In a country that provides endless possibilities and free public education there is a basis on which you can be guaranteed a good life. This is a base. There are innumerable additions to ensure a happy life, fruitful life, secure life, purpose driven life, etc. but these three things, with no other efforts, motivations or requirements will see you through a good life.
Have a skill. This is best decided early in life when there is more time, choices and fewer commitments on you personally. This skill can be developed in many different ways. Not everyone is college bound but if you are get good grades in high school because they equal money in college. Many high schools offer tech classes and/or opportunities to apprentice in the field such as mechanics, drafting, construction, beauty school to name a few. There are many technical schools offering two year programs for; medical lab specialists, x-ray or records, blood banks, legal assistants computers etc. If schooling isn’t for you find an area of interest and be willing to start at the bottom and work your way up. The McDonalds Restaurant Corporation has its own Hamburger University for manager trainees; United Supermarkets have baggers who worked their way up through Dairy, Produce and upward to store manager. In a country with endless possibilities develop a skill that will assure you a steady income.
Create and maintain a good credit rating. Credit is the economic merry-go-round and a good credit rating is the fee to ride. Begin a credit history by obtaining a loan or credit card and paying off the loan or purchases promptly. When you begin providing evidence that you will pay for what you purchase, in a timely manner, companies want to extend you credit. With a good credit rating you can purchase a house or car, begin a business, fund college, etc. A good credit rating can be damaged by one incident of late payment or default. A bad credit rating can be reversed and will take time and patience but is WELL worth the effort. A poor example of fiscal responsibility belongs to one who never has enough money, never money when it is needed, constantly looking for the next dollar, always wanting, wanting, wanting. A GOOD example will include a savings account, there may not be much in it but the plan to save is in place, staying on time with credit payments, saying “no” when a purchase will over extend the budget, taking another job and being patient towards a large or desired purchase. Observe the behavior you want to exhibit and pattern your financial life accordingly. Build a good credit history and protect it.
Have hope. Hope is defined as ‘the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best.’ Psychological studies of prisoners have proven that without HOPE the will to live or survive dies and generally the individual dies shortly after. Without hope there is no motivation to develop a skill, no need to have good credit, no desire to enjoy life, no need to be a productive member of society. You can hope in many things; yourself, country, government, popular figure, parents, God. Your hope in any one, or more, of these is that they will provide you with what you want in your community, society, life; you expect they can affect your life in a positive way and so you place your hope in them. Hope moves you forward when there is no evidence or reason to move. Hope keeps you trying through the dark of circumstances when there is no light at the end, hope helps a neighbor, lends a hand, makes you vote, keeps you working. Hope feeds the soul and without it your inner light expires. The Christian life is based on hope; Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” If you lack hope, or would like to be more hopeful, I would be happy to share more on this topic with you.