Today I want to be short and sweet and challenge you to think about how you spend your time. Are you doing any of these? But remember:
“When writing the story of your life, don’t let anyone else hold the pen.” – Gurbaksh Chahal
- Challenge the known and embrace the unknown. Accepting the known and resisting the unknown is a mistake. You should do exactly the opposite: challenge the known and embrace the unknown. Now is the time to take this kind of risk because you have less to lose and everything to gain. Great things happen to people who question the status quo.
- Be brief. Contrary to school, in the work place there are few minimums. This is a nifty challenge: Here are guidelines: email—five sentences; presentations—tens slides and twenty minutes; report—one page.
- Tell stories, do demos, and use pictures. There is only one Steve Jobs, but if you want a shot at being the next Steve Jobs,learn to communicate using stories, demos, and pictures.
- Live in the present, work for the future. The day after you start work, no one is going to care what school you went to, what your grade point average was, if you were captain of the football, robotics, or debate team, or who your parents are. All that matters is whether you deliver results or you don’t, so work hard to make your boss look good (see next).
- Make your boss look good. Your job is to make your boss look good. The theory that you should make your boss look bad so that you can advance above him or her is flawed. Trying to do so will probably make you look disloyal to your boss and stupid to the rest of the organization.
- Continue to learn. Learning is a process not an event, so you should never stop learning. Indeed, it gets easier to learn once you’re out of school because the relevance of what you need to learn becomes more obvious.
- Obey the absolutes. When you were young, it was absolutely wrong to lie, cheat, or steal. When you enter the workforce, you will be tempted to think in relative terms. As you grow older, you will see that right and wrong seems to change from absolute to relative. This is wrong: right is right and wrong is wrong forever.
- Enjoy your family and friends before they are gone. Nothing–not money, power, or fame–can replace your family and friends or bring them back once they are gone.