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Five Thoughts To My Future Children…

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I got the latest edition of Money Magazine yesterday, and Pat Regnier in his The Bottom Line column used the letter to his children as a literary device. It's not unique (I've even written a letter to my high school self in the past), but nonetheless, I thought the idea was worth stealing flattering Mr. Regnier with my own letter to my own children. [Note: I probably wouldn't use bullets and bolding in a real letter to my children, but I think you'll find it easier to read.]

Dear Xetra and Dax,

  • Your Names - Sorry about the names. They seemed cool at the time. I didn't think your mom would take my bet. Even so, Matt Cassel himself didn't expect to win the Super Bowl.
  • Your Education - I've seen a lot of specialists make a lot of money. I was a specialist myself - one of a dozen or so people in the United States who could program a computer in a very propietary computer language. However, like me, a lot of specialists lose their jobs when that specialty goes away and have nothing to fall back on. There's something to said about doing one thing and doing it well, but there's also a lot to be said for networking well, writing well, speaking well, and knowing technology well. There are a lot of other valuable skills as well, but that's a fine start.
  • Your Time - It's the most valuable commodity you have. Right now, you probably view it as an infinite resource. It gets more finite with each passing minute. Look for ways to do something well once instead of having to do repetitive work. Many mistake your Dad as Lazy, but it's more about being efficient with your time.
  • Your Money - If you haven't learned it by reading Dad's website by now, money is important. It buys you freedom from doing things that you don't want to do. It buys you freedom to do the things that you do want to do. It also buys you the ability to help friends and family in time of trouble.
  • Your Happiness - I don't have it quite perfected yet, but I've been working on a recipe for this. Beyond that, I've found four factors of focus: family, friends, freedoms, and fitness.

Posted on November 13, 2008.

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14 Responses to “Five Thoughts To My Future Children…”

  1. kosmo says:

    The “cute name” fad really needs to stop.

    I’m OK with using an i in place of a y and that sort of thing. But one celeb has a kid named Pilot Inspektor (yes, with a d*mn K). And some names have become weird, made up words that appear to just be a random alignment of letters.

    If you want a cute/weird name, try it as a nickname, so the kid doesn’t have to get a court order to remove it.

  2. Lazy Man says:

    I thought I was making the names a quite obvious joke, but maybe I slipped them under the radar. :-)

  3. Jeff says:

    I’m guessing those werent in the order of importance. Although there is some evidence, according to the book Freakonomics, that names are correlated with life’s outcomes and popular names are generational. Education should have been first. And when it comes to happiness, money doesnt buy it.

  4. marc goodin says:

    I think I will wait for my kids toget out of college before i write them such a letter – utill then it would be a letter to myself.

    about money and happyness – making money and spending on my kids and family does make me happy.

  5. Tim says:

    too many uses of “well”. I’m not so sure of the alliteration at the end. I do know that all four foci will f you up. If the letter above is a mirror of Mr. Reigner’s original, then I think you mistook his notion of a literary device. Seems to me he was consolidating many literary techniques into a letter for his children, and not a letter for his children as a literary device in of itself. oh well, semantics.

    i’ve written letters to people as a way of clearing my thoughts and often times finding closure, although in most cases i never send them. they are useful tools and a good technique for realizing your thoughts rather than letting your thoughts marinating endlessly in your mind.

  6. Studenomist says:

    ahaha I love the line “Many mistake your Dad as Lazy.” Great post, hopefully your children find many alternate sources of income like yourself.

  7. Lazy Man says:

    The uses of “well” was intentional. If I just had writing and speaking there… much of the population can do them, just not well.

    I was just commenting on the literary device of the letter to the children, not anything that was inside the letter itself.

    I thought that the alliteration was one of the best small bits of writing I’ve done in some time.

  8. ChristianPF says:

    This is a good idea, I think I will steal/borrow it and write to my kids too… I love what you said about the names, I will probably have to apologize as well ;)

  9. Aya @ Thrive says:

    I like the honesty in this and its clear that you genuinely want your kids to be happy and know about the important things in life :)
    Too often do children make the same mistakes as their parents…!

  10. If you think Xtera and Dax are weird names then you are not a scifi/fantasy fan…

    Methinks Lazy Love Buffy

  11. Lazy Man says:

    No one is up to date on their German stock exchanges I see.

  12. Dax = Deep Space Nine character that is a symbiote between a human judzea (sp?) and a slug like think that lives longer than the host and thus has multiple lives and memories to share with each new host.

    Xtera = Some character on Xena Warrior Princess

  13. Lazy Man says:

    That’s the beauty of the names… They seem like normal names (well not really normal), but some financial wizard would realize that they are German stock exchanges and get the inside joke.

    The whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

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