Chapter 1

* * * * * * * * * *

High-Schoolers read this:

In way too many cases, parents are pretty limited in their role as parents.

If they are poor, they probably have handicaps and limitations, and might bestow nothing upon you but bad habits and attitudes that will guarantee that you fail in life. If they are affluent, they are probably too busy to bother with you, and you'll spend your life trying to figure out yourself how to behave and how to live a reasonably comfortable, kind life, and stay out of jail. And you don't have enough time to get it figured out yourself.

You need to take this life thing into your own hands. Believe me, you do.

The first thing that you need to do is get away from anyone who uses the word "sucks", and read and hear everything you can from positive people; people who want brothers and sisters like you to be happy and well. The line of guys like that runs from Jesus through Benjamin Franklin through Dale Carnegie through Zig Ziglar to I don't know who now, guys like Tony Robbins or Russell Simmons maybe. You'll find plenty in every one of these guys to not like, but they want to make you a successful human being and that's a train you want to be on.

Secondly, do every damn thing you can do to do well in school, to the very level best you can, and that means putting in the time and doing the work so it gets done right. You think it's crummy now? It'll be a thousand times worse later. Right now it's in your lap. Right now it's at its easiest. Don't let it get away.

Thirdly, save your money. Rich people get rich by not spending it. That's the only way.

And finally, be kind. Other people have problems that you don't know about.