I grew up in a different world. I grew up with Han Solo and the Empire Strikes Back. We had a 19-inch TV for most of my childhood. When I went off to college my father bought me a laptop with a 20-megabyte hard drive. The Internet didn’t appear till I was in my 20s. No social media, no smartphone, no millennials.
A lot’s changed. But ever since Trump’s inauguration 3 years ago things seem to have gotten out a bit out of whack. For Talkspace, an online counseling site, business has been booming and it’s a sign of the times. Today, you’ve got Trump derangement syndrome, micro-aggressions, and practically every day someone’s been offended about something.
Personally, I’ve had my share of trauma in my life. I’ve almost drowned three times, the last coming on Dec 26th, 2004 when my wife and I found ourselves trapped as our room imploded in on us due to a tsunami. Somehow, we both walked away with just minor scratches.
Then there was school, where I was bullied and teased in school for years.
But here’s the thing, I wouldn’t change it for anything. Life is not about being easy, it’s about us becoming strong.
I’m reminded of probably my favorite quote from my mentor, Jim Rohn, who used to say “Don’t wish it were easier, wish you were better.”
Take school, in an aim to help children, schools have made tests easier and in doing so they’ve succeeded in making things worse. Take a listen to Sir Ken Robinson Ted Talk if you don’t believe me.
Life, both in the office and at home, is tough. There will be always be challenges and this is true for rich and poor alike. I recently heard this quote, “Money doesn’t make things better. It makes things easier.”
I know millionaires with children suffering from depression and stuck on Prozac. There are some famous marriage consultants who have gone through numerous divorces. Even the so-called experts, don’t have all the answers.
And Trump seems to have brought the division we face to the surface. But with all the craziness going on around us we must remember not to lose focus on one thing – us.
To succeed in business we all know we need skills, and last I checked, they don’t grow on trees. Schools give us the foundation, but the rest is up to us. Gone are the days of graduating. Today, we must constantly re-educate ourselves to deal with the changing world.
To succeed with our partner or with our kids, we must learn how to forge strong relationships. A great place to start is Dale Carnegie’s classic How to Win Friends and Influence People.
When I saw a change in the business cycle and the effect technology was having on my company, I had two choices – bitch and moan or do something about it. I chose the latter.
As I was in Japan, I couldn’t just sign up for an investment seminar. No, I started with books. $20 a pop. It was the best I could do, but what I’ve learned is some books are worth much more than the price on their cover. Today, I have many books in my library that have earned me many thousands of dollars.
Forget Trump and all the craziness going on around you, and just focus on developing yourself. If you do, in ten years, you’ll thank me. Mark my words.
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