3 Key Life-Long Lessons You Learned in Kindergarten

Written By Salina Jivani of “The Great Word Nerd” Blog

5480b27d0a7fddd318ce35b5a6c3fffcWhen I was a fifth grader in elementary school, I remember reading a poster that said, “Everything I need to know, I learned in kindergarten.” I’d giggled at the time, thinking how ridiculous it was to think such a thing, let alone slap it on a poster. After all, the only skills I remembered learning as a five-year old were to color in the lines and stretch rubber bands into shapes on geoboards.

Reflecting back on that tickled fifth grader, I realize now how much more truth there was in that saying than my naïve 10-year-old self could ever have realized.

Graduating high school, mastering college and stepping into the real world certainly opens our eyes to life, but one thing I can vouch to is that if we follow some of the basic rules we all were taught when we were wee tiny, there’s a lot of power in them to carry us through the most trying of situations.

As five-year-olds, we were taught quite a bit about the basics of mannerisms and etiquette, so it would be impossible to capture them all here, but if I had to pick the three most valuable that are golden to me even today, it would be these:

Treat others the way you want to be treated

There’s nothing more elementary than this rule, but it truly is a fundamental one if you seek to be both a successful person and valued human. As an adult, you’ll encounter difficult people at work and in life. But if you continuously treat people with respect and genuine kindness, they’ll eventually feel humbled enough to reciprocate. And even if they don’t have an opportunity to return the kindness, they’ll respect you even more for your actions.

14188676147b71g.jpgListen

I remember partaking in endless listening and comprehension tests from kindergarten through second grade. Yet today I sit through infinite meetings and conferences trying not to go cross-eyed while my mind drifts off to oblivion. And I have to constantly remind myself that golden rule: LISTEN! It’s difficult to not doze off and let your mind wander to a faraway planet sometimes as friends drone on and on about their complicated lives or colleagues rehash the potential risk of an already-resolved issue, but I’ve found that those who take the time to listen come across as more trustworthy, compassionate and intelligent (because they cared to listen when no one else bothered!).

Never leave anyone out

ab6289a18863ed4437028611fe4cad8eRemember that poor kid who always got left out at recess? Or the nerdy boy everyone always made fun of? No one wants to be the oddball out, but we’ve all been there at some point or another. I’ve learned that making everyone around me feeling included and involved has made me a ton of friends over the years, benefiting me both personally and professionally. And the number of times those connections have turned into something advantageous for me or the other person is astonishing. In fact, when I joined corporate America at the age of twenty-four, I was pulled in by a former manager who I had welcomed and befriended when no one else would. In fact, now that I think back, that’s how I got nearly every single position I ever landed—being inclusive and maintaining connections. Being welcoming not only makes you feel good, but it also can come back to reward you in pleasant and unexpected ways. So respect those around you and make them feel welcome. You’ll get the warm and fuzzies and you also might receive a helping hand when you most need it and least expect it.

There’s a lot of life’s great lessons to be gleaned from those early years of our childhood. And if we each started by implementing just these three simple ones, imagine the beautiful, pleasant, tolerant world we would build for ourselves and for future generations.

 

William Hollis- From Homeless Man to Motivational Speaker

william 21) Tell us a little bit about your background and where you are from?

I grew up in Pontiac, Michigan. My mother was a heroin addict and my father was a member of the bloods . I grew up with ever odd against me, including poverty, family addiction, crime in my family, and a learning disability that left me unable to read until I was 16. Football saved my life and is where I put all my energy into. I played for five division two colleges amid arena football with the determination to play in the NFL. At the beginning of my senior year of college my daughter was born. I had to leave college due to my child’s maternal grandmother getting into a car accident upon leaving the hospital. My child’s mother had to take custody of her siblings and care for my newborn daughter.
2) What effect did your  mother being on drugs have on your social, and personal childhood life?

She fought hard. She was a kid when she had us. She also struggled with past demons, and  the biggest effect was basically never being able to really be a kid. My whole life was dedicated to getting my queen out of Pontiac, Michigan, and showing her the finer things in life, just making her happy and making her smile. I literally felt like I was chasing a clock to save her life. I sacrificed a lot of things to just fight to save her. My life was dedicated to her. I remember sending refund checks to her in college that was supposed to be used for rent. She would call me while I was  in college before games and tell me it’s cold in the house because there was no heat. She would call and tell me she was hungry and these things hurt me a lot, but I had no choice but to continue to play and fight for our life through the game of football.

3) How important was football to your life as an adult? How did it help save your life ?

Football gave me a chance to learn what being a man was all about. It gave me an opportunity to escape the poverty and crime of Pontiac, Michigan. It taught me how to be a man and how to persevere through anything life throws at you. Most importantly it gave me a family and a brotherhood that was everything to me, and it gave me a purpose.

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4) What is the biggest lesson you have learned throughout your life, and each trying situation ?

I’ve learned to work for my purpose and not the money. I realized that God leaves your gifts at the bottom of the stairs and its up to you to walk up those stairs and show the world that gift. It’s also up to you  to appreciate life everyday, because it’s people out here that’s not making it They are dying before they are even men or women, so cherish the people you have on this earth that loves you.
5) What steps did you take to go from being a homeless man, to a paid motivational speaker?

All I did was volunteer and after that I realized that as I spoke, it would start to heal my soul. Eventually I would get asked how much I charged then I was doing like four assembly’s a day. Two weeks later, I was in Saint Joseph hospital speaking to oncology nurses, then to businesses. It was basically God, he turned my pain into my biggest blessing. the feeling I got from seeing people smile and believe was absolutely beautiful I just walked into my season that God had delivered for me.
6) What do you enjoy most about being a speaker, and sharing your story with others?

I love making people believe. I love how I can feel the heart beats in the room. A lot of times in this day and age, people bring speakers in front of people and the people can’t relate. For instance, if you have a kid that grew up in a city like Detroit and you bring a speaker in from Beverly Hills, California, that speaker can’t say anything to those kids from Detroit, but when they tell me I can’t read, my mothers struggling on drugs, or my father is gone, I can relate. When they see me, they see themselves. I enjoy saving the people that are dying inside, because it was a time in my life I was doing the same.

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7) What advice can you give to other young men who have been through, or going through a similar situation as yourself?

To never stop fighting and to never stop believing in the impossible. To know that  coming from where we are from we are going to have to be extraordinary  in everything we do because they don’t expect us to be nothing more then criminals. I tell kids all the time, don’t look down look to the sky, because your dreams live there. They have to live inside their heads just like men do in the penitentiary. It’s sad to say, but some projects are no different other then the fact that they can go outside. Find something you love to do and put your heart and souls into it. Fight for it because your life depend on it.

8) What upcoming projects/ events are you working on now? 

I’m working on my book and also a tour in Atlanta, Georgia with a few big brother programs. I am also working on a new program that I created called”What Does My Mother Mean to Me,” where I speak to the mothers and children at the same time.  I’ll be teaching them the importance of a mother and having them tell me what does there mother mean to them. I’m also speaking at a network marketing party with all the donations going to the Bethany children’s home and a local youth football team called the Reading Raptors, which I am the teams motivational speaker.