Boy Meets World

They had the best of intentions, they really did.

Whoever you grew up with, whether it was your parents, grandparents, or someone else, really aren’t to blame.  They were there to provide you with love, support, and affection because they wanted the best from you.

However, they probably weren’t economists. They weren’t visionaries who could tell you what the future economic climate will look like.  We should respect our elders for their experience, but we need to re-evaluate what they told us, for the world is changing rapidly.

Here are a few things our parents told us in the 90’s that we must re-evaluate:

1.      Get a job.

Yes jobs are out there, if you know where to look, but a lot of quality jobs have a high level of politics attached to them.  In Robert Kiosaki’s Rich Dad series of books, he said the end goal in getting a job was to make money.  When your parents told you to get a job, what they really wanted was for you to do was make money, and they thought that getting a job was the only way to do this.

Instead of learning how to get a good job so we can make money, how about we just learn how to make money?  Learning about appreciating assets, interest rates, smart vs. faulty investments, and how to, legally, reduce the amount of taxes you pay is a lot more beneficial than creating the perfect cover letter.

If we were educated on the intricacies of making and managing money from an early age, the 3 words “Get a job” might start to have less relevance, and the idea of finding a boss to work for would slowly start to disintegrate.

2.      Get an education.

Education is important, because many companies will not even look at you unless you have a Bachelor’s degree or higher.  However, our parents told us to go to college and get good grades, so, eventually, a respectable company would hire us because we have that university education.  Once again, the end goal in all of this is to make money from that job, which we got from a good education.

We need to re-evaluate an education because college tuition is about $30,000 per year.  Multiply that times 4 or 5 years, and you’re over $100,000 in debt before you hit 25 years of age.  Your college financing will most likely come from student loans, which you will probably be paying back for 20 to 30 years.  Student loan debt is in the hundreds of billions of dollars, and something that only increases with each new semester.

College provides you with experience and a focused skill set, yet lots of people forget what they learned in college.  Seriously, do you remember any of the complex math equations, history lessons, or English rules that your professors tried to drill into your heads?  We learn all of this formal stuff, yet we forget it because we don’t love it.

Perform well in school, but also learn about what you are really interested in, and what a formal education can’t tell you.  Become an expert in your passion, whether it is programming, investing, sports, engineering, art, or whatever else.  If you love it, you will remember it a lot more, and have a great skill set to take with you.

3.      Finish your dinner

Ok, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t eat.  I’m saying to be careful of what you eat.  Lots of food in America is now processed food.  It is processed because you know who controls the food consumption in this country?  Corporations.  And what is the purpose of a corporation? To make money.

Classic economics:  Create something for cheap, and sell it at a high profit.  That is what the companies who control the food are doing.  Cows, plants, corn, and almost everything that we put in our bodies has been sprayed with so many pesticides and made so cheap that it’s amazing there is any nutrition left.

Here’s a personal story.  I was in Argentina playing basketball, when one day I went for a walk around the city.  I walked for hours all day.  You know what I saw?  Barely any overweight people.  You know why? Because the food they ate was quality food.  In Argentina, the meat they eat is fresh, real food.  They don’t have the companies who process the food for the masses.  They have meat and food from the earth, with nutrition that humans were meant to have.

We may think we are better than the earth because we build large buildings and we flew a space shuttle to the moon.  But our bodies still need real nutrition from the earth to be properly sustained.  Yes, we can eat processed food to fill our tummies, but when the slow wave of obesity creeps up on us, we will already know why.

4.      Listen to your teacher

Your sweet 5th grade or high school teacher was great, but they were misinformed.

In high school, I loved how many times my classmates would ask the teacher, “Why are we learning this?”  Or, “When are we ever going to use this in real life?”

You know what they said to that?  “Get back to your work.”

They knew a lot of what they were teaching wasn’t practical, and couldn’t be applied in the real world.  But, what were they going to do?  Tell you it’s not practical, and you will never use it?  If that got back to the school administrators, that teacher would be fired.  That teacher didn’t want to be fired.  They liked their job, their benefits, and their students.

Blind loyalty to your teacher, or anybody for that matter, is a recipe for disaster.  Your teacher may be an expert on a topic, but still challenge what they say.  They hate when students do it, but it is important.  If you blindly agree with everything your teacher says, without thinking about the rationality or accuracy of it, you may be misinformed your entire life.  Listen to what they say, but also re-evaluate it to see if what they are saying is the truth, or outdated.

To be continued…

Tyson Hartnett has played professional basketball in Sweden, Argentina, and Chile, and has recently started his first business, BasketballTrainingClub.com.  He created Basketball Training Club to try to help players from all over the world not only better their basketball games, but to try to help better their lives as well.