I grew up in a nice Jewish household in Haddonfield New Jersey. My mother’s brother was a doctor. That automatically made my mother a doctor. And she wanted me to be a doctor. But I wanted to be a businessman like my dad.
My fondest memory of my mother was my first day of college. I commuted to Temple University in Philly. As I was backing down our driveway to register for classes I saw my mother in her house-coat running down the driveway after me screaming, “Take pre-med, you can always switch!”
I had a great home. My mom was a homemaker. She cooked every meal. And she was a superb cook. We ate as a family every day. If you took a bite before she sat down to the table, you at the rest of your meal in the bathroom. I ate there several times. The lessons are simple, but powerful: Eat as a family as often as you can. Don’t start eating until all are seated. Learn to cook.
Have a parent at home when school is over. It was wonderful to bring my friends over after school and have fresh baked goodies. I took it for granted then, but remember it as a reassuring environment.
If you have nothing nice to say — say nothing. While I know everyone’s mother said this, my mom harped on it. It still has impact on my communication. And while I admit to an occasional slip, I also admit that I feel her presence when I do.
My mother drilled manners into me. Manners are now second nature and you would be amazed how they are noticed. Holding a door or a coat. And there’s an added benefit to me. Because it’s the most prevalent characteristic of my thoughts, every time I am mannerly to someone it makes me think of her. Hold a door, smile.
It’s never too late to try to achieve your dreams. She started a travel agency business and school at the age of 60 and it succeeded. All her life she had a dream to go to Europe. Later in life a stroke prevented her from the reality, but she lived a year vicariously through my travels and letters. Every time she wrote me in Europe (I used American Express offices as a mailing wherever I traveled) there was a twenty dollar bill in the envelope. Smile. But the lesson is: it’s never too late, and it’s never too early to live your dreams.
Serve the BEST. We entertained, and we did it often. We always served the best food and drink. Yes it’s a few dollars more, but it’s a reflection of you.
Call your mother if she is still alive. Tell her how much you appreciate what she did and does for you. She’s expecting your call.
2002 All Rights Reserved – Don’t even think about reproducing this document without writtenpermission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer and Buy Gitomer o 704/333-1112