For Bad or Good, Early Programming is With Us Forever
Since I’ve been on my whirlwind virtual promotion tour for MoneyLove 3.0, many of the talk show hosts and podcasters have asked me how I maintained my optimistic, confident, joyful attitude no matter what, even during my 12 years in prison. (You can read about that in the Introduction to the new book, and I discuss it on page 31 of my free 38 page Moneylove Manifesto, available HERE
So I started thinking about this and realize I don’t acknowledge my parents nearly enough for some of the early positive messages I got from them. My mother encouraged my love of books by teaching me to read at the age of three. Also, something she said many, many times, was “You talk so much, you’ll probably grow up to be a lawyer or a radio announcer.” Of course, my first career was as a broadcaster, and speaking has been a major part of my work ever since–including starting soon to do videos on Periscope. (Follow me on Periscope & Twitter @JerryGillies )
From my father, the valuable lesson I learned was from watching him always take an extra day off when he worked overtime, rather than the extra money, even though he certainly could have used it. So I learned that time was more important than money. Every year, even if they had to completely empty their savings account (which was often the case), my parents and I took a two week summer vacation at the Jersey shore in Wildwood.
My father could also be sarcastic and mean-spirited sometimes, and I remember him often shouting at me, “You’re stupid!” So not only his positive example impacted me, but how I reacted to those put-downs. From Mom and my teachers, I got constant reinforcement that I was very smart, so I just assumed he really didn’t believe I was stupid, or that he was frustrated or angry about something that had nothing to do with me.
On further thinking about this now, I remember he mostly called me stupid when I made a mistake when he was trying to show me how to do something mechanical or technical, never my forte. So perhaps the fact I am still very much technically-challenged goes back to his disparaging comments. Dad also often told visitors, patting me on the head, “Jerry is my best boy.” I still have no idea if he was being ironic, since I was an only child, but I definitely took it in as a compliment at the time.
Can you remember specific actions or messages you took in from your parents that still may impact your view of yourself?