Happy Tuesday #Jontourage,
Welcome back to the “Classy Gent Chronicles”, where staying classy is the only way to be. In this week’s edition, find out the three greatest pieces of advice that I live by from my three greatest influences…
Throughout the course of my life, I have met many influential people.
I do my best to learn from everyone that I meet. However, of all the advice I received, these three pieces resonated with me the most:
1. “Start planning for your next car now”~ My Grandfather
Meaning: All good things come to an end at some point so be prepared. Never stay comfortable where you are. Back in 2008, my grandfather bought me a car as a gift for being a high school valedictorian. It was a Lincoln Town Car. I was so excited to have my first car but he said to me “Jonathan start planning for your next car now.” Of course, I am dumbfounded because he just gave me a car and he’s talking to me about the next car. 17 year old me didn’t understand the importance of why he said that to me but now I get it. The day I really got it was the day that car my granddad gave me went out and I was without a car. Since I had no money saved up, I truly understood why he told me to plan for my next car. From that day forward, I always made sure when really good things happened that I was prepared for life after that moment.
2. “If it’s happening now... it will probably happen later”~ My mom
Meaning: Don’t ignore red flags just because you want to be hopeful people will change. Although some things do change, a person’s core usually remains the same. It’s easy to fall in love with potential but potential doesn’t pay bills.
3. “You can’t straddle the fence of being a boy and a man)~ My Dad
Meaning: You can’t do grown things and expect child consequences. Either you’re a man all the time or a boy all the time but you can’t be both. A lot of times when our lives are not going the way we expected, we blame other people. A true adult makes a plan even if they didn’t cause the problem. I knew I had become an adult when my perspective changed on my situation. I didn’t expect my parents to help me pay bills or bail me out of situations. I am always appreciative when they offer help but it is no longer an expectation of mine that they do help.
Moral of the story: These three pieces of advice carry me through each day. Adulthood is hard but if you stay true to yourself and let the life experiences of others guide you, you will turn out fine.
Remember, in order to live out your dreams, you have to think it, feel it, live it! Until next time, stay classy...
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Jonathan C. Harris is no stranger to leadership, hard work, or success. At the age of ten years old, he earned the right to be a guest weatherman for a day on Fox 5 DC News. He has already received over 100 honors and awards including Forty Under 40 for Prince George’s County, MD, TEDx Talk speaker, American College Personnel Association (ACPA) Outstanding Men’s Program, high school Valedictorian and the Kiwanis Club Citizenship Award. Raised in Fort Washington, Maryland, he has served in leadership positions his entire life, from being the manager of the school store in elementary school to the president of the Homelessness Awareness Club in middle school to the president of the National Honor Society in high school.