To Thine Own Self Be Flexible & Ready For Change By Rick London

When I was a young middle and later high school student in Hattiesburg, Ms, it was drilled into me by parents and teachers to learn one thing and learn it well. This was a bit of a dichotomy since I was tossed a myriad of lesson plans in everything from political science to biology (I can still remember the rancid smell of formaldehyde and the stare of the now deceased frogs who had not hopped, most likely, in years. Is this what adulthood was all about? Cruelty over amphibians?)

Then came college. The importance of specializing became even more important though it was demanded of me to pick a major and minor which I did about ten times at four different colleges. I didn’t finish but I did study hard and a lot of subjects. I was always a hit at cocktail parties because I learned words like “ethnocentric” and “Kierkegaard” and phrases like “To thine own self be true”. I stopped using that Shakespearean gem as it seemed to depress most of my fellow college students (including me) as, which of us was truly being true to ourselves if we were sitting at a desk listening to the most boring professors on the planet? Do as I say, not as….

In my twenties I simply decided to go out and conquer the cold cruel world and almost did so a few times. I worked on a few major projects for others and a few of my own and learned a good deal about how the world works. Of course the more I learned, the more I learned I needed to learn.

The years passed and early important lessons never left. “Learn to do one thing and do it very well”. I learned to do a few dozen things and none of them all that well.

I went back to school in my mid-40s and everything had changed. The new mantra was “Be flexible. Learn to do a lot of things because things are changing so fast you are most likely to be doing something else tomorrow”. In fact none of the nearly 100 hours I had accumulated my first time in college applied (even though I didn’t need to take the classes again as I was tested for life experience and apparently had learned my lessons). But the new pragmatic (right in your face) lessons were harder than anything I could imagine. But some of them manifested and transferred into the workplace.

Do I do any one thing very well? Not really. I co-create Londons Times Cartoons with my very talented team. I founded it in 1997. I founded several funny gift shops which feature my cartoon products with an inventory of over a quarter million of them.

I founded in 2007, the world’s only famous love quote shoes. APWire and USA Today wrote a very nice story about them.

This past month, I launched a division of ShoeShies which are sushi shoes and gifts and I enjoy that very much though sales are far from brisk, but then again inventory is far from full. So I keep plugging away.

Sadly, most of my early professors who (not on purpose) misled me to do one thing and do it well (how in the world could they see how technology would change our lives and future) are now deceased.

My more recent professors and students from Western Governor’s University are now on Twitter and facebook and, like me, are attempting to become more renaissance every day (as am I). We all have so many balls in the air, at times, it looks like an online juggling convention.

My wife Lee started with a simple photography blog which has turned into a very popular nature wildlife blog and she makes her own line of gift and home decor products,

On the way to doing what we do now, Lee and I did what we had to do to survive; that is, SEO, article marketing, blogging, promoting on Twitter and other social networks; you name it.

We do all this and still have time for our favorite charities and causes such as wildlife, environment, Japan recovery, domestic animals and much more.

We’ve learned to do a lot, and though we may have received an “F” for that 40 years ago in college, it is what is the norm today.

Times change and so do people. I was thinking recently if Einstein came back and lived in our generation, a 6th grader would have to not only have to teach him how to work a PC, but tell him what it is.

Rick London is the founder of Google’s #1 ranked offbeat cartoons, Londons Times and its licensed shops such as The Rick London Collection which is currently seeking associates. There is no fee (EVER), our manufacturer Zazzle pays YOU for sales, you never pay us a penny. You visit my Zazzle Shop, sign up for a free shop and affiliate account.  Post items you like from my shop, promote, sell, earn. Just like in the olden days.  To sign up CLICK HERE.

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