Thursday, May 19, 2016

In Commencement

To The Class of 2016 -
As the world changes you will see opportunity before you and come to understand that YOU can change the world.

There may be things in your mind that seem overwhelmingly important at the moment, they may not be. The minute you walk from the stage and flip your tassel, people will begin to tell you what is not possible, if you listen to them too intently, you will not achieve a thing.

More important than material success, you should hope to find love.



Yes, love may be the one aspiration before you that you cannot will yourself into. It may happen over time or you may miss it because you pretended that someone else was good enough. Life is full of compromises, who you love should not be one of them.

You will put in 70 hour weeks which will create a greater appreciation for the afternoon you ditched work to go to the beach. Practice taking in the sunset for all its simple glory.

Know that people will give you advice because they genuinely care about you... and that others will give you advice to marginalize you... because they are envious of your youth.

If you find a job that you love, your life will be much easier to manage. If you find a job that you hate, you should quit before you get pulled into a life of doing what you dislike out of convenience. Convenience is the enemy!

The life events you have experienced in the last few years may seem trivial but you will look back on them fondly. Life is about to speed up with whiplash intensity. The good news is, you will find a way to slow life down when you learn how to manage your personal and professional priorities.

There are a few things that I've learned since I was your age that have resonated with me:

Just Because People Don't Say "Thank You" Doesn't Mean They Are Not Listening
We are always looking for validation, not necessarily a need for love, but the assurance that we are chasing the right rabbit. The certainty I have discovered is that supporters have a way of remaining silent. I encounter young people who thank me for a seminar I conducted three years ago, people mention blog posts without commenting on them and that guy who challenged me in a meeting may have left that meeting with a lifelong respect for me.

You cannot wait for validation from others to determine if your time is well spent. When you exhibit an unflappable belief in your purpose, your words will discover a life of their own.

What a divine opportunity... to influence others through a well-researched belief in yourself!

Be Humble in Victory and Accountable in Defeat
There are times I've been over-confident at the behest of others, such actions are shameful! There are times I've blamed my lack of results on the inefficiencies of others, equally unacceptable!

The most important lesson I have learned in life is that preparation and skill create victory. Win and celebrate peacefully when you do. There will be times when others let you down, they know they screwed up, don't rub it in!

Find Someone to Love
Your barometer for success should hinge on the hugs you receive. No one will remember the games you won, the deals you crushed or how much dough you made; they will remember the hug you gave them when their mother died.... and how much you meant it.

Find a way to care for people you do not know as much as you care for yourself.

Being in love is hard and each day has it's fair share of challenges. If you avoid the challenge, you might spend your life in the waiting room.

Life is too difficult to brave alone. The measure of your influence will determine to length of your legacy.

Hold the Door for People
Go An Entire Day Without Talking Shit About Another Person
Don't Get Too Big For Your Britches
Eat Healthy
Get Sufficient Rest
Lay Off The Sauce
Treat Women With Respect
Allow Your Husband Some Alone Time
Listen More Than You Talk 
Never Let Anyone Put a Finger in Your Face

Don't Forget to Remember!


Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The Real Crux of Our Conversation

"One's greatest fear in professional life is to be in a position of having energy and ambition but no applicable skills" - Anonymous 

I have the good fortune of working with people of every age: I coach kids, counsel college men and interact professionally with people from 25 - 75 years old on a daily basis.

There is a wonderment in the youth that also exists in people who are 75 years old. There is a pessimism in recent graduates that mirrors the disgruntled man at the conclusion of a mistake-riddled life.

I am always surprised at how receptive children are to adjusting their skill set. I am always befuddled by the frustration I see in people who have their whole life in front of them. I've seldom engaged a corporate leader who didn't wish they had more time to spend on personal engagements.

I sat with a young man a few days back, his head buried in his hands. He was a star athlete throughout his youth, a student leader in college and a person who always had a job. Now, with a degree in hand, he was struggling to find employment. In a world where his effort and intelligence had directly produced results, he was now facing a strange uncertainty....

Could it be that life is unfair?

As the young man wrestled in his mind with how he would afford a nice car, a country club membership and a winter cabin in Lake Tahoe...

I offered one piece of advice:

Simplify your lifestyle expectations and your chances for a life of fulfillment will drastically increase.

Here are the reasons why people become unhappy:
  • They prioritize their profession over their personal life. 
  • They allow themselves to be expendable and are thus delegated meaningless tasks.
  • They give up on romance in life to afford for the more-manageable option.
  • They forget what they are good at because they spend too much time doing things they dislike.

When you embrace these truths... a funny thing happens....

You realize that in all the time you were worrying about stupid shit, all you really needed was for someone to tell you to put the nonsense aside.... and go get what you really love.... what you deserve!

Create an Affordable Lifestyle
When you create a financial plan that is beyond your means you will always be chasing money.

"Don't Chase The Paper, Chase The Dream" - Puff Daddy

How long has your ego provoked you to believe that the things you have define you?

Is it worth it to look sharp on a Saturday night if you are throwing up on Sunday uncertain of how you will pay for your glamour?

Happiness Is Defined By Achievement
There is a difference between happiness and fun. Work doesn't have to be fun but you should have a job that makes you happy.

If the opportunity to achieve is presented and you care enough about what you do....:

You Will Be Successful!

We don't need happy hours or trophy presentations. All we need are goals, new challenges and the ability to ascend!

Go To The Baseball Game
There is a man who makes $500k a year who has never seen his kids compete in youth sports. They don't dislike him but he will not have a chance to go back. 20 years of blood, sweat and tears for a few more stock options is not worth a mind empty of memories.

He/She who dies with the most toys (does not) win!

Don't Forget to Remember!