Collins shares secrets to success with Penn Yan kids

John Christensen
Penn Yan native Tony Collins speaks to Penn Yan Elementary students about the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, relating them to the lessons he learned through his own life experiences.

Former NFL running back and Penn Yan native Tony Collins answers questions from the eager students of Penn Yan Elementary School.

Collins related his talk to the school’s emphasis on teaching “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,”  a set of behaviors conceived by Steven R. Covey, which are:

• Habit 1: Be Proactive

• Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind

• Habit 3: Put First Things First

• Habit 4: Think Win/Win

• Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood

• Habit 6: Synergize

 • Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw

Collins related these to his own advice to the children, learned by hard experience.

•  First, surround yourself with the right kind of people. He candidly told of how he got involved with drugs by hanging around with the wrong people while he was in the NFL, and how much it cost him.

• Second, do what you’re supposed to do in school to keep your grades up. He didn’t while he was at PYA or at East Carolina University, but he went back and got his degree at the age of 52.

•  Third, (something his father memorably told him) the secret of success in life is to obey your mother and father.