|Photo courtesy of reddeergrowboys|
The leaves are slowly starting to change with autumn
approaching. I have always had mixed feelings about fall because winter will be
on its heels. I’m not a fan of winter because I don’t like being enveloped in
gray skies and cold. Moreover, I hate being forced to put my garden to sleep
until the winter skies clear.
Fall remains one of the best times to plant new trees,
shrubs, and perennials. Even better, it’s a great time to find some deals
because nurseries are hunkering down for winter. This may surprise you, but now
is an opportune time to plant seeds. It’s a fairly effortless task and it will
bring a smile to your face next spring when the seeds spring to life.
Numerous seeds need stratification in order to sprout.
This means that the seeds need to have a period of cold so that when ground
warms in the spring the seeds have a jumpstart from Mother Nature to sprout. Everything young in nature needs some guidance
and care in order to flourish and grow. Check the needs of your seeds before
just scattering them and walking away. Invest in their growth.
There’s still plenty of time to do some planting and here
are some seeds that would appreciate being planted now:
- Bulbs are always no brainer to plant in the fall where
there will be several months of cold for them to snooze in
- Annual Poppies
- Black-Eyed Susan
- 4 O’Clocks
- Bachelor Buttons
- Sweet Pea
- Wall Flowers
The wonderful thing about fall planted seeds is that you
can sow them up until the ground freezes in most areas of the country. Grab
some packets, pick a breezy autumn day, and plant some beauty.
Sometimes we forget how delicate the young are whether it’s
a child, animal, or plants in nature. When I see small children I have flashbacks
to when my kids were tiny. Caring for them was such a priority. As they grew they
needed guidance, individual attention, mentoring, and at times, monitoring. Unfortunately,
not all young people are given the guidance and care that they need to grow
into leaders within their communities. If their growth isn’t fostered at home,
it may only happen at school or with friends. For most young people, this isn’t
Lately, I’ve read several articles in which leaders share
their advice to their young selves. Most of this advice is career focused aimed
at people in their late 20’s and beyond. What about those that really need
advice when they are young and easily influenced? So many young people are lost
or lack sound mentoring or role models, especially those that aren’t on a
career path yet. Perhaps they aren’t focused on a career because they remain
confused or are more focused on just finding a job to get by.
Leaders today should focus more on our young people
working through middle and high school. We can impact kids at that level and
offer them hope, guidance, and assist in preparing them for their future so
that they can impact the world with more confidence and ownership. Let’s make
their future a priority before they are thrust out into the world without
skills to cushion any mistakes that they make.
So, I went way back in time dropping myself into my
younger body. What advice did I really need then? Here’s what I wish my friends
and I had heard when we were young, impressionable, and downright squirrely.
- Quit spending so much time worrying about what others
think of you. They are thinking more about themselves and worrying about how
they come across as well. This is advice I wish that I had been brainwashed
into believing at a young age – it would have saved me a lot of grief!
- Don’t try keeping up with others. There is life beyond these
years and you need to move at your own unique pace.
- Fail young BUT learn from your mistakes. Even better?
Learn from the mistakes you see around you. Those are free lessons. As the
youngest of 3 girls in my family I can’t even count the lessons that I learned
from my siblings.
- Find an older crowd to hang out with that seems to have
their stuff together. I promise that you really do become what you hang around.
It’s cool to be smart and a geek. Life will reward you if you lay a sound
foundation of friends now.
- Don’t feel pressured to pick a career and stick with it.
Life is a journey and you can’t make sound choices without life experiences to
guide you. Don’t let people place you in a mold that doesn’t fit.
- Work a lot of different jobs when you are young to learn
and grow. Volunteer in a variety of areas as well. Doing so will help you
determine your work preferences and you will learn if you prefer working with
people, data, or things. This will shape who you are and where you will be
years from now.
- Grow up and mature, but always stay a kid at heart. I can’t
tell you how many people in their 20’s that I have encountered that live like
they are still in college. They drink and party like there’s no tomorrow and
share way too much on social media. Poor images are hard to shake and social
media is with us forever. Be careful of the image that you portray and hang out
with your older and more focused groups. Conversely, always see the world with
a child’s eyes and act like everything in life is a new experience.
- Begin building your brand young. When you get older and
go to a school reunion you will find that reputations really never change much.
The party guy in school probably still is and lives with that rep. Obviously,
the best way to build your image is to be careful how you come across on social
media and to those your interact with.
- Passion is great but don’t spend your life chasing just
one dream. Life changes and chasing a dream may leave you dissatisfied and
always looking for more.
- Find a mentor early on. Ask for advice and learn from him
- Never regret your mistakes or what could have been. This
has been one of my weaknesses and it’s not productive.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. People really find joy
- Develop grit and perseverance. Grit is one of the key
factors in success. After you get knocked down be prepared to get right back
- Bullies will always be around. They just learn to hide
their tactics better. Develop a thick skin.
- Don’t let your job consume you. You are more than a title
- Live your values and be transparent with others.
- Never stop learning and read for a lifetime.
As a leader you need to make it a priority to reach out
to our young people. Volunteer in schools, with youth groups, community events,
and within your own home to impact a young adult today. Give them the confidence,
young wisdom, and appetite to grow like the tiny seeds that we sprinkle on the
What other advice
do you have for our young people? I would love to hear!