If you are an old school person like myself and are over fifty years old, there is a good chance that your parents told you these same words of wisdom, ”don’t do like me, do better than me”.  They would have given you this advice if they felt that you were going in the wrong direction at some point and they didn’t want you to follow in that path.

There are many people from my generation that have heard these words before from people who  want to see us do well like our fathers, our mothers, our preachers, our sports coaches, our teachers, our aunts and uncles, our college professors, and so on.

If someone is giving you this message today to follow, I strongly urge you to listen. These words are meant for you to go out and do something better than the person who is sharing this information with you. In passing this advice to you, they have seen something in you that you may not be aware that show a potential that you can do better than what you are doing. And they feel that it’s worth sharing this with you with the hope that you won’t ignore their warning but it will motivate you to start making better decisions about your life going forward.

Each of the concerned individuals, who are mostly older than ourselves, want to see us grow and become very successful in our respective lives. They know from experience that life can be rough at times and having knowledge of what to do in troubling situations can be a lifesaver to you.  However, as we take on the different challenges of life  some of us want to follow in another person’s footsteps, instead of working on developing their own skill set. And once you follow this path this can hamper you from growing into your own independence.

You have to be able to set goals based on your situation and follow it through to the end. You will learn that only you can make the inroads in your life that will help you get ahead  as there are no shortcuts. There are people who try to do things because it appears to be easier to get done,  but at the end, they all fall short in doing so.

Since you have these concerned individuals in your corner, it will help you immensely as they want to see you do well in pursuing your goals. More importantly, if they can lend a helping hand in that process of your development, they are willing to do so. Additionally, it’s a tremendous luxury to have people who are willing to assist you in this critical stage of your personal growth, as that makes your journey, so much easier to travel.

In being our elders, they also want to see us not go after small, easily obtainable targets, but instead do something outstanding in our lives that we would be very proud of and our families as well. They also want us to achieve more in our lives than what they accomplished when they were our age and that is something the younger generation should appreciate.

As a result, it is important for us to listen to these wise individuals, as the knowledge that they are sharing with us is priceless.  We also know that their advice is trustworthy, because of what they were able to get accomplished in their personal lives. People who are currently living the good life and are doing well don’t mind sharing their secrets to others who want to know about these details. Consequently, when they take the time to share their vast knowledge and experiences of life with you, it’s in our best interest to listen carefully. In receiving this information, we hope to be able to build upon their knowledge and their experience of the things they did well and also on the things that they fell short of. In learning of each of these details it helps the ones coming along later to be better prepared.

I don’t know about you, but I have a strong admiration for people who have gone through some type of struggle in their lives and they have found a way to overcome their setbacks. These strong-minded people, when faced with difficulty, instead of bucking under, like so many others have done, they have found a way to get over their hurdles in life. In my point of view, these are the individuals that I do admire so when they talk I listen and I’m suggesting that you do the same.

On the other hand, will have to also be aware that these words of wisdom can also come from our love ones who have had a negative experienced to share. Unlike the earlier example, there are people who have had a very difficult time in their lives and they are willing to share their disappointments to you as well. They share their experience hoping that you will be so frightened of what they’ve gone through that you won’t follow in their footsteps. In their scenario, pain and sorrow were tough lessons to learn and these bad consequences could have been prevented if only they had listened.

I have also learned that those who care about you the most will go out of their way to steer you away from dangerous situations.  They would do so because this is what wise and good people do. I only wished that more of these older people would have stepped up and warned me of many of these pitfalls in life because if they did, many of us would be living easier lives than we are today.

The key point of this article is that our ability or inability to follow the advice will dictate whether we are going to reach your goals for ourselves and not follow exactly in the footsteps of others. When you are setting your goals go as high as you can, as you will find out like I did, that you can do more than you think you could if you apply yourselves.

For example, if our parent’s lives were filled with all sorts of stellar achievements, we can be happy for them, and we can certainly learn from them.  However, wanting to do better than our parents on this situation has to be the benchmark we set.  We shouldn’t settle for the benchmarks that they set for themselves.   We must aim higher as that is what we are supposed to do in life.  In each new generation, the bar will be raised higher than our parents and we must set our goals higher than theirs to make sure that we stay ahead of our peers. Every day things are getting very competitive in all walks of life, and the stakes keep getting higher, so to be able to stay in the game, our concerned love ones noted above, are trying their best to push us accordingly so that we will be prepared for this endless fight.

For example, if you parent dropped out of school, you go out and do better by graduating from high school. If your parent graduated from college, you get your master’s degree, or if your parent got their master’s degree, you go further by getting your Ph.D. degree and so on.  And whatever these important milestones are, don’t settle for them, as we can do better. In other words, the benchmark that was set by your parents, it’s our responsible to surpass that achievement, and that is what they are telling us, “do better than me”.

I don’t know about you, but the goal of every responsible parent is that their children become more successful than themselves. We shouldn’t be envious of the high levels that our children are able to achieve which are greater than our own. As a very concern parent myself, I have worked hard in my career trying to do my best to ensure that my children acquire the tools and the knowledge so that they will do better than me.

On closing,  if we are able to pass this message along to our loved ones while they are still young enough to listen to us, we are going to have a good chance to see them to surpass the achievements of their parents. I hope that this famous saying ” don’t do like me, do better than me ”  won’t be ignored or put on the shelf as that is the pivotal point of this article. I hope that it encourages you to want to do better than those who went before you because at the end of the day, you can do it, but it’s up to you.