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If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another. By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter. If you can’t do the little things right, you will never do the big things right.

Remarks by Naval Adm. William H. McRaven, B.J. ’77, ninth commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, Texas Exes Life Member, and Distinguished Alumnus. Admiral McRaven offered advice for changing the world from his 36 years of experience as a Navy SEAL: Ask for help when you need it, respect everyone, persevere through failures and, perhaps surprisingly, make your bed every day.

Writing is a form of manipulation, and in order to do it effectively, you need to control what happens in the reader’s head.  One way of doing this is to use specific details as opposed to generalities

Joanna Penn’s How To Write Non-Fiction is a great book on the art of writing non-fiction. She shared great insights on starting out as a writer, dealing with doubt and fear, the business of writing, writing tools, marketing, and other strategies on turning knowledge into creative work through book writing. The book goes in-depth to writing a great non-fiction book and building a personal brand in the process.

“Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end, it’s about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well.” – Stephen King, On Writing

Here are my favourite take aways from reading, How To Write Non-Fiction by Joanna Penn:

 When it is darkest, we can see the stars. — Ralph Waldo Emerson

There are three inevitable things we are all going to deal with: Death, Taxes, and Challenges. No one lives a problem-free life, and we are all going to DIE. Life would happen to us all; it is not a matter of if; it is a matter of when. You are either going through a storm, entering a new storm, or going to the next storm. We lose a loved one; we get laid off from a job; we deal with infertility; we get diagnosed with a terminal illness; we get disappointed; we get divorced; we get heartbroken. It is tough going through the challenges and vicissitudes of life, and in these trying times, we expect our family and friends to be there for us, but most times, they are not equipped to help us navigate the challenges of grief.

Here are some great quotes of grieving:

“There is no getting over it, but only getting under it. Loss and grief change our landscape. The terrain is forever different and there is no normal to return to. There is only the inner task of making a new and accurate map”

Grief is tough, draining, and lonely as most people think they understand what you are going through; I have been there a couple of times, from losing my closest cousin, losing my mum, to getting laid off. We handle grief differently, but most grievers have something in common: you get judged, people make assumptions, they say hurtful things unintentionally, some relationships dissolve while others get stronger. Our culture does not prepare a lot of us to handle grief and care for people in grief.

“Grief is already a lonely experience. It rearranges your address book: people you thought would stay beside you through anything have either disappeared or they’ve behaved so badly, you cut them out yourself. Even those who truly love you, who want more than anything to stay beside you, fall short of joining you here. It can feel like you lost the entire world right along with the person who died. Many grieving people feel like they’re on another planet, or wish they could go to one. Somewhere there are others like them. People who understand.”

The book provides a path to rethink our relationship with grief. It encourages readers to see their grief as a natural response to death and loss, rather than an aberrant condition needing transformation. By shifting the focus from grief as a problem to be solved to an experience to be tended, we give the reader what we most want for ourselves: understanding, compassion, validation, and a way through the pain.

In It’s OK That You’re Not OK, Megan Devine offers a profound new approach to both the experience of grief and the way we try to help others who have endured tragedy. Having experienced grief from both sides―as both a therapist and as a woman who witnessed the accidental drowning of her beloved partner―Megan writes with deep insight about the unspoken truths of loss, love, and healing. She debunks the culturally prescribed goal of returning to a normal, “happy” life, replacing it with a far healthier middle path, one that invites us to build a life alongside grief rather than seeking to overcome it.

“Grief is not a problem to be solved; it’s an experience to be carried. The work here is to find—and receive—support and comfort that helps you live with your reality. Companionship, not correction, is the way forward.”

Acknowledgement

Acknowledgment is one of the few things that actually helps. What you’re living can’t be fixed. It can’t be made better. There are no solutions. That means that our course of action inside grief is simple: helping you gauge what’s “normal” and finding ways to support your devastated heart. This part of the book is about helping you survive the bizarre territory of intense grief. Naming the craziness of this time is powerful: it helps to know what’s normal when nothing feels normal.

Here are my favourite takeaways from reading, It’s OK That You’re Not OK by Megan Devine:

“Success is getting what you want; Happiness is wanting what you get.”

Happiness is an emotional response to an outcome; if you win, you become happy. If you don’t, you become unhappy. It is an if-then, cause-and-effect proposition that is not sustainable because every time you attain a certain level of happiness, you raise the bar, and it is an endless loop. We also schedule and delay our happiness; we say when this happens, I will become happy. If this then that, Someday I’ll when so and so happens, I would be happy when I get married we change it to when we have kids, then when the kids leave home to when there are grandkids, there is always a reason to postpone. It is a constant moving target.

“Happiness is not a goal…it’s a by-product of a life well-lived.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Author Gary Keller, in his book “The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results,” shares a great anecdote on happiness through the story of the begging bowl:

There is only one sensible thing to do with this empty existence, and that is: fill it. Not fillet. Fill. It.

Australian Comedian Tim Minchin delivered a thought-provoking, inspiring speech titled: “9 Life Lessons”, in which he implored the graduates to:

1. You Don’t Have To Have A Dream.
2. Don’t Seek Happiness
3. Remember, It’s All Luck
4. Exercise
5. Be Hard On Your Opinions
6. Be a teacher.
7. Define Yourself By What You Love
8. Respect People With Less Power Than You.
9. Don’t Rush.

Tim Minchin, the former UWA Arts student described as “sublimely talented, witty, smart and unabashedly offensive” in a musical career that has taken the world by storm, is awarded an honorary doctorate by The University of Western Australia.

In darker days, I did a corporate gig at a conference for this big company who made and sold accounting software. In a bid, I presume, to inspire their salespeople to greater heights, they’d forked out 12 grand for an Inspirational Speaker who was this extreme sports dude who had had a couple of his limbs frozen off when he got stuck on a ledge on some mountain. It was weird. Software salespeople need to hear from someone who has had a long, successful and happy career in software sales, not from an overly-optimistic, ex-mountaineer. Some poor guy who arrived in the morning hoping to learn about better sales technique ended up going home worried about the blood flow to his extremities. It’s not inspirational – it’s confusing.

And if the mountain was meant to be a symbol of life’s challenges, and the loss of limbs a metaphor for sacrifice, the software guy’s not going to get it, is he? Cos he didn’t do an arts degree, did he? He should have. Arts degrees are awesome. And they help you find meaning where there is none. And let me assure you, there is none. Don’t go looking for it. Searching for meaning is like searching for a rhyme scheme in a cookbook: you won’t find it and you’ll bugger up your soufflé.

Searching for meaning is like searching for a rhyme scheme in a cookbook: you won’t find it and you’ll bugger up your soufflé.

Point being, I’m not an inspirational speaker. I’ve never lost a limb on a mountainside, metaphorically or otherwise. And I’m certainly not here to give career advice, cos… well I’ve never really had what most would call a proper job.

However, I have had large groups of people listening to what I say for quite a few years now, and it’s given me an inflated sense of self-importance. So I will now – at the ripe old age of 38 – bestow upon you nine life lessons. To echo, of course, the 9 lessons and carols of the traditional Christmas service. Which are also a bit obscure.

You might find some of this stuff inspiring, you will find some of it boring, and you will definitely forget all of it within a week. And be warned, there will be lots of hokey similes, and obscure aphorisms which start well but end up not making sense.

So listen up, or you’ll get lost, like a blind man clapping in a pharmacy trying to echo-locate the contact lens fluid.

Here we go:

1. You Don’t Have To Have A Dream.
Americans on talent shows always talk about their dreams. Fine, if you have something that you’ve always dreamed of, like, in your heart, go for it! After all, it’s something to do with your time… chasing a dream. And if it’s a big enough one, it’ll take you most of your life to achieve, so by the time you get to it and are staring into the abyss of the meaninglessness of your achievement, you’ll be almost dead so it won’t matter.

Be micro-ambitious. Put your head down and work with pride on whatever is in front of you… you never know where you might end up.

I never really had one of these big dreams. And so I advocate passionate dedication to the pursuit of short-term goals. Be micro-ambitious. Put your head down and work with pride on whatever is in front of you… you never know where you might end up. Just be aware that the next worthy pursuit will probably appear in your periphery. This is why you should be careful of long-term dreams. If you focus too far in front of you, you won’t see the shiny thing out the corner of your eye. Right? Good. Advice. Metaphor. Look at me go.

This is why you should be careful of long-term dreams. If you focus too far in front of you, you won’t see the shiny thing out the corner of your eye.

2. Don’t Seek Happiness
Happiness is like an orgasm: if you think about it too much, it goes away. Keep busy and aim to make someone else happy, and you might find you get some as a side effect. We didn’t evolve to be constantly content. Contented Australophithecus Afarensis got eaten before passing on their genes.

Happiness is like an orgasm: if you think about it too much, it goes away.

3. Remember, It’s All Luck
You are lucky to be here. You were incalculably lucky to be born, and incredibly lucky to be brought up by a nice family that helped you get educated and encouraged you to go to Uni. Or if you were born into a horrible family, that’s unlucky and you have my sympathy… but you were still lucky: lucky that you happened to be made of the sort of DNA that made the sort of brain which – when placed in a horrible childhood environment – would make decisions that meant you ended up, eventually, graduating Uni. Well done you, for dragging yourself up by the shoelaces, but you were lucky. You didn’t create the bit of you that dragged you up. They’re not even your shoelaces.

I suppose I worked hard to achieve whatever dubious achievements I’ve achieved … but I didn’t make the bit of me that works hard, any more than I made the bit of me that ate too many burgers instead of going to lectures while I was here at UWA.

Understanding that you can’t truly take credit for your successes, nor truly blame others for their failures will humble you and make you more compassionate.

Empathy is intuitive, but is also something you can work on, intellectually.

4. Exercise
I’m sorry, you pasty, pale, smoking philosophy grads, arching your eyebrows into a Cartesian curve as you watch the Human Movement mob winding their way through the miniature traffic cones of their existence: you are wrong and they are right. Well, you’re half right – you think, therefore you are… but also: you jog, therefore you sleep well, therefore you’re not overwhelmed by existential angst. You can’t be Kant, and you don’t want to be.

Play a sport, do yoga, pump iron, run… whatever… but take care of your body. You’re going to need it. Most of you mob are going to live to nearly a hundred, and even the poorest of you will achieve a level of wealth that most humans throughout history could not have dreamed of. And this long, luxurious life ahead of you is going to make you depressed!

But don’t despair! There is an inverse correlation between depression and exercise. Do it. Run, my beautiful intellectuals, run.

5. Be Hard On Your Opinions
A famous bon mot asserts that opinions are like arse-holes, in that everyone has one. There is great wisdom in this… but I would add that opinions differ significantly from arse-holes, in that yours should be constantly and thoroughly examined.

We must think critically, and not just about the ideas of others. Be hard on your beliefs. Take them out onto the verandah and beat them with a cricket bat.


Be intellectually rigorous. Identify your biases, your prejudices, your privilege.

Most of society’s arguments are kept alive by a failure to acknowledge nuance. We tend to generate false dichotomies, then try to argue one point using two entirely different sets of assumptions, like two tennis players trying to win a match by hitting beautifully executed shots from either end of separate tennis courts.

By the way, while I have science and arts grads in front of me: please don’t make the mistake of thinking the arts and sciences are at odds with one another. That is a recent, stupid, and damaging idea. You don’t have to be unscientific to make beautiful art, to write beautiful things.

If you need proof: Twain, Adams, Vonnegut, McEwen, Sagan, Shakespeare, Dickens. For a start.

You don’t need to be superstitious to be a poet. You don’t need to hate GM technology to care about the beauty of the planet. You don’t have to claim a soul to promote compassion.

Science is not a body of knowledge nor a system of belief; it is just a term which describes humankind’s incremental acquisition of understanding through observation. Science is awesome.

You don’t have to be unscientific to make beautiful art, to write beautiful things.

The arts and sciences need to work together to improve how knowledge is communicated. The idea that many Australians – including our new PM and my distant cousin Nick – believe that the science of anthropogenic global warming is controversial, is a powerful indicator of the extent of our failure to communicate. The fact that 30% of this room just bristled is further evidence still. The fact that that bristling is more to do with politics than science is even more despairing.

6. Be a teacher.
Please? Please be a teacher. Teachers are the most admirable and important people in the world. You don’t have to do it forever, but if you’re in doubt about what to do, be an amazing teacher. Just for your twenties. Be a primary school teacher. Especially if you’re a bloke – we need male primary school teachers. Even if you’re not a Teacher, be a teacher. Share your ideas. Don’t take for granted your education. Rejoice in what you learn, and spray it.

Share your ideas. Don’t take for granted your education. Rejoice in what you learn, and spray it.

7. Define Yourself By What You Love
I’ve found myself doing this thing a bit recently, where, if someone asks me what sort of music I like, I say “well I don’t listen to the radio because pop lyrics annoy me”. Or if someone asks me what food I like, I say “I think truffle oil is overused and slightly obnoxious”. And I see it all the time online, people whose idea of being part of a subculture is to hate Coldplay or football or feminists or the Liberal Party. We have a tendency to define ourselves in opposition to stuff; as a comedian, I make a living out of it. But try to also express your passion for things you love. Be demonstrative and generous in your praise of those you admire. Send thank-you cards and give standing ovations. Be pro-stuff, not just anti-stuff.

8. Respect People With Less Power Than You.
I have, in the past, made important decisions about people I work with – agents and producers – based largely on how they treat wait staff in restaurants. I don’t care if you’re the most powerful cat in the room, I will judge you on how you treat the least powerful. So there.

9. Don’t Rush.
You don’t need to already know what you’re going to do with the rest of your life. I’m not saying sit around smoking cones all day, but also, don’t panic. Most people I know who were sure of their career path at 20 are having midlife crises now.

I said at the beginning of this ramble that life is meaningless. It was not a flippant assertion. I think it’s absurd: the idea of seeking “meaning” in the set of circumstances that happens to exist after 13.8 billion years worth of unguided events. Leave it to humans to think the universe has a purpose for them. However, I am no nihilist. I am not even a cynic. I am, actually, rather romantic. And here’s my idea of romance:

You will soon be dead. Life will sometimes seem long and tough and, god, it’s tiring. And you will sometimes be happy and sometimes sad. And then you’ll be old. And then you’ll be dead.

There is only one sensible thing to do with this empty existence, and that is: fill it. Not fillet. Fill. It.

And in my opinion (until I change it), life is best filled by learning as much as you can about as much as you can, taking pride in whatever you’re doing, having compassion, sharing ideas, running(!), being enthusiastic. And then there’s love, and travel, and wine, and sex, and art, and kids, and giving, and mountain climbing … but you know all that stuff already.

It’s an incredibly exciting thing, this one, meaningless life of yours. Good luck.

Thank you for indulging me.”

Source: Tim Minchin’s 2013 Commencement Speech

“The future isn’t written in the stars. There are no guarantees. So claim your adulthood. Be intentional. Get to work. Pick your family. Do the math. Make your own certainty. Don’t be defined by what you didn’t know or didn’t do. You are deciding your life right now.”

According to New York Times bestselling psychologist Dr. Meg, claiming your twenties is one of the most transformative things you can do for yourself as this decade decides the coming decades. The book’s ideas are transformative; I wished I read the book in my twenties, but the key is to become better self-aware of yourself and your environment. Today matters, the decisions you make on a day to day basis affects and determines the coming weeks, months, years and decade.

Dr. Meg Jay, argues that twentysomethings have been caught in a swirl of hype and misinformation, much of which has trivialized what is actually the most defining decade of adulthood. The book is about why your twenties matter, and how to make the most of them now.

Drawing from almost two decades of work with hundreds of clients and students, The Defining Decade weaves the latest science of the twentysomething years with the behind-closed-doors stories from twentysomethings, themselves. The result is a provocative read that provides the tools necessary to make the most of your twenties, and shows us how work, relationships, personality, social networks, identity, and even the brain can change more during this decade than at any other time in adulthood—if we use the time wisely. 

To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan, and not quite enough time.” – Leonard Bernstein

Here are my favourite take-aways from reading, Defining Decade by Dr. Meg Jay:


“There are two ways to be happy: improve your reality, or lower your expectations.” – Jodi Picoult

Happiness is an emotional response to an outcome; if you win, you become happy. If you don’t, you become unhappy. It is an if-then, cause and effect proposition that is not sustainable because every time you attain a certain level of happiness, you raise the bar, and it is an endless loop. We also schedule and delay our happiness; we say when this happens, I will become happy. If this then that, Someday I’ll when so and so happens, I would be happy when I get married we change it to when we have kids, then when the kids leave home to when there are grandkids, there is always a reason to postpone. It is a constant moving target.

American Actor Matthew McConaughey in his thought provoking commencement speech to the 2015 University of Houston graduating students described happiness as:

“Happiness is an emotional response to an outcome — If I win I will be happy, if I don’t I won’t. An if-then, cause and effect, quid pro quo standard that we cannot sustain because we immediately raise it every time we attain it. You see, happiness demands a certain outcome, it is result reliant.”

“If happiness is what you’re after, then you are going to be let down frequently and be unhappy much of your time. Joy, though, is something else. It’s not a choice, not a response to some result, it is a constant. Joy is “the feeling we have from doing what we are fashioned to do,” no matter the outcome.”

Here are some great quotes on happiness:

The machines are coming, artificial intelligence and machine learning are becoming ubiquitous in our everyday lives. The majority of the service we use online are all powered by algorithms, A. I and machine learning. The A.I. revolution can be scary, but the key is to understand and explore ways to exploit the opportunities.

Artificial Intelligence – Noun A.I. is a branch of computer science dealing with the simulation of intelligent behavior in computers.

Here are some great documentaries on Artificial Intelligence:

“If you think an awkward response to a friend’s crisis will make them feel bad, then you should know that if you say nothing, they will likely feel worse. ”

When someone you know is hurting, you want to let them know that you care. But many people don’t know what words to use—or are afraid of saying or doing the wrong thing. Life can be scary, challenging, awful, and unfair at times; no one has a problem-free life. You are either going through a storm, entering a storm, or heading to the next storm. There is No Good Card for This is a great instructional guide on how to be there for your loved ones during trying times, what to say and do.

It can be tricky knowing the right thing to say or do during trying times for our family, friends, and loved ones but the major take away from reading the book is you have to try to listen to the grieving and at least say something when they lose someone, a simple text message saying “I am sorry” goes a long way and is often appreciated than not saying anything.

In There is No Good Card for This, empathy expert Dr. Kelsey Crowe and greeting card maverick Emily McDowell, blends well-researched, actionable advice with the no-nonsense humor and the signature illustration style of McDowell’s immensely popular Empathy Cards, to help you feel confident in connecting with anyone experiencing grief, loss, illness, or any other difficult situation.

This book is not chicken soup for the soul; it’s whiskey for the wounded.

Here are my favourite take aways from reading There Is No Good Card for This by Dr. Kelsey Crowe and Emily McDowell.

“All that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost; The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost. From the ashes a fire shall be woken, A light from the shadows shall spring; Renewed shall be blade that was broken, The crownless again shall be king.” – J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

You are not supposed to have figured everything out; your path is made by walking it, take it a step at a time. Most times, we don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, you just need to trust the process. It does not matter where you start. What matters is where you are going. It is ok to have stopgap jobs for a while; it is ok not to know what you want to do next after college, it is ok not to be married yet at 35, it is ok not to be a parent at 40, it is ok to wander for a while, it is ok not to be ok. The key is to be patient and enjoy the journey with the ups and downs. As American Journalist Hal Borland once said, “Knowing trees, I understand the meaning of patience. Knowing grass, I can appreciate persistence.”

“Knowing trees, I understand the meaning of patience. Knowing grass, I can appreciate persistence.”

The pressure can be overwhelming from your parent(s), peers, social media, and yourself, but you have to trust the process and be gentle with yourself. When you are young, you have the luxury of trying many things to figure out what you are good at; the greats have all taken that path. They take risks; they follow their bliss, they have faith in themselves, they take a gap year, they take a sabbatical, they tune out the noise, they left their comfort zone.

In his very inspiring 2005 Stanford University Commencement Speech, Former Apple CEO, Steve Jobs spoke about the value of connecting the dot and wandering:

And 17 years later I did go to college. But I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents’ savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn’t see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn’t interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting.

It wasn’t all romantic. I didn’t have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends’ rooms, I returned Coke bottles for the 5¢ deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple.

 I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on.

what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on.

Let me give you one example:

Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn’t have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and sans serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can’t capture, and I found it fascinating.

None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But 10 years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, it’s likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backward 10 years later.

Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

In his book,  Invent and Wander: The Collected Writings of Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO writes about the power of wandering:

“I believe in the power of wandering. All my best decisions in business and in life have been made with heart, intuition, and guts, not analysis. When you can make a decision with analysis, you should do so, but it turns out in life that your most important decisions are always made with instinct, intuition, taste, and heart.”

In his 2011 University of Pennsylvania Commencement Speech, Academy Award-winning Actor Denzel Washington shared some great insights with the graduating students about the power of wandering and falling forward:

Some of you are business majors. Some of you are theologians, nurses, sociologists. Some of you have money. Some of you have patience. Some have kindness.  Some have love. Some of you have the gift of long-suffering.

Whatever it is… what are you going to do with what you have?

Sometimes it’s the best way to figure out where you’re going. Your life will never be a straight path.

I began at Fordham University as a pre-med student. That lasted until I took a course called “Cardiac Morphogenesis.” 

I couldn’t pronounce it… and I couldn’t pass it.

Then I decided to go pre-law. Then journalism.

With no academic focus, my grades took off in their own direction: down.

My GPA was 1.8 one semester, and the university very politely suggested it might be better to take some time off. 

I was 20 years old, at my lowest point.

And then one day—and I remember the exact day: March 27th, 1975—I was helping out in the beauty shop my mother owned in Mount Vernon.  An older woman who belonged to my mother’s church, one of the elders of the town, was in there getting her hair done and kept giving me these strange looks.

She finally took the drier off her head and said something to me I’ll never forget:

“Young boy,” she said. “I have a spiritual prophecy: you are going to travel the world and speak to millions of people.”

Like a wise-ass, I’m thinking to myself: “Does she got anything in that crystal ball about me getting back to college in the fall?”

But maybe she was on to something. Because later that summer, while working as a counselor at a YMCA camp in Connecticut, we put on a talent show for the campers. 

After the show, another counselor came up to me and asked: “Have you ever thought of acting? You should. You’re good at that.”

When I got back to Fordham that fall I changed my major once again —for the last time.

And in the years that followed—just as that woman getting her hair done predicted—I have traveled the world and I have spoken to millions of people through my movies. 

Millions who—up ‘till today—I couldn’t see while I was talking to them.

“It is better to be prepared for an opportunity and not have one than to have an opportunity and not be prepared.” Whitney M. Young, Jr.

Life is not a linear path; you have to strive to become a better version of yourself continuously. You are either repairing or preparing, cos when the opportunity comes; there would not be time to prepare. To figure it out, finding your passion may require you to try a lot of things, and that might require you to wander for a while; remember: “Not all those who wander are lost.”

All the best in your quest to get better. Don’t Settle: Live with Passion.

“Listening is like playing a sport or musical instrument in that you can get better and better with practice and persistence, but you will never achieve total mastery. Some may have more natural ability and some may have to try harder, but everyone can benefit from making the effort.

The average person suffers from three delusions; we believe we are good drivers, good listeners, and think we have a good sense of humor. You’re Not Listening is a book in praise of listening and a lament that, as a culture, we seem to be losing our listening mojo.

Listening is more of a mindset than a checklist of dos and don’ts. It’s a very particular skill that develops over time by interacting with all kinds of people—without agenda or having aides there to jump in if the conversation goes anywhere unexpected or untoward.

Here are my favourite take-aways from reading, You’re Not Listening: