A Modern Tale of Personal Development

A young man received a visit one day from his wealthy old Uncle.  The young man, we’ll call him Jake, had been wondering about the impending visit for a few weeks now, ever since the letter came in the mail.

It was kind of odd, to say the least.  Jake hadn’t seen his Uncle Ed since his 16th Birthday, so a note from the old businessman informing him that he’d be stopping by was, well, intriguing.

So when the big shiny Limo pulled up at the front of Jake’s small house, there was anticipation in the air.

Uncle Ed was looking older than ever, but still wore his tailored suit with style as he left the Chauffeur at the wheel and walked up the path to the front door.

Jake was there to meet him with a smile. “So good to see you, Uncle.  Please, come in.”

“Jake, my boy, thank-you for letting me stop by.” Uncle Ed replied, with a twinkle in his eye.  “Been far too long since I’ve seen you and your folks.”

After some polite conversation they sat down, and Jake poured some coffee.

“You must be wondering why I’m here, Jake.  Popping up out of nowhere after so long. What does this old fool want, eh?”

“Err, well…” mumbled Jake, uncertain where this conversation was headed.

“Oh, don’t worry Jake. It’s a good thing.  I have a proposition for you!” A slight smile creased Uncle Ed’s face and the twinkle seemed brighter than before.

Jake sipped his coffee and raised an eyebrow.

“Now, as you know, I’ve been very successful in my life, very successful.  I’ve done a lot, achieved a lot, seen a lot. My businesses make me millions each year, I don’t want for anything…”

“But!” he said, with a finger in the air. “It’s time to pass things on.  I’m not as young as I used to be. I’ve come to a point in my life where I’m ready to party, travel the world, that kind of thing.”

“Well, sounds fun,” said Jake, tentatively.

“Yes, yes, have some fun, or more fun,” replied Uncle Ed. He smiled, then continued. “So, I have a proposition for you, young Jake, and here it is. In two years from now, I’m going to hand you the keys to my estate. I’m going to sign over all my businesses to you, my limo, my island in the sun, everything.  The only thing I need is my yacht, I’m sailing it to Scotland!”

Jake was lost for words.  He forgot the coffee mug in his hand and almost dropped it.

“I know, it’s a lot to take in,” Uncle Ed lowered his voice. “But there’s a catch, you know, there always is.”

“Oh, what catch?” Jake was thinking quickly now.

“It’s simply this – Sign a contract with me today, and in two years it’s all yours.  But, by signing this contract, you are making a commitment. A commitment to yourself.

You see, I want to know that you’re the right man for the job, that you are going to be able to handle the responsibility that comes with wealth, that you aren’t going to squander it, be wasteful, or make a fool of yourself.

I want you to commit yourself, over the next 2 years, to learning all you can about money, about business, about investments and capital. I want you to learn to be a good manager, be a good judge of people, understand how to make money work for you, and how to put it to good use.

What’s more, you’ll have to learn good communication skills if you’re going to captain your own life-ship. Learn to speak with anyone, high or low, learn respect for others’ opinions, learn to make your voice heard.

Learn to set goals and dream big dreams that are going to change lives. Oh, and you’ll probably want to learn to give an after-dinner speech, I do those all the time. How does that sound?”

A silence filled the small room as his Uncle’s words resounded in Jake’s head.  It was a little too much to take in.

“You’ll probably want to think it over.  It’s a big responsibility, and if you don’t make the mark, you won’t get the prize, so I understand if you want some more time,” said Uncle Ed.

As quickly as he arrived, Uncle Ed was gone.  Jake sat looking at the large contract sitting on the coffee table.  He only had to sign it…

To Be Continued…

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