Over the years, Austin has kept much of the correspondence received from his family. Letters, pictures, and cards are stacked in a desk drawer, mementos of heartfelt love and concern for his happiness and well-being. I’m not sure if he goes through them from time to time, but he rejects any notion that they should be discarded. I’m hoping that his new acquisition, a list lovingly written by his great uncle, will be re-examined and pondered over in the weeks, months, and years to come.
Rule 5: Be single minded about your business. When choices abound, as they do in our great country, persistence can prove to be difficult. Folks can spend a lifetime vacillating between different careers, interests, religions, relationships, etc. Commitment and dedication are vital character traits that will prove to be fruitful.
Rule 6: Commit your financial resources to your business. I have heard stories about business owners opening their doors, lightly stocking their shelves, and spending money that should have gone into the business on such things as new cars, boats, or home renovations. Of course, those businesses didn’t last, because the money needed to keep it going was allocated elsewhere. Also, when a business owner invests his own hard earned dollars, a greater sense of ownership results. It’s a lot easier to be lackadaisical with someone else’s money than with your own.
Rule 7: Commit yourself to the highest quality of work. Do all things as unto the Lord. Uncle Richard is a craftsman, spending his days refurbishing and building furniture. He does amazing work, and his reputation has kept him in business for many years. He knows his ability, his talent, is God-given, and that it’s not to be taken lightly. With talent comes responsibility to attend to said talent, to nurture it and hone it in order to make the best contribution to the world and humanity.
Rule 8: Sloppiness has no place in your life. Sloppiness is defined as showing or in the habit of using little care or attention. It is one of those character traits that has the potential to grow, gravely affecting a person and his impact in the world over time. Every task is important, has meaning, and should be regarded as such, whether it’s making the bed, completing a homework assignment, teaching children, researching cures for cancer, or creating works of art.
To me, Richard’s Rules, might seem a bit overwhelming for a young man, or even his mom for that matter. I can just hear the questions roll off his tongue…
“How can one be constantly diligent?”
“Can’t I spend money on something fun?”
“Is it okay to take a day off and be lazy?”
And I can just see Uncle nod his head, laugh for a few seconds under his breath, and, while patting him on the back reply, “Son, you have a lifetime to learn these things. Success is more a journey than a destination.”