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How to Create the Life You Really Want

Armen Hareyan's picture

Tips your Parents or Grandparents may not have given you (but should have!) from a 90 year old Veteran, Businessman, Husband, Father & Grandfather

The ills our society faces are apparent; in the United States domestic violence is a growth industry. Teen pregnancy stands at 53 to every 1000. Financial distress and foreclosure are everyday news. These are not figures we would have seen in past generations. One wonders if our elders knew something we have forgotten or never knew.

Wilford D. (Wil) Gower, a retired U.S. Army Colonel and decorated veteran of WWII, is truly a member of the Greatest Generation. At 90, Wil has the kind of wisdom learned by experience which he shares in his book “Mapping Life’s Tomorrows.” As Wil says, “you must take responsibility for your life – many people have words of advice, but you must be the judge in making your decisions.” The following tips are some of his roadmaps to successful decision-making.

1. There is a person out there like you who is looking for their ideal mate. For marriage find someone who has the same kind of ambitions, life plans, and social interests so that you will fit together for a lifetime of happiness.

2. First enjoy your marriage, and then add offspring. Welcome an expected child into a happy environment, then guide the child through their growth years with encouragement and kindness. Help him arrive at life decisions using good judgment learned from your example.

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3. Continue to learn so that you rise above the crowd. Gower stresses education - not necessarily college, but whatever learning tools you need to achieve your goals. Things you learn on the job will help you grow. Gower also emphasizes it is your duty to perform your assigned work to the best of your abilities; you will earn benefits now and in the future.

4. Evaluate each financial decision based on the cost and by what means you will cover it. Part of that cost may be stress, not just money. Think before you leap! Rather than using “plastic money” keep your financial commitments within your ability to pay.

5. When you plan for retirement, examine your health, your prospects for longer life, and what resources you will need to enjoy it. If you are happy in your work, and it is not creating a health problem, why not continue to work? And if you do retire make plans to fill the 40 extra hours a week you will have available. You cannot just take to the rocking chair!

6. Part of living is being useful. Get involved in community services. Volunteer with your church or a non-profit worthy of support. Add these accomplishments and achievements which make your life that much more meaningful.

7. Conduct your life with honesty, integrity, grace, love, humility, forgiveness, fairness and thankfulness for your blessings. Regardless what form your beliefs take; you must have respect for yourself and others.

As Gower tells us, “Use every day as a stop on the road to success and happiness. We all learn from adversity, so cherish today, and you will succeed on life’s various battlefields.”

Born a share-cropper’s son in Kentucky, Gower worked his way through college during the depression years. As a member of a large family, a decorated combat veteran of WWII and a manager in industry, Gower has mapped and executed a full life for himself and others.