A Winning Formula for Life ... 'Learn, Earn, Return': Sportscaster, Philanthropist and Former National Football League Star

By Bettis, Jerome | Ebony, August 2008 | Go to article overview

A Winning Formula for Life ... 'Learn, Earn, Return': Sportscaster, Philanthropist and Former National Football League Star


Bettis, Jerome, Ebony


I'm fortunate enough to have experienced rife at an accelerated pace because I'm already retired (as a running back in the National Football League). So I've come up with a bit of advice that can add purpose to daily living.

There are three stages of life--the first stage is to learn; the second stage is to earn; and the third stage is to return.

In the first stage, you go through the learning process, and it's pretty simple--you learn how to walk and talk, then you go to problem-solving. After that, there's the formal education, which culminates with graduation. That's the main part of the first stage--the learning stage.

As a parent, I can really understand the next stage--the earning stage--because [at that point] it's up to you to earn and get out of mom and dad's pockets. At this stage, you start a career; you begin to earn a riving; you start a family; you provide for your family; and ultimately, this is where you earn a place in life. Nothing is given, everything has to be earned.

Now you probably would think this is the most important part of rife. Well, it's not. It's very fruitful, but it's not the fulfilling stage of your life. The third stage, which is the return stage, is where you get your fulfillment. In the return stage, what you've learned and what you've earned are put to good use.

This stage is when you're able to give the wealth of resources and information to your children, your community and your fellow man. …

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