country, and in yourself in that order. If you do not have self-respect, then you must have self-contempt. Most of us have more trouble with ourselves than with any other person we ever meet. When you cash in your chips for this life, the only thing of value that you can take to the grave with you is your character. Character knows no color, no creed, no nationality. It is a victory which anyone has an opportunity to earn. Reputation is what you’re supposed to be; character is what you are when nobody but God is looking.