A Little Advice  by Jason F. Wright

First, learn to follow when circumstances merit. There will be times to lead; there will times to follow. Learn to distinguish between the two. If it is clear you are not the most qualified to lead in a certain circumstance, step aside and let the more prepared take the stage. It does not make you weak. It makes you wise. You will have opportunities, but never let your thirst to run the show adversely affect others. Learn this and your world will be a happier place. You will play well with friends. You will earn the respect of your peers. Learn to follow when circumstances merit.

Second, do not be afraid to ask questions of those that know more than you. At times you may act as if you have all the answers. You donít. You never will. You are very smart, but there will almost always be someone brighter in the room. And if you donít know the answer, donít make it up. Say you need help and get out of the way. Itís called learning. It does not make you weak. Pretending to be the answer to all the worldís problems, now that makes you weak. Donít be afraid to ask questions.

Third, be honest. Never lie. Never embellish for the sake of drama, laughs, or to make yourself sound heroic in any way. Let the facts paint the canvas of your life, not the way you wish the facts were unfolding. Telling the truth does not make you weak, even when the story is dull. Being true makes you honorable. People will know when youíre lying and they will learn not to trust you. And they will never trust you again. Be honest.

Fourth, be kind to those around you. You are a special person and people love you. But so are all the other people in the room. They too are special. They too are loved. They were not born to open doors for you or save your seat during lunch. Never say things like, ďDonít you know who I am?Ē If they didnít know before, they certainly will now. Be kind.

Fifth, take a stand and trust your instincts. It is acceptable to change your mind. We call it growing up. But explain yourself when you do and stand your ground. Do not vacillate and never change your opinion on green beans just because you want someone at the cool-kid table to like you. Take a stand.

Finally, never ask permission to do the right thing. Defend yourself when you are attacked or are in danger. But do not provoke. Make friends and build allies, but always play by rules of fairness, whether they like it or not. Sadly, the right thing to do is not always the most popular. But if it is a just cause, draw your line in the playground sandbox and do not waver. Those that deserve your respect will respect you back. Never ask permission to do the right thing.

You are talented, you will have many friends, and you will do good work during your life. But do not plan your life as a campaign for President of the United States. You probably wonít ever be elected. And thatís OK; it need not define you. When the times comes, there will likely be someone more qualified. But that will not make you weak. Not recognizing it, now that will make you weak.

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