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.