Category Archives: Successful Kids

The American Dream – What Are We Teaching Our Children?!?

Several months ago I posted this article. I thought it fitting to repost on this 4th of July, celebrating the independence that this GREAT country so deservedly earned!

The same (independence) can be earned for ourselves too, if we decide.

In a recent conversation with my 17-year old son (Evan), he was mentioning that, in one of his classes, a survey was taken asking the students the following questions:

  1. Can most anyone be successful in America?
  2. Are the majority of the unemployed not working by choice?

He was surprised to observe that he was among the very few who answered YES to both questions. I’m so proud of my kids and the way they think 🙂

Let’s explore each question:

Can “Most” Anyone Be Successful in America?

First, we must define what success is. It certainly is not the same for everyone. I’d suggest that the definition of the American Dream (as shared in Wikipedia) pretty much sums it up.

The American Dream is a national ethos of the United States, a set of ideals in which freedom includes the opportunity for prosperity and success, and an upward social mobility achieved through hard work. In the definition of the American Dream by James Truslow Adams in 1931, “life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement” regardless of social class or circumstances of birth.

The idea of the American Dream is rooted in the United States Declaration of Independence which proclaims that “all men are created equal” and that they are “endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights” including “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

The American Dream is, in my opinion, alive and well: for those willing to go for it!

For anyone doubting this…If someone were to tell their story about why they aren’t successful it is absolutely certain that we can identify a person (or numerous people) with the same story (or worse), who ARE successful (even wildly so).

As such, it would seem that success is a choice: to do what is absolutely necessary to become successful, or not. The good news is that I’m not leaving anyone hanging or simply “wishing them luck.” That is, the purpose of this blog is to share strategies to becoming successful! One simply has to take the necessary action – EVERY SINGLE DAY.

Now, for the 2nd question…

Are The “Majority” Of The Unemployed Not Working By Choice?

There are “some” unemployed who are trying diligently to land a job and having a tough go of it. My heart goes out to these people: those diligently trying – EVERY DAY. And, it is my hope that this blog offers some helpful strategies!

That said, there is no shortage of “jobs.”

After a quick drive through my hometown any casual observer will see a number of “Help Wanted” signs for full and part-time work. In reviewing the local newspaper or an ad on a truck passing by one can find the same. And, we haven’t even gone online yet…

As such, if an able-bodied person doesn’t have a job (and hasn’t for a long period of time) I would agree with those who answered this question, in the affirmative (i.e., many of the unemployed are “choosing” not to work).

Given that we ALL must start somewhere (and, that would be at the bottom), it is critically important to reinforce to our children that:

  1. ANYONE can succeed / live the American Dream
  2. They MUST get a job and not rely on others (including the welfare system) – NO EXCUSES!

In summary, if we want “success” we must define what that means to us (specifically) and GET TO WORK.

DISCLAIMER: It is realized that a “very small” segment of our society cannot work due to moderate-to-severe mental and/or physical challenges. These are the people we MUST take care of. And, I’m happy to do my part! For the rest of us, able-bodied humans, the following quote applies:

If you don’t work, you don’t eat. 2 Thessalonians 3:10

God Bless America!


What Are You Doing For Spring Break?

College Students – What are you doing for spring break?

My 2 middle sons (Aaron/22 and Ethan/20) are in their final semester towards the completion of their degrees in Exercise Science and are working as personal trainers at a local gym. They were recently discussing the upcoming spring break.

They mentioned how many fellow college students talk about going to Florida – to party.

Instead, Ethan asked my advice about attending a training seminar: How to Win Friends and Influence People – in Business. Aaron quickly jumped on board.

You can imagine how excited and proud I was to hear this!

The reason. They realize the value of interpersonal management skills. That is, to develop new personal training clients and manage their existing clients they need to be extremely effective at engaging with and influencing people of all ages, backgrounds, professions (blue and white collar) and levels (individual contributors to corporate executives).

More importantly, they are willing to invest their own money to attend this high-end training! Because this seminar happens to be in San Francisco there are 5 days of travel-related costs. So, this is not an inexpensive endeavor. However, it is a significant investment in their future.

So, after a couple of days discussion (and only a little help from me 🙂 ) they are signed up and ready to go!

To ensure they don’t miss out on seeing a little of the San Francisco area they are staying a day beyond the seminar’s completion. I’ve suggested they visit Half Moon Bay which, if you haven’t visited, absolutely blows the mind with its magnificent views, vistas, cliffs and beaches. I hope they get a chance to experience that!

In closing, college students…You are encouraged to strongly consider how you invest (or burn) your time for spring break. Yes, it is important to take a break from the grind (a.k.a., the same ole same ole). Investing in a training program that will quickly catapult you to the next level in your career is a great alternative. The sooner you develop critical skills (that aren’t typically covered in college) the more quickly you’ll realize the income you desire which results in increased flexibility to experience the many opportunities through-out the world.

Reminds me of a quote…

Do what you MUST as quickly as possible, so you can do what you WANT for as long as possible.

Mixing in a little travel to a new destination is icing on the cake.

p.s. If you are in need of a personal trainer, and you live/work in Southern NH / Northern MA, contact a professional: one of my son’s. You will not be disappointed.

Aaron Bailey – Fitness by Design 603-718-2269

Ethan Bailey – Choice Fitness 603-545-9870

What Is Christmas?

A good question to pose on Black Friday is: What is Christmas?

It is quite simple, actually. It is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, which happens to be held on 25 December.

It is NOT about presents and all the decorations, although that is what MANY in our culture are PRIMARILY focused on. To that I’d say: Go for it, it is VERY good for the economy 🙂

A few years ago my wife and I considered the annual MARKETING of Christmas (which seems to start sooner each year) and how we had been sucked into it, during the earlier years of raising our 4 boys (presently ages 17, 20, 22 and 25).

We considered the process we’d go through each year…

  • What is our total budget?
  • Divide by 4 to determine how much we’d spend on each kid.
  • What are we going to get each kid?
  • Well now, we’ve spent a few bucks more on him. How are we going to even things up for the rest of them?
  • Yeah, but he has 2 BIG things, and the rest only have 1.
  • We really should get each boy one of these. But, we’ll need 4 different colors.
  • Etc.

If you have kids, you know the picture.

We then asked ourselves: Where are all those “things” we purchased for the boys, over all those years? We realized that 99% are in a landfill. What a waste! We did, however, save the Legos. Those never go bad 🙂

As a result, we decided to make a change. We would no longer participate in the “Marketing of Christmas.”

Instead of “presents” for Christmas, we’d give undivided “presence.”

Beginning in 2011, we decided that Christmas would not revolve around presents under the Christmas Tree. Our celebration would involve being together over the Christmas Holiday, somewhere in the world (i.e., passports required). And, absolutely NO presents.

We are DONE with trying to jam a shopping spree into the final weeks of the year. The reality is that I’d rather shove a sharp stick into my eye than go to the mall on Black Friday, fighting frenzied shoppers caught-up in the “Marketing of Christmas”, to buy stuff for our kids who already have everything they need. If they REALLY “want” something, they can take the money they’ve earned to go get it themselves.

So, over the last few years our Christmas has been, well, sandy…

  • 2011 – 10 days in Costa Rica
  • 2012 – 12 days in the Dominican Republic
  • 2013 – 13 days in Antigua

Unforgettable experiences – together. You can read more about the above on the Travel and Adventure page.

Where are we going this Christmas? I’ll write about that later 🙂

You might ask: Why, out of the country?

The reason: kids need to understand that the world is MUCH, MUCH BIGGER than the little town they live in. They need to get away from the daily routine (and drama) and have their mind BLOWN AWAY.

This includes seeing and touching other lands, interacting with people of various cultures, who speak different languages. In doing so, they quickly realize that we all are much more alike than different, serving to shed prejudices and assumptions. They learn a broader world-perspective vs. the limited view experienced from the town they grew up in and how the media would portray other cultures and lands.

Bottom-line: Instead of spending hundreds and thousands of dollars on “things” (most of which will be in a landfill, long forgotten, within a short period of time) we are investing in experiences that broaden our kids’ horizons (a high-quality education, you could say) and, more importantly are extremely fun for all.

In closing, may the giving of “presents” not distract you from the true meaning of Christmas: the “presence” of Christ.

Merry Christmas!

p.s. – Our no presents policy will likely be “slightly” modified on the arrival of grandkids 🙂