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Dear Jack, I’d like to bring to your remembrance some lessons I have shared in my letters to you this year. I hope these precepts resonate again and you keep them in mind as you approach the new year. Be focused, be strategic, be determined, pace yourself. It’s all a matter of time. You must have a vision of how you want your life to turn out, and a vision of accomplishment. Life will eventually bow to a determined young man who’s unfazed by his humble beginnings. Respect everyone. Humility is a measure of your height in life. Be fair in life. Treat others as you’ll like to be treated. It’s the golden rule. If you want respect, do the things that beget respect.

The great coordinates of life’s geography are values. Nothing defines our route in life more than the values we practice. Hardwork, discipline, respect for others, courtesy, contentment, faithfulness, loyalty…these are good values. The worth of a life is the quantum of good we do to others, the value we add, the blessing we are.

You must learn to face the day with purposefulness, to attack each day with mental strength. Success needs maintenance. Bill Gates is still working. And so is Dangote. What else would they be doing?! Take whatever is committed into your hands seriously. Treat it like it’s all you’ve got! Entertain no fear about tomorrow. Face it with boldness. Work hard, believe in yourself and believe in your future. The man who needs help must first acknowledge a need for help. It’s humility.

Learn to identify true friends. Marry one. Loyalty is a test of true friendship. A true friend keeps your secret. Date someone you share values with. Don’t be carried away with mere looks. It’s skin deep, literally. Marry a heart not just a look. The heart matters in a marriage equation. Go after a good-hearted person, a kind, giving and loving person. The more values you share with someone, the more robust the relationship will be. You don’t want to marry someone who’s not your friend. Whoever you marry is going to impact on the course of your destiny, whether you like it or not.

Always deal with facts in your relationship, not wishful thinking. Feelings are not enough. Feelings come and go. It’s the solidity of the core of the relationship that matters. A good relationship will answer your fears and provide answers to unvocalised questions of your heart. You have to reconcile yourself to the fact that in life, sometimes what we want doesn’t want us. If you can’t accept the man or woman in front of you don’t go into the marriage. Deal with facts.

Never let anyone determine your marriage partner for you. That’s often a huge mistake. Take responsibility. If you choose to marry someone you don’t love or who doesn’t love you, you married a stranger essentially. If you’re getting a raw deal or half deal, don’t go into the marriage. You want 100% commitment. If a woman gives you joy in the ethereal compartments of your heart better think twice about losing her. If you do meet a wonderful woman, marry her fast! Don’t dillydally. You don’t want to lose her. One, attraction matters, two, character matters and three, trust is critical in choosing a partner. When you meet the right person you just know. It just “fits”. It’ll be so simple and natural, uncomplicated. If you value her, show it. Love is a verb. Love is not oppressive. Those who love each other do not oppress one another. A good marriage is heaven. A bad marriage is hell. It’s that simple.

A good man or woman is God’s mercy and grace in biological form. He or she is a container of gifts for marriage. You want a situation where every time you look at your wife you hold a thanksgiving service in your heart. Pride has no place in marriage. Neither does inhibition. Marriage is nakedness. Marriage is a partnership. We must not in trying to enforce our views ever forget that. Marriage is not 70% devotion, it is 100%. It’s why it’s called commitment.

Peace in a marriage is not the absence of fights; it’s the presence of agreeability. Finance aids peace in marriage. And it can facilitate extra affection. The ability to recognize capabilities, capacities and differences goes a long way in making a wonderful relationship.

A child that can play with you as dad is also the child that can confide in you as father. Teach your boys to respect women. Teach your girls their worth as women. They must demand respect from men. Society trains men to hide their feelings, to hide their pain and difficulties. But a marriage is not society. If there’s a resolution you need to make in the New Year, it is taking responsibility for your life, and making your own decisions.

Your mentor, LA

© Leke Alder |

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Tags : Marriage, Advice

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