As my last few weeks as an undergrad business student comes to a close…it is a beautiful feeling to reflect and feel a divine appreciation for the journey that is life. These past three years I’ve been lucky to be surrounded and influenced by powerful thought leaders and mentors; been able to pick the brain of non-profit people and for-profit people. I’ve been fortunate to hear speeches made from successful entrepreneurs, not-so-successful entrepreneurs, and want-a-preneurs.
“You shouldn’t feel good to be praised as the smartest person in the room, because if you’re the smartest person in the room it doesn’t allow you to grow; your opinion is considered “the best.” The best feeling in a meeting is to feel as if you are the dumbest person in the room, because that feeling allows you to grow, to reach new heights, and to soak up other people’s advice and knowledge. “
” I’m told that I should respect my A students because they will become the teachers that teach my children. I’m told that I should be kind to my B students because they will soon one day become managers at companies my children will want to work at. I’m told that I should should really really be kind to my C students as they will be the ones hiring my children at these companies. And I should really suck up to my D students, as they are the ones that will be the CEOs and Billionaires of my children’s generation.”
“Let’s say that the person you love the most has just been shot. He or she is lying in the street, bleeding and screaming. A guy rushes up and says, “Step aside.” He looks over your loved one’s bullet wound and pulls out a pocket knife — he’s going to operate right there in the street.You ask, “Are you a doctor?”
The guy says, “No.”
You say, “But you know what you’re doing, right? You’re an old Army medic, or …”
At this point the guy becomes annoyed. He tells you that he is a nice guy, he is honest, he is always on time. He tells you that he is a great son to his mother and has a rich life full of fulfilling hobbies, and he boasts that he never uses foul language.
Confused, you say, “How does any of that fucking matter when my (wife/husband/best friend/parent) is lying here bleeding! I need somebody who knows how to operate on bullet wounds! Can you do that or not?!?”
Now the man becomes agitated — why are you being shallow and selfish? Do you not care about any of his other good qualities? Didn’t you just hear him say that he always remembers his girlfriend’s birthday? In light of all of the good things he does, does it really matter if he knows how to perform surgery?
In that panicked moment, you will take your bloody hands and shake him by the shoulders, screaming, “Yes, I’m saying that none of that other shit matters, because in this specific situation, I just need somebody whocan stop the bleeding, you crazy fucking asshole.””
That harsh truth will only become stronger as we age…I’ve realized it with the people I have in my personal and professional life. What we/I/you have to do is be a person that always has something to offer the world. Always contribute works that matter, speech that matter. The moment you realize you aren’t. Stop. People can easily see through bullshit.
To be continued….