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3 Things Most People Learn Too Late In Life

Being polite and well-mannered in front of potential employers (who could range from current professors to friends’ parents) can make a world of difference in these people’s perceptions of you."


Joshua Idegbere

4 months ago | 4 min read


#1: Hard work is not enough

“Manners will take you where money won’t.”- George J. Ziogas|

Asa young guy, I used to see myself as someone who doesn't deserve the best.

For that reason, I never put myself first when making decisions. I put others first every time. Even when I have to suffer to keep up with those decisions.

I felt that was what I deserved. I felt it was my fate. And there was nothing I could do about it.

This was all because of the people that surrounded my life at that time. For that reason, I made most choices that I now feel regretted and ashamed of.

Beliefs are powerful

Only a few things heavily influence your future, like your beliefs.

Your beliefs influence the choices you make, and those choices create your future.

But then, it is your perspective on life that shapes your beliefs.

Meaning if you have the right perspective about life, you’ll form the right beliefs; the right beliefs will help you make the right choices, and the right choices will create the right future.

Today, we shall consider four right perspectives about life in the form of life lessons.

Unfortunately, many people don’t realize this early. And so they screw up their lives, suffer and struggle through life unnecessarily.

But you won’t have to suffer or struggle just like them. Because you’ll know the truth early. And the truth shall set you free from the bondage of ignorance and guide your path to the bright side of life.

1.) Hard work is not enough.

Hard work is good, but it is not enough.

If you lack the right opportunities, it won’t matter much that you work hard. Your talent may not even count much.

Opportunities are platforms to launch what you've got to the world.

You need opportunities.

But opportunities don’t fly in the air; they come through people. The opportunities that will come into your life will be from and through the relationships and people in your life right now.

And the quality of the people and relationships you keep will not be so different from the nature of opportunities you are going to have from those relationships.

So look at your relationship.

Do they have the potential to bring the type of opportunities you need? If yes, nurture those relationships; but if no, get out of your comfort zones and make friends with the right people.


2.) Nothing is free

Even failure has a cost.

It will cost you peace of mind, your self-esteem, your pride. It will make you hide when you see your mates who pay the price of success.

But there is a second I want you to be interested in - the price of success. Unfortunately, many young people in our generation like freebies and stress-free life.

And that lifestyle is a destructive process that can destroy even a nation as powerful as America:

The things that waste destroy America.

"The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, and love of soft living and the get-rich-quick theory of life.”–Theodore Roosevelt.

If it can destroy America, it can destroy any other nation on the planet earth.

My advice: Disbelieve every thought and any person that tells you that you can be successful without having to earn it.

Success is valuable. And nothing of value is free.

If you must be successful, identify the price you have to pay: discipline, self-control, time management, continuous learning, humility. And then cultivate and nurture those into lifetime habits.

Remember: Nothing of value is free.

And everything you want that makes a good life is of value. And so they’re not free.


3.) Manners will take you where talent can’t

George J. Ziogas has a version of this that’s equally powerful: “Manners will take you where money won’t.”

If you think Western civilization has phased out manners, then you have to think again.

Success is an entrustment. You may acquire it through hard work and talent, but you need manners and virtues to sustain it.

Good manners will take you far.

Let's hear something about this from Kelly Werther:

"Growing up, I was taught to always treat others with the highest degree of respect. My mom always told me, “The two words that will take you the farthest in life are ‘please’ and ‘thankyou.’

I learned to address my elders, persons of authority, mentors, parents, etc. as "ma’am" or "sir," and I learned to always say "please" and "thank you."

Of course, as a kid, I didn’t really understand why my parents were so adamant about responding to their call from the other side of the house with "yes ma’am/sir?" instead of "what?" or "yeah?" I simply accepted it as a rule of the house.

Now, in hindsight, I am thrilled to have the background in etiquette that I do.

I am grateful that good manners and respect were drilled into me throughout my childhood because I see how useful these qualities are as an adult.

As a fortunate force of habit, now, I refer to my professors, my club leaders, my RAs, and occasionally even my friends as ma’am or sir.

Whenever I ask for anything from anyone, I make sure to add a "please" in my request, and when they oblige (or even if they don’t), I always thank them for their kindness or their time.

Many times, I have addressed a professor or a friend’s parent as ma’am or sir, and they were momentarily taken aback. They tell me they aren’t used to being referred to that way, and they appreciate my good manners and polite conversation.

As simple as it may sound, these small little behavioral quirks can set you apart from a pool of job applicants.

Being polite and well-mannered in front of potential employers (who could range from current professors to friends’ parents) can make a world of difference in these people’s perceptions of you."

I hope these lessons will help you on your journey to greatness.

To your success,



Created by

Joshua Idegbere


I am Joshua Idegbere and this is my column. Stories with actionable tips to help you make the most of your life, career and relationships. Welcome!







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