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How Three Little Principles Can Lead You to Success

I graduated high school back in 1995.  But, this week I went back. I didn’t go back as a parent, school board member, or even a substitute teacher.  It wasn’t my class reunion. It wasn’t even for a fundraiser. This week I had the privilege of speaking to the football team.

You might be thinking what exactly would you talk to a large group of Gen-Zers about?

I spoke about the principles of success and ideas for living a successful life.  My 10-minute talk also addressed dealing with challenges.  As we all know, I have minimal experience or expertise in the area of challenges.  The beautiful part about talking about principles is that even though the vocabulary may be different and the examples may change, the same basic advice applies to high schoolers and C-suite executives.

I gave three ideas:

  1. Accept responsibility.  One of my mantras is “my disability is not my fault, but it is my responsibility.”  It’s easy to trace back all my setbacks and heartaches to my disability, but if I want to move forward I need to take responsibility for my life and achieve success.  We live in very tumultuous times.  Inflation, coming out of the pandemic, and other macro issues are complicated.  We are coming out of some of the most challenging years of this generation.  This is a calling card to move forward.  It is not an opportunity to perfect the art of blaming factors outside of our control for our lack of success.
  2. Rely on a team.  I’ve been working on a series of projects for about a year.  Sometimes I’ve gotten stuck and felt that I had to figure it out on my own.  There were multiple times when a good conversation made the difference in being able to complete tasks.  There are so many people who you can rely on for advice and even to free up your time.  Do not be so proud that you cannot seek out and ask for help.  This simple act of humility may make all the difference in your ultimate success.
  3. Don’t overcome challenges.  One of my favorite concepts I have developed over time is that challenges don’t disappear; they change and morph over time.  There’s an ebb and flow to life and challenges don’t disappear. Just being aware that challenges will always be part of life, should let you know that you will need strength to progress in life.

These are the three principles and it was fun to inspire the next generation.

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