Microsoft founder, billionaire Bill Gates, one of the most famous entrepreneurs of our time, recently gave a speech to high school students in an American school. He was asked how to succeed before the age of 25. In this article, I would like to share with you the main points of that speech.
1. Life isn’t fair and there’s nothing wrong with that
In practice, things are not as hopeless as they sound. I am glad that life is unfair, because it means that I don’t have to have what my neighbor or friends have. I don’t have to demand the same rights and experiences.
For example, if my acquaintances wear glasses and I don’t have them, it is only fair that I should demand glasses too. After all, justice for most people means that everyone is free to receive the same things, the same opportunities, the same rights and privileges, even the same treatment and respect. So I can ask for glasses too, even though I don’t need them? This is absurd.
Everyone has their own way. Don’t be afraid to follow it.
2. The world doesn’t care about your self-esteem
The world is waiting for your achievements, after which you will consider yourself the best.
Self-esteem is a consequence, not an end in itself. You don’t have to work on your self-esteem all the time, to improve it. You just have to do a great job at your school or work. As a result, you’ll feel on top of your game. It will happen by itself.
3. You won’t be making $60,000 a year once you graduate
In the vast majority of cases, that’s exactly what happens. The position of vice president of a company with a private car and your own plane has yet to be earned. It takes years of hard work, so be prepared.
4. Your teacher isn’t that scary, you just haven’t met your boss yet
High school students feel that teachers treat them too harshly, demand too much, and set an unrealistic bar. That’s because young people are inexperienced. They just don’t know what bosses are like. Next to them, your high school teacher seems white and fluffy.
Everything is cognized by comparison.
5. Working at McDonald’s is not beneath you
Schools often predict a great future for students. There’s nothing wrong with that, because it’s all done with the best of intentions. But this attitude has a flip side – young people today have many unwarranted ambitions. Many think that moonlighting as a waiter or courier is not for their brilliant minds.
Any job is first and foremost a great opportunity to prove yourself. If you can’t flip burgers, why should anyone trust you to run an international company?
6. Don’t blame your parents for every personal failure
Remember: your parents are the ones who brought you into this world. And they gave you a name and an education, they were responsible for you when you could not take care of yourself.
But that time passes and you begin to be responsible for yourself. All the failures and defeats that will happen to you from now on are yours and yours alone. So don’t look for blame in the face of those who really love you, but learn and work on your mistakes.
7. Before you were born, your parents weren’t so boring
Your parents became who you know them to be because of you. Their lives changed as they supported you, washed your clothes, and listened to you talk about how great you were.
So before you save the world, at least try to do some of the things your parents did for you before. For example, clean out your closet.
8. The school may abolish the division into top and bottom scorers, but not in real life
There are many examples when schools cancel grades, allow multiple copying of tests and re-take exams in order not to divide students into achievers and underachievers.
And this is the main difference between school and real life, which flows according to its own laws. And people are powerless over them.
In life, you can’t press the “Cancel” or “Try Again” button. What is done is done. In real life, there will always be winners and losers. And there is no changing that.
9. Few people but you are interested in making you a better person
School makes it possible for you to learn, relax, and grow. Each class has its own time.
But life is not divided into terms. You don’t have carefree vacations, no one else is begging you to study and learn new things. More often than not, your boss doesn’t care whether you develop or not. When you no longer meet his requirements, he will simply fire you. Your development is entirely up to you.
10. The social media are not real life
Don’t think that life consists only of coffee, shopping and traveling. It’s only like that on TV or in an Instagram account.
In real life, everything is much more prosaic. If you want to achieve something, stop drinking coffee and philosophizing and go to work.
11. You need to be kinder to nerds
Teachers often urge us not to offend the nerds and excellent students who are in every class. Rarely do adults explain why this is necessary.
It’s simple: maybe in the future one of yesterday’s honors students will be your boss. Do you understand what I’m getting at?