Top Ten reasons your future is so bright it hurts my eyes to look at it

Today is Father’s Day and my not so little girl took me to lunch.  I even had a hot fudge sundae.

She paid.  I tried to because she’s just back from wandering around Iceland for three weeks on her own dime and I know she’s broke.  But she insisted.

“It’s OK Dad,” she said “I put $50 dollars aside to do this.”

Geez, how did I wind up with such a great kid?   I deserve very little, if any credit.  Mostly I’ve just watched in awe and tried not to get in the way.

Over the years I’ve routinely told her things like:

“My job is to be sure you have stuff to talk about in therapy.”


“Always remember, not only can you be replaced….but the process is fun.”   Loved her reaction when she was finally old enough to understand that one.  “Dad!!!”  Eye roll.

So maybe I taught her to be resilient and not to take authority too seriously.  I’ll take some credit for that.  We certainly laugh together.

Over lunch we were talking about her college career.  She just completed her freshman year and is considering her major.  Or, in her case, majors.  Maybe Marine Biology and French.  Maybe Psychology and French. Maybe Political Science and French.  Maybe Political Science, Psychology and French for a triple.  Maybe something else entirely.  Her life, her call.

There is an astounding amount of pressure tied to this process.  She is surrounded by friends who are stressing out.  Worried about making the “right” choice.  The choice that will get them that all important job.  Their parents are stressing even more.

Rubbish, I say.

If college is nothing more than a job training program there are better things to do with your time and money.

Education has value in and of itself.  Or at least it should.   It is a time to expand your mind and your horizons.  To explore, not contract, your options.  You have your whole life ahead to figure out your career, and you’ll likely have five or six different ones before you’re done.  Unless you wind up living a really boring life.  Which, of course, most people do.

Will an education help?  Sure.  But other things will help more.

We had a similar conversation a few weeks back.  After, I sent her this email:

Subject line:  Why I’m not worried….

…and you shouldn’t be either.

Hi Jess…

I’ve been thinking about our conversation today and specifically why I have such great confidence in you and your future.  So, here are the Top Ten reasons your future is so bright it hurts my eyes to look at it:

  1. Your positive attitude.  Nothing contributes more to success than attitude.
  2. Your people skills.  You have charisma, kindness and a wonderful way with people.  They are drawn to you.  They want you on their team and they want you to lead them. 
  3. Your work ethic and self discipline.
  4. You know how to work.  Many people work hard, fewer work effectively.
  5. You know how to learn.
  6. You know how to think.
  7. You know how to prioritize. 
  8. You are intellectually curious and have a love of learning.
  9. You are a reader.  People who know how to read can learn anything anytime.
  10. You know how to play and how to engage the world and the adventure of life.    

Plan and dream your future, but spend not a single moment worrying about it.  Few things are a greater waste than worry. 

Focus on the Now.  Live each day for itself.  Most of all, enjoy the journey.



Not bad, I think.  Every now and again maybe I do OK.

Happy Father’s Day!

Subscribe to JL’s Newsletter

Important Resources

  • Talent Stacker is a resource that I learned about through my work with Jonathan and Brad at ChooseFI, and first heard about Salesforce as a career option in an episode where they featured Bradley Rice on the Podcast. In that episode, Bradley shared how he reached FI quickly thanks to his huge paychecks and discipline in keeping his expenses low. Jonathan teamed up with Bradley to build Talent Stacker, and they have helped more than 1,000 students from all walks of life complete the program and land jobs like clockwork, earning double or even triple their old salaries using a Salesforce certification to break into a no-code tech career.
  • Credit Cards are like chain saws. Incredibly useful. Incredibly dangerous. Resolve to pay in full each month and never carry a balance. Do that and they can be great tools. Here are some of the very best for travel hacking, cash back and small business rewards.
  • Empower is a free tool to manage and evaluate your investments. With great visuals you can track your net worth, asset allocation, and portfolio performance, including costs. At a glance you'll see what's working and what you might want to change. Here's my full review.
  • Betterment is my recommendation for hands-off investors who prefer a DIFM (Do It For Me) approach. It is also a great tool for reaching short-term savings goals. Here is my Betterment Review
  • NewRetirement offers cool tools to help guide you in answering the question: Do I have enough money to retire? And getting started is free. Sign up and you will be offered two paths into their retirement planner. I was also on their podcast and you can check that out here:Video version, Podcast version.
  • Tuft & Needle (T&N) helps me sleep at night. They are a very cool company with a great product. Here’s my review of what we are currently sleeping on: Our Walnut Frame and Mint Mattress.


  1. Jess says

    don’t worry dad….i have plenty to talk about in therapy. but thats why i’m stressing so much about college – so i can get a good job to pay for all the therapy sessions 🙂

    but yea, i’m not worried. we talked about this earlier today, but i like college just for the sake of taking classes that interest me, even if i never pursue that subject as a major. unfortunately people do only look at college as training for a future job and, as we have discussed before, that really is too bad. its such a waste.

    i just keep trying to remind myself that college is too much fun to waste it worrying about stuff.

    i love you dad and i hope you had a good father’s day/ anniversary. :):)

    oh and p.s. – now i really am broke 🙂 lol

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Ha! and I thought you didn’t read this blog. looks like I’ll have to be more careful what I write.

      You made it a wonderful Father’s Day for me and there is no better way to go broke than spending your money on Dad. Love you!

  2. Rich Makruski says

    One of my biggest fears when I was starting my family, and after three boys, my biggest regret was not having a girl. What a great lady you got there!

  3. Bill at FamZoo says

    If your daughter has mastered your list of 10 items, she definitely has nothing to worry about. It’s a great list. Enjoyed the excellent post. Happy (belated) Father’s Day. -Bill

  4. Rebecca says

    I really love this post. Clearly you are a great dad. I remember my dad sitting me down once in third or fourth grade when I was on the verge of getting my first B on a report card and feeling bad about it, and he told me it wasn’t a big deal and the thing was to learn for learning’s sake, not for a grade. It stuck with me. Hope I will do so well when I have kids.

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Thank you, Rebecca….

      ….I’m glad it struck a cord.

      Sounds like you had a pretty great dad yourself. Good training for doing well by your own kids when the time comes. I’m sure you will!

  5. Jim Homan says


    I sent my eldest daughter (27 years old) a link to your website and she has read every page and lots of the links. She is just thrilled to know that she will be able to retire early. She is an electrical engineer and has always been very frugal, so putting lots of her money into investments will be easy for her. She had already been putting money into her 401(k), but she didn’t trust the market and was VERY nervous about investing. Because of your easy to understand explanations she now is not only not nervous, she’s anxious to invest as much as she can.

    Thank you more than I could ever express!

    Jim Homan

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Wait. What?

      You have a daughter? And she listens to you when you suggest she read something? And she’s interested in learning about money and investing?

      Teach me how to pull that off and you will have thanked me more than I could ever express. 🙂

      (Or maybe I just need to wait till my daughter is 27…) 😉

  6. TraceyA67 says

    Great post! Recently listened to the audio version of “A Simple Path to Wealth” and absolutely loved it… so much so I bought a hard copy and yellow highlighter. 🙂

    Looking forward to working my way through your blog next!
    Keep up the great work.

  7. Gosia says

    Great post. As a mother of a little girl, I will be teaching her the same values. Enjoying your blog very much!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *