I have always believed that lifelong learning is the best way to improve upon one’s behaviors, ideas, and ultimate goals in life. Throughout my life, I was taught many lessons that I still carry with me because they have helped teach me how to conduct myself within society and within many different business cultures. These particular lessons are ones that I wanted to pass on to others, as well as my own daughter. Personally having a daughter has lent itself to many new eye-opening examples; I am constantly learning from her bright personality and tenacious nature. I always try to inspire her to be the best she can be, and by doing that I have learned many new things about myself and my business.
For example, I think an important lesson to teach a young person is to give back to those less fortunate than them, or those in need. Recently, the Dixon Ticonderoga Company participated in the 2016 American Heart Association’s Heart Walk that took place at the University of Central Florida (UCF). I am very pleased that the company raised over $10,000 in donations for the Association’s mission, but I am even more pleased at the fact that my employees and their families took time out of their busy schedules to attend, volunteer, and walk or run in the 5k event. I believe their involvement in each of our charities helps teach the youngest members the importance of giving back to the community.
The following childhood lessons I was taught are not only helpful in carrying out our best day-to-day lives, but they also help you to prosper within a corporate environment. These lessons are the ones that we have heard growing up, and I think it is worthwhile to remind ourselves of them to help us be our best selves and to be successful.
- “Treat others how you want to be treated”— treat everyone with respect, and learn how to interact with different types of personalities. In order to make lasting relationships, it’s important to remain polite, kind, and approachable.
- “Silence is golden”— make sure to sit back and listen. Don’t be reactive or defensive, but rather be proactive in your voice and behavior. Take in everything around you—sometimes the best lessons come from silence.
- “Respect your elders”— respect those that have more experience than you—use these people as your assets for guidance and direction as you begin to navigate new cultures and environments.
- “It’s no use crying over spilt milk”— don’t take things too personally, and don’t get too upset over a mistake you or someone else makes; there is always a solution, and all mistakes create lessons for moving forward.
- “Do your homework”— always be prepared, and know what situation you are walking into. It says much more of a person if they are ready to go, and know why they are doing something.
- “There’s no such thing as a stupid question”—ask away! It’s the only way you will learn from others and even yourself. Questions provide answers, and answers get you to where you need to be.
- “Work hard, play harder”— work your hardest at anything you do, but remember to give yourself time to breathe and take some breaks. Breaks can often lead to creative thinking, or just give you the time you need to enjoy life.