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written. I strongly believe in the words and lessons that are found within this book. Being a young man, I am confident that a comprehensive audience will not only accept this book, they need this book. When reading this manuscript, it is my hope that you will relate to my passion in passing these words on to millions of youth and young adults entering this world on their own. Please understand that it is the first book I have ever written. Although the first, I have more confidence and passion for this book than I have had for anything else. I will re-write it as many times as need be, to make it the book I know it will become. Please believe in my confidence and passion for this project. This book being written by a 22 year old for a 22 year old has the credibility and capability to reach this age better than any other book on the market. The time is now to raise the bar in this world for my generation. Sincerely,
Beau M. Beckley
The following writing is proprietary and confidential. Any information and or content taken must have prior agreement in writing by both parties. Any use of this material without prior consent is strictly prohibited.
For my mom, my dad, and my brother. I love you.
What’s NEXT? A young adult’s guide to life’s unknown road…
By Beau Beckley
THERE are too many books these days that have been written by people that have so called “made it.” The authors have created great success through love, money, business and other accomplishments, and they write about how they did it. When writing about it, they want to share their story and tell the reader how they can be just like them. This book is entirely different. What’s NEXT? is written by a 22 year old for a 22 year old. My name is Beau Beckley and I look forward to sharing this book with you. The layout of this book is completely opposite from the mainstream books written about successful people. This book is laying out the grounds of how we and I are “going to make it,” and I want to share it with you. Think of this book as helping both of us. Right now, at this age, we are all in this together. I am confident that we have a wonderful opportunity ahead of us to be extremely successful in every
aspect of our lives. This book is not one of those “reads” on how to make your first million. This book is about finding wealth in our own lives, whatever that may be. Whether you want to be an investment banker or a skydive instructor this book is a road map on how to get there successfully and honestly. Think of this book as a manual. It is the manual for our generation to live a fulfilled life that will bring prosperity in every aspect of our lives. I am confident that if you follow similar guidelines, the possibilities of reaching your goals and dreams are endless. In all honesty, if the entire world lives by the values and guidelines of this book, the world will be an amazing place. I know people my age are busy people. This book was written to accommodate you. It is simple and moves quickly. Most importantly it gives you the tools you need to create wealth and be successful. When reading this book, bend, highlight, and destroy it with your own thoughts and ideas. This book is plain and simple. I am not preaching any beliefs
that lean one way or the other. I am not trying to trick you or sell you false hope. This book is strictly how I am going to “do it” and do it big. This book is also to help the both of us layout the grounds that we can easily live by. Both of us are in the same ballpark. We’re both young, let’s do it together! -Beau Beckley
Chapter 1. Values:
No matter who you are, what you are doing or where you live, the most important thing to do in life is to live by values. This does not mean living them here and there, or saying that you live by them sometimes. You must live through values in every aspect of your life. You must have the same amount of integrity when you’re alone that
you would with your grandmother. This idea holds the same principle as Karma. I guarantee that if you live by values in full, your life will change over night. Think of it like the law of attraction. You attract things to you that are similar. If you are good from the core out, good things will happen. I am only 22, and I have countless examples. The example of values that have changed my life occurred when I founded the Colorado Creed. It was autumn of 2003, and I was a freshman at the number one party school in the United States. Trust me my parents were thrilled. Coming to this college was like nothing I have ever done before in my life. I grew up in a small ski town and here I am quickly learning the staples in life consisted of Marijuana, Starbucks, and Prada. None of which I liked or could afford for that matter. It was a school where the “in-state” students financially
struggled, worked nights, and drove old models of Subaru’s. This was mixed with the “out-of-state” students who drove Range Rovers off the show room floor and used handbags that cost more than a semester’s tuition. My time at the University of Colorado is something that will be in my heart for as long as I live. Although there was this mix of students, when it was Halloween or a football game, it didn’t matter who you were, or what your background was. simple. You were a member of the University plain and Whether you “pre-
You were a part of a very large family.
gamed” before a football game with top-shelf liquor or passed the hat
to scrounge up enough money to buy a pack a beer, a high five was a high five after a touchdown or a costume was a costume during Halloween. You may wonder how in the world this relates to values, but keep reading. Seeing this interaction while becoming a member of this school was life-changing. Getting to know new people and learning to live
more on your own during those years is something that I think we all can and will remember. Anyway, seeing this pride in people, seeing this sense of family with complete strangers had a powerful impact on me. Although we’re all strangers, we were in this adventure together. Yes we did party hard and have a good time, but everyday so many aspects of my experience reminded me so much of family values. We found ourselves being there for one another. other. We looked after each We
When someone drank too much, we took care of them.
taught each other how to study. We made a meal plate for someone that wasn’t going to be back in time for dinner. These examples are what the school stood for, not by the misbehavior of a select few. I thought to myself, this school is an honest and good place. Everyday in the headlining news however was “CU party doesn’t stop! Another couch on fire…” This negative spotlight got to me so much, I had to do something. I got so tired of having to
defend my school when I told someone that I went to the University of Colorado. I found myself always having the conversation with others
of: “Oh… you go to CU… the number one party school.” very bothersome to me.
Wanting to change the image of a University with around 30,000 people, I found myself having lunch with my dad. My dad was a man who constantly pushed me in every aspect of life. Much of my success to date is definitely because of him. Anyway, while having lunch one day, we got on the topic of creating something that stood for the true meaning of being a University of Colorado student. Whether it was
creating a pledge, or statement of values or whatever else crossed our minds that day. Excited with somewhat of an idea, I hit the ground running. Side note: always, and I mean always keep a book with you to write everything down. It makes life much more simple. Whether it is someone’s phone number, or the next big idea, keep something with you to write it all down. Okay, back to the story. I had my book with me and wrote everything down I could think of. people to get involved, etc. Words, sentences,
Anything I could to just keep the idea
flowing. It is very good practice to do this with whatever issues you find yourself facing. Make sure to write everything down. When I couldn’t think of anything else to write down, I put the book away and left it for the night. By this time it was Spring of my freshman year. Still a freshman on campus, I had no idea in whom I should be talking to about this idea. I figured I would start with the
Dean of my business school. I walked into the office and was put to a halt by his graduate school assistant who enjoyed having the gatekeeping power a little too much. Frustrated, I stood there able to see the Dean sitting 15 feet away destroying a turkey sandwich on his lunch-break. Standing there beside the graduate student I spoke up, “look, I have an idea I want to share with him, it will only take a second. “ “No” she replied. I sat there frustrated with this person. Not making any progress, I sat in the corner where she couldn’t see me and waited until she left. Once she was gone the prize was mine. introduced myself. “Sir, my name is Beau Beckley and I am here to save the image of this school.” “Come on in, sit down.” He replied with a mouth full of helpless turkey. Opening my book of notes I gave him the entire story of what needed to be done to this school. After discussing the idea for a solid twenty minutes, he said he loved it but couldn’t really help me. He gave me the contact of the Vice-Chancellor of Student Affairs and wished me luck. That night with the idea still fresh on my mind, I emailed the Vice-Chancellor to set up a meeting. My wish granted, I met with him a few days later. Again, I opened my book of notes and told the whole I walked up to his door and
story. He additionally liking the idea led to his willingness to help me move forward. Together we gathered a few other students who wanted to create a difference but needed a leader. Day after day we worked in his office drafting up what this pledge or statement should look like. The name eventually became After a few weeks of
the Colorado Creed and it stuck ever since.
drafting what the Creed should say, the final statement was ready for the school.
The official Creed of the University of Colorado says: Colorado Creed As a member of the Boulder community and the University of Colorado, I agree to: Act with honor, integrity and accountability in my interactions with students, faculty, staff and neighbors. Respect the rights of others and accept our differences. Contribute to the greater good of this community. I will strive to uphold these principles in all aspects of my collegiate experience and beyond.
Throughout the Creed, there are seven prominent, unassailable words. All of which represent and cover every situation one encounters in college as well as in life.
Once we had the final draft, the Creed group, the other wonderful students who helped draft the Creed, and I were ready to hit the ground running. At the time we called it “the road show,” meaning we visited and presented to every single club, fraternity, and staff member on campus. During this road show we conducted
presentations night and day.
In the beginning I had cards to help
remember what to say, but by a month into giving these presentations, I found myself able to shine after rolling out of bed five minutes prior with a wicked case of bed head. We talked to these different groups on campus with what they thought about the idea, what changes we should make and so forth. We told them what we were planning to do with it, and how we were going to implement it into the school. Across the board of
presentations we made, there was a solid consensus of people loving it. Everybody was excited to see this changing of the image, giving a fresh outlook on this wonderful place. Looking back, it was clear that everybody had the Creed in them the whole time; they just needed someone to take the initiative on bringing it to the table. There was one presentation that I find worth telling you about because for me it was one of the most nervous and embarrassing speeches of my life. I finished class one day and was told by the Creed group that I had to go speak to “Pan-Hel” I believe the name was. I didn’t care, by now I did the speech a hundred times. They gave me
the address and I made my way over to it. Little did I know that this so called “Pan-Hel” stood for standing in front of 120 of the most beautiful sorority girls this school had to offer. And here I am about to give a speech about values? I thought to myself… I am a dead man, this is insane, and nobody told me that this was the presentation I had to give. I paced the room. You could water a plant with how wet my
palms were from panicking. It was time. I put my shoulders back, pushed up my sleeves and went into the room. From there, the words just came out of my mouth. “Hello ladies, my name is Beau Beckley and I’m single.” Completely shocked with panic I couldn’t remember what I said. The room roared with laughter. I joined them and was tearing from laughing so hard. In a situation like this, I have always found it beneficial to cut the stress and nerves we find ourselves in with laughter. Next time you are
nervous and stressed, first thing to do is to remove the tension and nerves by cracking a joke or doing something silly. It takes away from your ability to be confident when you speak in public. After the
laughter died down, it was much easier to give the speech about the Creed and tell them what we planned to do with it. It was a
presentation that will never be
By spring of 2004, we were installing plaques that stated the entire Creed all over campus on prominent buildings. The seven key words to the Creed were engraved in stone, and put into walkways all over campus. The Creed was in every newspaper in Colorado. It even became the official essay question to the University for prospective high school students. Additionally, the Creed was used for two nationally commercials promoting the school during football and basketball games. thought it would be. There are a few points I want to make from this story. The first goes back to values. To get the Creed to where it is now, took more hard work than anything I did in college. But by believing in it and its purpose, it didn’t matter how much work it took. In your own life, find something that you truly believe in. Before you know it, you wont It really flourished and became more than I ever
realize how hard you have to work for it because you are passionate and enthusiastic about what you are trying to do or trying to create. Going back to values, what the Creed states is not just a motto. To me, it is in my blood, my mind, and my heart with everything I do. I know that by believing in it that much the Creed would grow on its own. The second thing is passion. Even though I will talk about
passion much more in depth later, I am going to talk about it briefly
here. There was a long time when we worked on the Creed over and over again. We did presentation after presentation and still we really didn’t get anywhere. By being passionate, it didn’t bother me. I knew it would take off if we told enough people, if we gave enough presentations. In your own life, strive to pursue things that you are passionate about. It is okay if you don’t know, but try to find what that is and focus your energy on it. I see too many people begin a life where they just do the next thing that comes to them. Thinking, “oh this is what I am supposed to do.” They don’t take the time to think about what
they are truly passionate about. The Creed has gotten me to places and introduced me to people I wouldn’t have without it. In fact, my first job out of college was
through a man who is now a good friend of mine. He took me under his wing because he believed in what I did. And last, throughout your life, no matter what your age may be, create things that you can be proud of. One of the sole purposes for me at least in the beginning was just to create something I could look back on that I know I accomplished. But, do this in a way where you don’t do for the public recognition. whatever that may be. Do it out of your own pride,
Whether that means building something in
your community to serving for a cause that you deeply care about. To me, founding the Creed was not about recognition or padding my
resume. I could care less if anybody knows that an amazing group of students and I founded the Colorado Creed. I just can’t wait to be 50 years old and able to go back seeing it still exist.
1. Whatever situation you come across in life, approach it with values. 2. Live through values when no one is looking. 3. Find what values mean most to you, and apply them to your career, your friends, and your life. 4. Find what makes you passionate in life and do more of it. 5. Always have a book with you to write everything down. 6. Don’t be afraid to cut the tension with a little bit of humor.
Chapter 2 Goal Setting
There are two types of people in the world. There are the ones that set goals and go after them no matter what it takes. And the
others that say “Oh wouldn’t that be nice if that could happen.” The proof is all around us. Do think Donald Trump has ever said to himself, “wouldn’t that be nice if I had a lot of money. I guess it maybe could happen.” NO. Do you think Winston Churchill ever said, “Well, maybe we can fight back.” Or Thomas Edison, saying “I’ve tried to make a
light bulb but it just doesn’t work.” setters and non-goal setters.
I could fill this book with goal
The story that I will tell you in regards to goal setting involves an investment club my colleagues and I created in college. While growing up, I have been very lucky to surround myself with motivated and successful people. Being surrounded by these people, it was around Christmas time in the year 2003. I was hanging with two of my best friends over break back at home. They both had this idea of creating an investment club to educate people our age on investing and to network at top universities. We looked at each other and said that’s not big enough. Let’s create an investment club where by the end of it, we’re hanging with Warren Buffett. We all had a good laugh, but not doubting our selves we got straight to work.
The Goal: Create an investment club and meet Warren Buffett.
At that time, my friends both went to different Universities than the one that I was currently attending. After that Christmas break, as we went back to our schools, we conversed everyday. We discussed what 17
the layout should look like? How much money are we going to invest? How are we going to get the money? What should the name be? How many students involved? And so on. By the Spring of 2004, we
decided to take a trip to New York City. We gathered some students at each of our schools and decided to meet in New York to create our vision. We were fortunate enough to gather a wonderful group of lawyers that would help us pro-bono and we got straight to work. The name ended up being Global Platinum Securities. The name has remained that ever since. You can see the club for yourself at (www.gps100.com). It is now a thriving investment club now with over 60 members and $250,000 dollars in investments. All we did was gather bright minded students from top Universities and give them the vision. We gathered students from U-Penn, Harvard,
Georgetown, Stanford, MIT and so forth. Just by networking alone, we were able to take the initial gathering of students in New York, and tour the floor of the NYSE during trading, we even sat on the set of the Today Show while they were filming. All of these are examples are simply setting goals,
networking with the right people and figuring out a way to make it happen. After that trip, we all went back to our universities and met through instant messaging meetings, phone calls, letters, faxes, you name it. Once we had it running we recruited more students. We tried
to meet twice a year in various fun locations, because we additionally like to have a good time when we didn’t find ourselves in investment club related meetings. Over the years, we met in San Diego, Palm
Springs, New York, Boston, Los Angles, Vail, Orange County and so forth. You might be thinking that there were quite a few times that we met in California. But to answer that, the weather was always good out there, why not? We learned a lot about investing with this club, and we learned a lot about ourselves. We made mistake after mistake, but learned from them. For some, the investment club taught them how to tie a tie. For others it was how to use the Bloomberg machine. But all in all we
learned how to be much more professional at our age. And we learned the power of setting goals and going after them. Two years going by, it was the summer of 2006. Now having
these two years of learning and building, the group was proud of their accomplishments. We thought it was time now to write Mr. Buffett as letter. A couple of weeks went by and we heard back.
Dear GPS, I would be delighted to meet, come to Omaha, Nebraska. Warren I remember it like it was yesterday. Angeles, I got the call. That summer working in Los
“Beau! Pack your bags, we’re going to meet the Buffett.” I stood up and shouted at my little desk at this marketing firm I was working at, at the time. Everyone looked at me wondering; What’s his problem is Monday?. Racing up stairs to inform my boss that time off was needed for a long weekend, I couldn’t wait to tell her the excuse. I charged into her office out of breath. “ I need Thursday and Friday off this week.” “What for?” she replied “Oh nothing really, this investment club that I helped create just got invited to go hang with Buffett in Omaha, Nebraska.” Her eyes now the size of golf balls replied “Oh my, my intern is going to meet Buffett. He is now too good for me.” Smiling that gave the gesture of approval. By Thursday night, the GPS group was assembling at the Holiday Inn in Omaha. All extremely excited, hugging and shaking hands we couldn’t wait until the next morning. The next morning we had a 90-minutes sit down Q & A with Warren Buffett. That day, there was only our group and Mr. Buffett. No security, no entourage and no assistant. To this day, people ask me all the time about what he said. To be honest, I reply with: “I have no clue what he said.” In fact, I don’t remember anything. All I remember is sitting there in complete silence. Not hearing anything at all, other
than my own breath and heartbeat. Thinking to myself. We did it. We
are sitting with the man right now as if we were hanging out with our grandfather who had a sense of humor. There are people who have worked on Wall Street for over forty years and never met the man. There I was 21 years old, sharing this experience with thirty other 21 year olds listening to advice, stories, and humor. It was surreal. None of these stories are to boast about my accomplishments in anyway. They are strictly examples of how and what I believe can
happen. The point of this story, is that anything is possible. I want you to stop reading for a second, close your eyes and say back to yourself. “Anything is possible.” But you must go after it. I know you have goals in your life. after them. Everybody has goals, but you must go If you believe in
You must believe it can happen.
something, I guarantee it will come true. If you believe in it happening, you will not stop until you have it.
1. Set goals for yourself: Short, mid, and long-term goals. 2. Start with small goals to accomplish. 3. Don’t let anything stop you from achieving them. 4. Celebrate when you do achieve your goals, but move on to bigger and better ones promptly.
Chapter 3. Networking is EVERYTHING
Grades do not matter. Let me repeat myself. Grades DO. NOT. MATTER. On the contrary, I am not saying don’t blow off school and stop studying. Education is one of the greatest gifts in the world. One should never stop their pursuit of education. However don’t spend
your time worrying about not having perfect grades. In life, it’s not the only thing that defines who you are. When you look at a lot of great people in this world who have done magnificent things in their lives, you will find that a majority of them didn’t go very far in school. To list a few, you might know a guy who dabbled in computers named Bill Gates. He dropped out of Harvard. Or, how about a director who has made a plethora of comical movies named Woody Allen? He was in fact thrown out of film school. Maybe you have heard of Richard Branson who founded Virgin this and 22
He left school at the age of 16.
Or how about Indiana
Jones? Harrison Ford didn’t finish school either being a carpenter for 10 years before his movie career took off. There once was a writer named Mark Twain who didn’t even go past the fifth grade. Additionally that guy who made movies like Jurassic Park? Steven Spielberg was rejected from the best film schools and later dropped out of one anyways. These examples are not to tell you to do the same, however it goes to show that we as individuals stand for more than what we can produce on a report card. In life, it is what you bring to the table that counts. Life is way too short to not go after your dreams. Many of us get stuck in a world where we are doing things that make us unhappy, but we are doing them because of the expectations of others. A lot of us, including myself have been in job situations where we’re unhappy in what we’re doing, but we’re doing it because we feel stuck. Whether its because we need the next paycheck for rent, or we are afraid to speak up to our boss and be frank with them, and tell them that we don’t agree with what we’re doing. If you think about those names
mentioned, there is a solid theme to them. The theme is that every one of them didn’t care what others thought. They didn’t do what They didn’t feel
others told them to do if they didn’t believe in it.
obligated to impress anybody with grades or any other achievement. They all knew what they wanted and they went after it knowing that
there was nothing in their way to keep them from achieving their goals and dreams. Take a second to think about those people. While thinking about them, spend time in your life focusing on what you want to do and build your network and mentality just like the individuals listed above. As long as you are true to yourself and you treat others with respect, honesty, integrity and accountability the only person you have to impress is you. Don’t spend your life trying to live up to your parents or friends or employers. If you don’t agree with what you are doing, don’t do it, speak up. If you want to go to graduate school, GO! But go because you want to. If you want to drop out of college to pursue
something, do it, but don’t do it to be lazy or un-motivated. If you are passionate about something go for it. If you want to travel, save up some money and go. The only person that can really tell you that you can’t do something in life is yourself. The cool thing about that, is that you can decide if you will let that happen. The examples of people who have done great things above don’t all relate directly back to networking, however the majority of where they are now does. I took the SAT’s twice and didn’t even break 1000. The second time my score even went down. But do you think that was crossing my mind as I was sitting with Warren Buffett? No! (Reference to chapter where my friends and I met with Warren Buffett through the investment club we created. Chapter 2 “Setting
Goals”) About 90% of the things that I have been involved with, I continue to be involved with and will be involved with for a long time, are all part of the network I have made for myself over the years. I have spent my entire life surrounding myself with the right people. All of us know in our own lives the people we know who are going places. Get to know them. Become their friend. Become one of them. But, be yourself no matter what. If you can’t be yourself with them, they are not the right people. I have many friends that I surround myself with, who are already very wealthy, but it doesn’t bother me being myself. It is important to surround yourself with people who push you and make you better, rather than the ones who bring us all down to their level. Learn from them. Do anything you can to get to the same level. This doesn’t
mean financially, it means knowledge wise, vision wise and goaloriented wise. I have always stated, “I’m not that smart, I’m just smart enough to get smarter people to do it.” It is important when networking to
give people a vision. When giving people the vision, and inspiration to create, the magic will automatically happen. Additionally, when networking, there is more to it than just meeting people for yourself. Understand the power of putting the right people together. Let’s say there are two individuals who are doing great things. And currently
neither one of them can benefit you, but you know by putting those two people together, they have the opportunity to create the magic. Who knows, down the road the two of them that you put together will come back to help you when the time is right. It is very important to put the right people together. When you do this, the ideas and
outcomes will automatically happen. I had several classes in college with a very good friend of mine. Seeing a lot of potential in him, I didn’t want to see him graduate and not have the opportunity he deserved in the world of finance. Believing in him and seeing tremendous potential, I wanted to make sure I did everything I could to network and help him. I saw the
opportunity to network for him and not myself. I introduced him to a colleague of mine who was the main founder in the investment club we created. I knew that is was the right thing to do to get my friend
involved with my friend and the investment club. The friend of mine who created the investment club was actually coming to town in the following weeks for a Snoop Dogg concert of all things. That’s not related to finance, that’s a different time, different place kind of story if you catch my drift. Anyway, when he came to town, I made the connection between the two of them. My friend
interviewed wonderfully for the investment club and really shined. Today they are roommates in New York City and they both are excelling at JP Morgan.
Now, helping those two connect didn’t get me anywhere personally, but my point with this story is that when you see other potential beyond yourself in putting people together, it is very important to do so. On my end, I couldn’t be happier with how that worked out. The satisfaction I got was the good feeling that I helped my friend get to a level that pushes his full potential. When you network, network with an assortment of all ages. Don’t just network with people your age, network with adults. Network with people our grandparent’s age to networking with people who are younger than us. It is important to build it as large as you can. Some people in your network might strictly be there for advice and wisdom, while some people in your network you know you may want to work with down the road. have them. Right now, regardless of your job, location, or status, I want you to build your own Board of Directors. People always think that you need to be a part of a gigantic corporation to have a board of directors. That is as far from the truth as it gets. About a year ago, I put together a team of people that I look up to, respect, enjoy, love, and envy. I told each and every one of them that I want them on my board of directors. You would be surprised at their reaction. honored to be on such a board. All of them in fact, felt Whatever their role may be, it is important to
The board consists of my parents,
friends, teachers and others that I feel are beneficial to my life.
The Board of Directors you create, have many roles. The Board’s role is for advice, mentoring, questions, you name it. The Board helps you see progress. When you have a Board looking after you, it gives you that many more people cheering you on to succeed. It helps boost confidence. When you have a Board, you are already that much closer to your goals. Don’t be afraid to ask teachers, friends or whomever you believe would be good for your own Board of Directors. Additionally, make sure to keep in touch with everybody. It
always happens to be the person you least expect to help you in a time of need. This is not a difficult task either. All it takes is a phone call or an e-mail checking in, catching up, and so forth. Practicing the art of keeping in touch with people keeps you on their minds. When
something happens and they need someone, you are much further up the list than someone who hasn’t. This brings up one of the world’s simplest acts one can do that is largely overlooked and not practiced. And that is the art of writing a thank you letter.
Thank you Letters
The most important thing you can do in any situation is to write a 28
thank you letter.
Think about it for just one second.
Do you think
anybody in the history of the world has ever said: “Man, I wish I didn’t send that thank you letter?” No! This might seem like a “No brainer,” but you would be surprised how many people, still to this day, do not understand the simplicity, yet necessity, of writing one. Plain and
simple: Thank you letters show effort, and effort gets you places. It does not matter the scenario. If you meet with someone, send them a thank you letter. If you work for someone, send them a thank you letter. letter. If you interview for a job, send them a thank you
If you happen to get into an argument with someone, send
them a thank you letter. There are too many times in my life where I have been remembered solely by sending a thank you letter. A thank you letter can be as simple as:
Dear Mr. Smith, Thank you for lunch the other day.
Even a simple letter on a hand written note just like the example above will go much further than you ever thought possible. Although living in a technological world, people will always love receiving a hand written letter. There are times when I can’t stand email, but the thought of opening or sending a real letter with postage makes me feel good. I
promise this feeling will be the same for you. The last lesson on networking is the practice of being extremely polite to the gatekeepers of the world. The gatekeepers are the assistants, the doormen, the secretaries and the right hand people of the world. They are the ones with the real power. These are very
important people. Employers don’t have them hanging around for no reason. They have an important role to perform. In fact, these
positions and the people who do them are no different than you and I. A lot of the time they are the ones who work the hardest, work the longest hours, and get the most done. Their role helps the boss or the president accomplish more than they can do alone. They are nothing more than an extension to the leader. By being rude to the gatekeepers you will find yourself getting nowhere. By looking down on them thinking you are better, you are wrong. The majority of the time, you can actually get what you need from being close with them while not even knowing the lead person. The gatekeepers are a vital resource in getting what you need done. Never think you are better than a gatekeeper.
Check-List 1. Network with EVERYBODY – Get their contact, get to know them, keep in touch 2. Build your own Board of Directors – Friends, family,
teachers, mentors 3. Do what you do because YOU want to be doing it. – Travel, go to graduate school, leave a depressing job. 4. Write a Thank You letter for EVERY situation 5. Be polite to the gatekeepers of the world.
Chapter 4 Humor
One of my biggest idols is George Clooney. Not for his celebrity status, or repertoire of movies, but rather his ability to prank people and have a sense of humor. There is nothing like the tears of laughter when you prank someone so well, people talk about it for years. George Clooney once had a friend staying with him so the story goes. His friend had a tiny cat that was living with him at the time. Everyday, for three days, George would sneak into the bathroom where the litter box was and scoop the kitty poop out and flush it down the toilet. By the time the friend would check the litter box, there was
never any kitty poop. This went on for a few days. The friend finally took the cat to the doctor and got kitty Ex-lax. Later that day, George again scooped the poop out and dropped one himself into the litter
When his friend got there, all you could hear was “Good God
Kitty!!” Whatever you are doing, whether it is school, or a job or at home, there is always room for as sense of humor. Having a sense of humor is one of the best and healthiest things you can do for yourself, and the ones around you. Laughter is one of the healthiest things one can do to their body. Don’t be afraid to be goofy or silly. Learn to
laugh and to make others laugh. In life, with all the things I have done, I have tried to put humor into them. Telling 120 sorority girls I’m single or pulling a prank on a friend of mine are all examples of bringing humor to the table. I
guarantee that you will find yourself getting further in life by have fun with whatever you are doing. There are and will be times in your life when stress levels are high, and you might not be enjoying what you are doing. Bringing humor into the equation will not only help. It will help you get through whatever situation you are in much easier. In addition to humor, don’t take anything too seriously.
Especially now in your life of being in college or just out, or first job or whatever you may be in. There are many things that we find ourselves getting too stressed over. Next time this happens, step back and
remember to enjoy life and not worry about the small things that sometimes get to us.
Beyond humor comes the exercise of laughter. Yes, you heard me correct. Laughter can be one of the best forms of exercise in the world. Laughter can do everything from work muscles all over the
body to increasing the blood circulation. A good laugh can stimulate the body and have the same outcome as an aerobic exercise. During laughter one is expanding their lung capacity as well. It is also known to be a good form of cardiac exercise. We all know and love that experience and somewhat pain in our cheeks or pain in our stomach after a good laugh. That is nothing but muscles in our body at work. When you laugh, you are lowering your stress levels, anxiety and everything else that can bother us in our day to day lives. Next time you have a really good laugh, remember how
you feel right afterwards.
Remember that feeling of not stressing
about anything, or not worrying about anything. You are solely focused on that pain in your cheeks or trying to keep your food down because you’ve shaken your stomach so hard. In fact, check your heartbeat. You will be amazed on how fast it is beating even after a short laugh. If you can feel that sensation everyday of your life, you can stop reading now. If not, try to everyday. Try to spend fifteen minutes a day
laughing as hard as you can. It might sound silly, but the ones who are, are already much healthier than you and I. The following story is a perfect example of what I mean in not taking life too seriously. I hope this story makes you laugh, if anything I hope it makes you at least crack a smile. The following story is one of many that have happened to me over my lifetime. It is one of those stories where we get into a funny situation, and there is nothing we can do to avoid it, or get out of it at that moment. This story is about being a young man and not being very good at the art of buying condoms. It was 8’oclock in the morning and I just finished a good workout at the gym. Before work I decided to grab some things I needed at the local grocery store. Just being done with the gym, I grabbed a sports drink, a muffin and some other things that my roommates and I needed at the house. I decided that I would pick up a box of condoms while I was at it.
Still a bit timid to buy them yet confident in using them, I put a box into my grocery basket and made my way to the check out. Being that early in the morning there was only one register open with a line of people already waiting to check out. A bit nervous, I made my way to the self-check-out to use the self-automated machine. I knew the machine didn’t care what I bought as long as “I placed the next item in the bag” while being asked, “do you have any coupons?” Feeling a bit of a high from a great workout, I decided to push my comfort zone a little bit and do the entire self-check-out in Spanish. I took Spanish in high school and I thought to myself, I have done this a million times in English, how hard could checking out in Spanish be? Everything went as smooth as silk. I didn’t know a single thing the machine said to me, however I could figure out when to scan the next item and so forth. I saved the condoms last to make a quick scan to place right into the bag. When it was time to scan the condoms, I made the same gesture I did with the preceding 6 or so items. Moving my hand across the scanning laser with the box of condoms, the machine started speaking much more Spanish than it did for any of the previous items. Starting to panic, I tried to scan them again to move on with my life. Again the machine started speaking a lot more
Spanish than I was accustomed to. By now there was a line of people building up behind me curious that this machine was going off in Spanish, and here I am a 6ft. 8inch white guy looking as if I’ve never
been so lost in my life with a box of condoms in my hand. The machine gathered the attention of a worker close by. Coming over to help, he was first asking me why I was doing it in Spanish? I told him that I didn’t think there would be a problem. With 12 people now behind me, the employee could not understand what the machine was saying either. Being early in the morning, there was only one employee that spoke Spanish. The employee that was with me, proceeded to use the grocery store intercom to locate the bilingual employee to help with this situation. By now, everyone knew what I was trying to buy, and on the verge of laughing because I was being yelled at in Spanish by this machine with my face now as red as an apple. The bi-lingual employee came to the rescue and discovered that the box of condoms was not registered in the system with its current bar code. It had to be manually typed in. With that problem figured out, we cancelled my whole Spanish experience, leaving me to re-scan all my items in English with everybody now waiting, staring and laughing at me. I scanned the condom’s which everybody was waiting for, seeing that the scan worked this time, the 15 people now behind me started cheering me on as I grabbed the receipt and like Elvis, left the building. It was one of the most embarrassing stories I have ever gotten myself into. I am confident that we can all related to those situations
we find ourselves in where there is nothing we can do to avoid the situation. Why things like this happen to us, we may never know. But the great thing about life is the humor that does come our way. When things like this happen to all of us, although stressful, embarrassing, sometimes horrible, there is nothing worth more than the ability to just laugh at it. From here on out, when you find yourself in situations like this, enjoy it and be strong enough to just laugh about it.
Chapter 5 Become a good Writer
My entire life I have been criticized of my writing. One of the reasons I am writing this book is for the process to become a better writer. In life, no matter what you find yourself doing, I guarantee
there will be times when writing is involved. Whether it is an email, letters, books, articles, there will be times when you are asked to write. It is important to understand that your writing is a reflection of you. From now on, it is important to think of your writing as a
representation of you. You would never go to a job interview with an un-ironed shirt would you? This is no different than sending a poorly written document to someone no matter what the occasion. Other
than values, becoming a good writer will help you go much further in life. I had a conversation the other day with a good friend of mine who is a real estate multi-millionaire. We were on the conversation or 39
writing over dinner. I remember him telling me that they hired a really sharp kid straight out of college. Unfortunately for the guy who was just hired, he was let go a couple of months later strictly because he was a terrible writer. Although he was very smart, he could not
communicate through writing. In this day and age with e-mail, letters, phones, and all the ways we have to communicate with one another, it is very important in being a good writer. To become a good writer, take a class, learn from others, and accept good criticism. But never take it personally; don’t let the fault of bad writing keep you from achieving greatness. The best way I have found my writing to improve over time is through reading. And by reading, I mean reading everything. Some of the smartest people I have ever encountered in life are people that didn’t even go to college. Although they never went to college, they were always reading something. Reading everything from national
newspapers, foreign newspapers, small local newspapers, classic books, new books, old books, foreign books, local books, news magazines, art books and more. All of this reading is extremely healthy to the brain. One must look past this as just boring reading but rather expanding and exercising the brain. When you read, you are building, stretching and strengthening your brain. Most importantly, you are creating a larger capacity to think. When you create a mind with a plethora of
knowledge, your ability to think and understand situations will grow exponentially. We live in a world where there are too many distractions; television, video games, the Internet and more. All of which I know we all love and enjoy, but not bettering us as a human beings. We also live a faster life than any other generation. The pace of reading is slow to anything else that we do. It is important however to discipline In fact,
ourselves, slow our lives down, and dedicate time to read.
reading now will put you even more to an advantage because hardly anybody does anymore. From now on, make it a goal to read. You
should be reading everyday. Set goals for yourself. Start with small books. Then read a book you think you will never finish. Doing this will boost your confidence. Check-List
Chapter 6 Details are EVERYTHING It was summer of 2005. It was the summer of my first internship in the music business. I drove out to Los Angeles with my girlfriend at the time with $12 dollars remaining in my bank account from just finishing my sophomore year of college. Heading to California with
only $12 bucks was very scary. My girlfriend dropped me off at my uncle’s house in southern California where she continued onto San Francisco, which is where she was from. I stayed there for a couple of days to get situated before I moved in with my buddies downtown. My living situation that summer was very interesting. I lived with two friends of mine, one of which had a great aunt who lived downtown with room for us during the summer. This was not your normal great aunt either. She was 78 years old, Brazilian and 4 feet 5 inches tall. That summer, my two friends and I all shared a room, sleeping on the floor on air mattresses. The old lady being from a different generation and custom to life from us would cook a meal every night that would
rival The White House Thanksgiving.
Not having anything else to do
to fill her time during the day, she couldn’t be happier preparing meals that I will never forget. Many nights we felt bad for all the effort she put in, but we let her do it because one could tell that she enjoyed our company and loved cooking. Sadly she is no longer with us, however strongly prominent in our hearts and memories. With good fortune that summer, I was able to work for my uncle. That summer he was the Executive Producer of the Global concert called Live 8. Talk about a change from what I was use to. I grew up in Colorado and here I am getting on the bus in the morning on Wilshire Boulevard where the locals are selling Mexican Tamales, then getting off on the same street twenty minutes later at the Lamborghini dealership. Talk about a change in scenery. That summer, I became a PA, a production assistant. I worked with many top music executives including the Emmy-Award winning producer Kevin Wall who produced Live Earth as well as many other large events. During that summer, the most important thing I learned really had nothing to do with the music business. What I learned that
summer was the importance of details. I want you to make sure that you understand that “details are EVERYTHING.” Through out the
course of that job, we worked in Los Angeles for a good month or two prior to the show. The week before the show, we transported the team to various concert locations around the world. Some of us went to
London, some to Germany, Some to Asia and so forth.
location was in Philadelphia. The concert took place on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. The stage was in front of the steps where the famous Rocky movie scene took place with Selvester Stalone ran around in a gray sweat suit to the song Eye of the Tiger. During my time on this gig as it is referred to in the music business, my boss was a very strict man, but strict through love being my uncle. He was very hard on me because he wanted me to excel. That summer he would get on me about every little mistake I made. Whether I misspelled a word in an email or was five minutes late, he would ride me hard into guilt. Not to put me down, but to make me better. That summer I learned the
importance of doing everything right and that details are everything. Anybody can get a job done. Anybody can do a good job, or
even a great job and think that’s all they need to do. But to excel, to be the best, to be the Tiger Woods of golf, or the Lance Armstrong of cycling, it is all in the details. Whatever goals your own are, or own aspirations, make sure to be the best by focusing on the details. Know that when you finish something, you couldn’t have done it any better. Whether you find your self on a school project, your first job, or any task, focus on the details. When you finish, look back on how you can make it better. the details. The difference between good and great are in
Figure it out
Draw 4 straight lines through all the dots without lifting the pen or pencil. (answer on next page).
Now that you know how that works. I want you to use this example in your life on how there are always ways in figuring out the solution to the problems we encounter. You must think outside the box! Additionally to learning that details are everything, my uncle taught me one other value that I practice everyday. It is the ability to “figure it out.” About 90% of the things that I have involved myself in, I have no idea what I am doing. When I worked for my uncle on Live 8, I was scared to death on many of the tasks that I had to do. I had to call talent agencies, deal with managers, and uptight producers. I had to run errands to dealing with stage construction crew. During most of these tasks, I really had no idea what I was doing yet I learned how to do the task quickly and never showed that I wasn’t capable of accomplishing the task. When I would go to my uncle for help, many times he would shut me down pushing me to figure out the problem, 45 ANSWER
and figure out how to solve it. Frustrated with him many times, I knew that he was only doing it for my own good. Getting better at not
bothering him on every little task, I quickly became more confident in my business acumen, calling different people, working on different projects or being able to handle whatever problem or task came my way. Learning this valuable tool has helped me from that day forward. For the next two years of college, I found myself getting better grades. For the first time, when I was assigned a project, I took the time to figure out how to succeed rather than panic right away because I didn’t know what to do. With this tool, I was able to take on more difficult school projects as well as create more work for myself outside of school to make extra money. During my job outside of school, there were countless times when I said yes to a job clearly not knowing what it entailed, yet for me, it meant more work and more spending money. By senior year in college I created a full time job strictly on the basis that I was capable of figuring things out on my own. When we are in a situation where our boss asks us to do something, there are many employees who will drive them crazy, bothering them on the steps of how to do something. With the speed of the world we live in, nothing appeals more to a co-worker or boss if they can assign you a task and you have the capability to complete it perfectly on your own. Employers do not like, nor have the time to
micro-manage; meaning constantly having to show every step of a process or task happens. The ability to figure things out will help you stand out and make yourself worthy of holding whatever position you find yourself in. During the first job out of college, I was assigned to help a nonprofit organization in Denver figure out a way to host a global concert in Costa Rica. I got this job based on networking and my recently Starting
learned skills I developed from my experience with Live 8.
with day one, there were many things that I had no clue on. But my ability to learn quickly and figure out solutions helped me succeed with my research and presentation I had to present for my boss in the following weeks. Whatever situation you find yourself in, practice the ability to figure out the solution. When your boss or co-worker, or classmate
asks you to do something, even if you have no idea what to do, do not panic. Do not show fear, show the confidence that you have the ability to figure it out. You will not only make yourself much more needed, you will open doors to bigger and better projects and tasks. Next time you find yourself frustrated with an unfamiliar task you have been assigned, figure out a way on how to create it or learn it or know how to do it. Don’t bother your boss or friend on every little issue. It will only show weakness, and that will only bring you a weaker sense of trust and reliability from the one who’s asking something of you. Have
the confidence to take the next task and figure it out. Check-List
Chapter 7 Push your Comfort Zone
When I was young, I understood the fact that I was going to be rather tall. I remember my doctor reminding me at every office visit I went to. It was the doctor visit we as boys, all feared because they made us “cough.” But it was never the coughing part we were timid of.
Anyway, at every visit my doctor stressed the necessity to stretch because of my extra height. “Beau, you’re going to be a slouchy old man if you don’t become flexible.” Was the saying I got used to hearing. I was a freshman in high school and it was fall soccer season. I decided to finally listen to the Doctor and start stretching. When I
started that year I could barely touch my shin with the tip of my middle finger, wishing I could stop stretching and show the Doc my middle finger instead. Stretching was the most uncomfortable painful thing I had ever experienced. My mind would tell me things like: Why stretch, being a slouchy old man won’t be that bad. At least you’re not in pain
that way. However being goal oriented, I made a goal to touch my toes by the end of the season. Everyday before practice my friends would be kicking the ball and messing around on the soccer field, while I was on the side being laughed at, shacking in pain with stretching. As time went on, I
learned how to stretch and warm up better every time, although time after time it was still extremely uncomfortable and painful. As the
soccer season went on, I could start to see a difference. I found myself noticing things like: today my finger touched a freckle further down my leg. Once that happened, that whole week I would push myself to go to that freckle. A week later, I could go past that freckle. I just kept disciplining and going out of my comfort zone everyday to stretch. Being 23 now, I am 6 feet 8 inches tall and I can touch my nose to my knee. I am now obsessed with stretching. I will be in a store like Pottery Barn or Costco and just bust out in full Yoga doing downward dog in the cereal isle. My friends or mom, or whoever is with me will stare at me with the thought fresh on their mind saying to themselves: “What in the hell is he doing?” My friends have actually been
accustomed now for me to be stretching my calves in public places. I have stretched so much since the beginning of high school that it has become a part of me. I don’t feel well anymore unless I get at least ten minutes a day in. I get very antsy now if I don’t stretch.
Being flexible is one of the greatest feelings in the world.
Although the point of my story really has nothing to do with stretching, the point is more related to the journey of stretching. For a long time, even years, stretching was very painful and I didn’t enjoy it. Although I knew that it would get better and I would slowly move further down my leg. The point is that I constantly pushed myself out of my comfort zone. Everyday, I left my state of comfort and put
myself in pain, a good pain, not over doing it. By putting myself out there, I slowly could reach further. zone and reached a little further. touched the toe. This constant escape from my comfort zone made stretching become a part of my life. I now feel uncomfortable if I don’t do it. It is very important however, to understand that going outside of your comfort zone doesn’t have to be pain related or stretching. Going out of your comfort zone can mean anything, but it is important to do so. The majority of people that I have encountered don’t leave their comfort zone ever. And when you look at their lives, they may be Again I went out of my comfort Eventually, still in pain however I
comfortable, but very boring and very small. When I was young, or younger than I am now around 9 or 10 years old, my father taught me two of the most important lessons that I carry with me every day. The two consist of 1) a firm hand shake, and 2) looking people in the eye. I cannot tell you how important
those two lessons are in being successful in everything we encounter
in our lives.
For the rest of your life, make sure, regardless of the
situation, you have a firm handshake every time and you look someone directly in the eye when you meet them or when you’re having a conversation. When I was 9 or 10 years old, my father had a job that involved mingling with many adults at events and dinners and so forth. While mingling with adults as part of his job, he was always very good about bringing me with him. At these functions, he would push me into the room and tell me to go introduce myself. Being shy, I would try to leap and hide behind the first chair or table I could find. Pushing my
comfort zone however, I started to introduce myself with a firm handshake while looking people directly in the eye. By the time we would leave due to the fact that I still had a bedtime, I would be standing like James Dean owning the moment and making people laugh as if I had invited them to the party. Although these are silly examples of pushing your comfort zone, it is important to do it e everyday. What ever that may be. Take on a project that scares you. Introduce yourself to that person that makes you shy. Walk into that job interview as if you’ve already landed the job. Try and run a mile faster than your best time. Go a little faster on your bike. You have absolutely nothing to loose in doing this. Pushing your comfort zone only makes what you are comfortable with larger. Push yourself
constantly. All you are doing is helping yourself grow. You will be able to take on bigger projects, meet bigger people, and have more confidence. Check-List
Chapter 8 Practice
“Similar to the example of stretching, I found that things in my life that I am good at are all things I have done over and over and over again.”
“The More I practice, the luckier I get.” legendary pro golfer.
- Gary Player – a
William Warren “Bill” Bradley, born July 28, 1943 is an All American hall of fame basketball player. In addition to
basketball, he was a Rhodes Scholar and former U.S. Senator from New Jersey. On top of all this, he spent his youth becoming an Eagle Scout and recipient of the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award. All in all, Bill Bradley is a 54
hero of mine. What makes Mr. Bradley a hero of mine was and is his discipline and ability to practice. During Bradley’s days in high school basketball, he worked on the court for three and a half hours everyday after school. He spent Saturday’s practicing from nine to five, and one-thirty to five on Sundays. During the summer months, he practiced around three hours every day. To some that may seem a little over the top with alternatives today like video games and hanging out at the hot spot, but Bradley had a passion. And that passion was basketball. Bradley was
determined to be the best. He knew that if he shot over and over, and dribbled down the court over and over, he would be better than any one of his opponents. Bradley would shoot free throw after free throw. In fact, as a freshman, Bradley made 57 successive free throws. This record surpassed any other player, college or professional. During
sophomore year, he led his league in points, field goals, free throws, rebounds, ending his college career with a standing ovation when he was fouled out after having 40 points in an NCAA tournament game against Saint Joseph’s in Philadelphia. It doesn’t matter if you can relate to the game of basketball or not, the point was his ability to practice. Bill Bradley wanted to be the best. He knew he could be by practicing longer and harder than
anybody else. Whatever it is in your own life that you want to be good at a job or a sport, whether it’s skateboarding, learning to play the guitar, public speaking, you can do it with practice. To get there, you must discipline yourself to do it over and over again. “The Great One,” born January 26, 1961 in Brantford, Ontario played hockey. His parents giving him the name of Wayne Douglas
Gretzky, he became one the greatest athletes of all time. During his time on the ice, Gretzky set 40 regular season records, 15 playoff records, 6 All Star records, 9 MVP awards, 10 scoring records, and won four Stanley Cups. He is the only player ever to total more than 200 points in a single season. Not only that, he accomplished that goal
four times in his professional career. Much of Gretzky’s success like Bradley’s is attributed to the amount of time he practiced. Gretzky was notorious for practicing 4-5 hours a day. Countless times he would stay after the rest of the team was gone. He would practice flipping puck after puck into specific
locations in the net. When he found himself in a game, he could hit the smallest of holes through the goalie or make the most impossible of shots. His confidence was with him because of the time he spent
practicing; he could make the impossible shots because for him, they were not impossible, he had practiced them over and over again when no one else was around. I am confident in knowing there is something in your life that you
want to be good at. Hopefully, you want to be the best at it. I promise you that whatever that is, practice is and learn to do it over and over again. Whether it is training for a sport, studying for an exam, or
learning a new topic in your life, be the last to leave the gym, the last to leave the library, or the last to leave the office. If it’s public
speaking, give more public speeches, if it’s skateboarding, get back on the skateboard and try it again. Whatever it is, do it again. “The pros do the basics well everyday.” - Vince Lombardi
An important part of practicing is to have the ability to visualize what you are about to do. Although many of my examples are athletic related, practicing and visualization can and should be used for everything. Whether you are lined up to kick a field goal or going to give a presentation, visualize how it will go and come about. Visualize yourself being successful at it and then commit to it with everything you have. If you know you have to compete or present, spend time beforehand thinking about the situation. When you visualize about something that you do, you will be much more confident and ready with it is your time to shine. If will be as if it wasn’t the first time because you have already been in the moment and are ready for what to expect. In sports, the greats like Michael Jordan would visualize the shot going
in before the ball even left his hand. Many times, once the ball did, it would go in shot like he imagined it would. Jordan was in the moment because he saw the entire shot in his head before it was even taken. This same mentality and practice of visualization should be practiced and encouraged no matter what the situation is. Whether we are Jordan or preparing for a job interview, visualize yourself being successful at it and then commit full force.
Chapter 9 Failure
He lost his job and was defeated for legislature in 1832. failed in business in 1833. His sweetheart died in 1835.
He had a
nervous breakdown in 1836. He was defeated as speaker in 1838. He was defeated for nomination for Congress in 1843. nomination in 1848. He lost reHe was
He was defeated for Senate in 1854.
defeated for Vice-President in 1856. He was defeated again for Senate in 1858. You might know him better as the 16th President of the United States, a man to most scholars as one of the top U.S. Presidents in the history of the United States. His name was Abraham Lincoln and he was a remarkable man. Most people don’t know the struggle and failures he encountered throughout his life. When you look back on Lincoln’s life you learn how extraordinary the man actually was. Not only did he succeed as one of the greatest 59
U.S. President’s in history, his accomplishments came in one of the most broken times the United States had ever faced. With civil war and slavery on his plate, Lincoln had a vision. He believed that things would get better, that he would succeed. It didn’t matter how many times he had failed. In life we all fail. In fact, we fail so much; it is worth saying it again. We… All… Fail… That being said, know that failing is okay, not only is it okay, it is perfectly normal. Failure is a part of life. However, to make failure okay, you must be able to get back up. One must
“believe in themselves” to try it again. It is important to think of failure as only the postponement of success. Every successful person that you look up to in your own life has failed. But we idolize them because of their achievements. They were strong enough to get back up. In their minds, they knew that nothing was going to stop them from getting to where they are now. A perfectly good example is Michael Jordan. Jordan has gone
down in history as one of the greatest athletes of all time. Did you know he was cut from his high school basketball team? Do you think that was going to stop him from going for the glory? Not a chance, Jordan wasn’t going to give up. Look at how we see him now, a
superstar. And he will remain that way. Winston Churchill once said:
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts.”
In life, don’t be afraid to fail. A lot of times when you are in a situation, where you might fail, you are pushing your comfort zone. You are
going above and beyond what you are comfortable with. When you fail, you will only become stronger next time you attempt that goal. Failure is nothing but a learning and building process. Most people today know Donald Trump for three reasons. 1) He is very wealthy, 2) he is known for the saying “You’re fired,” and 3) his hair being real is a debate that will never end. What a lot of people don’t know though, is that a few years ago, Trump almost lost everything. He was failing big time. In fact, his level of failure was into the billion-dollar range of debt. Talk about not being able to sleep at night. Today however, he is looked at as an idol to millions. He is an idol of mine. Today, he is a very happily married, wealthy, successful businessman and celebrity. His ability to overcome failure, to learn
from failure, and to get back up is why he is back on top, and will remain on top. Whether you like Trump or not, there is much to learn from him. He is a man of perseverance. Regardless of your goals or the life you want to live, learn perseverance. Perseverance is the ability to stay on track despite difficulty or delay towards a goal you want to achieve is critical. Don’t let failure get in the way of what you want to do. The
only way your dreams and goals will come to you is if you keep going after them. I promise you that if you spend your entire life going after your dreams and goals, you will have lived a more fulfilled life than accepting failure. A lot of life is a mind game. You must believe you are bigger than any problem or failure you encounter. If you don’t
allow yourself to overcome failure by not believing that you are bigger, stronger and better than the problem you face, you will remain at that level. Your life will stay at that level. If you can’t handle the problems you currently face, you wont have the courage to handle larger problems and situations. Being able to believe that you are bigger and stronger will lead to a more fulfilled life with larger rewards. Going back to Trump, there will never be a roadblock in his life where he won’t believe he can’t overcome. A lot of times its not the event of failing that hurts us the most. It is the way we as humans handle the situation after the initial failure that has the most effect. The problem with failing is that the majority of the time, when we fail, we panic. And when we are in a state of panic, we hinder our ability to think clearly. When we are panicking and not thinking clearly, we are not benefiting ourselves and we are not making our best decisions. When we fail, we get too caught up in the problem and not the solution. That in turn makes the problem
worse and only more difficult to overcome. The second job I took after college was very entrepreneurial. It
was very risky, however it didn’t bother me because I was passionate about what we were trying to create. About six months into the job I was let go do to funding being very tight. The two gentlemen that I was working for were funding the project out of their own pockets until we could raise the money to launch the project. With the fundraising dragging on longer than they had expected, my job was on the decline. I became an expense that was not helping the business in its current state. After having a conversation with the two guys I was working with, I was informed that within a week or two they were going to have to stop paying me and focus on other avenues of the business with the funding being very tight until we were externally funded. When that happened, I forgot about everything. I panicked big time. I immediately worried about what was I going to do? Did I screw up? I need to get another job tomorrow. friends going to the think of me? What are my parents and
Then, when asking myself that
question, it hit me. What are my parents and friends going to think of me? I completely forgot what I believed in, and that was myself. After taking some time to think about everything, I came back to my senses of knowing that my friends liked me for me; not because of my job, and I remembered that my parents are proud of me as long as I was not a bum on the couch. Looking back on the situation, I found that it was okay to take
some time to think about the next steps in life. At first I found myself worried that I couldn’t solve all my problems that day. And that life was over because I lost my job. couple of days. I became pretty depressed for a
Taking time to think about what had happened, I
began to remember that you have to be bigger than the problem. Realizing that if I let this get to me, I would never be able to overcome a more difficult situation. couldn’t be any better. Next time you fail, which you will, as I will fail again, take a step back and take some deep breaths. Next time you fail, whether it be a life changing event, a broken relationship, a lost job or whatever it may be, know that it is okay to take a couple of hours or a couple of days to recover from what happened. Don’t panic, focus on thinking clearly I would remain at this level, thinking I
and getting back on track to the goals you have set for yourself. What I found that helps me is taking the time to think back about the job or whatever the situation was, where failure occurred. Taking that time and thinking about the positive things I got from that experience. Although my job ended, I took the time to think about all the knowledge I had learned, or the contacts I had made that I knew would still be there on my next venture. Many times when something like this happens to us, it leads to other doors opening that we didn’t even think of. I know we all look forward to the goals and dreams we want to achieve. We will get there
but the road will always have new turns and bumps that come our way. Be confident in knowing that you can overcome them. Remember that people will forget about your failures, but they will always remember your success.
Check-List 1. Failure Happens – It’s okay to fail 2. No matter what happens, give yourself the confidence in knowing that you will always land on your feet. 3. When failure happens, Don’t Panic. – Panicking hinders your ability to think clearly in making the right decisions. 4. Know that you are bigger than any problem you encounter – You will stay at the level you allow yourself to handle. 5. Learn perseverance.
Chapter 10 The Economics of our Generation
Our generation will encounter financial difficulties different than any other generation in history. Right now, our generation will face
paying for one of the most expensive wars of all time, and it’s not even over yet, and for a social security program that will most likely not help us when we are older. It is rare these days to have the security of
working for the same business for thirty plus years and receiving a pension from them upon retirement. In fact, I have a hard time seeing that exist anywhere these days. Unfortunately a lot of the world lives solely by what they can produce for the bottom line, leaving very little care of other factors such as humanity. We have already begun to see downturns in the
economy, the housing market crumbling apart, while more people are in trouble with debt than ever before. This list of bad things goes on 66
and on. It is extremely important to be aware of this current world and understand what we can do to avoid such disasters we are seeing our own parents and friends getting into. The two most important things we have on our side entering this world, is our mind and time. Having time on our side is one of the greatest things we can ever have, and it’s given to us for free. What makes time so important is the ability to save money. A lot of people don’t understand what is called the time value of money. I can’t tell you how important it is to start saving money right now! Not only that but making it grow and work for you. The majority of the world doesn’t understand that if you put $200 dollars away every month, you will be a millionaire by the time you retire. People think of that and they think there is NO WAY that can happen. How in the world can putting that amount of money away
every month add up to becoming a millionaire? The answer is time. But you must do it now! First off, get yourself a financial calculator and learn how use it. Ask a friend, a teacher or someone else around you on how to use them. That might seem really scary and you might think there is a lot to do. They are very easy to use. This way, by using one, you can set your own goals and see what you need to do to achieve them. The following is an example of how to put away a million dollars for retirement. With the financial calculator in my hand, I put in the
following information into it. I will explain it afterwards. N=40. I/YR = 10% PV= 200 PMT = 2,400 FV= $1,071,273.98
Now look at the bold number again next to the FV again. That number is over a million dollars. Who wouldn’t want that in their bank account come retirement? Nobody! So here is what I did. The N equals years. Right now, I am 23 years old. The forecast that I created is for
retirement when I am 63. N equaling 40 means 40 years from now. All I did was plug in 40 for that button. I/YR stands for interest per year. Now it would be great to have 10 % growth hands down every year. What this means however, is on average over the 40 years. Some
years we might only have 4% growth, but in one of the years, we may have 16% growth. It’s like saying goes that it all will come out in the wash. Okay, now the PMT. This stands for payment. I got $2,400 by doing $200, which we are going to save every month, and multiplied it by 12, being 12 months in a year. 12 x 200 = 2,400. So, $2,400 is what we are going to save and put into our money-making machine every year. The PV that you see is 200. All that is referring to is
We are starting with our original $200 to invest.
The FV is future value. So, if you discipline yourself and do this, you will be a millionaire by the time you retire. Not only that, but when you get older and you are financially able to save more, your FV will only be bigger. So, step one for you is to invest in a financial calculator and learn
how to use them. Then learn about different ways of saving money and investing it. This does not mean become a day trader in the stock market. To stay on top of the market and know how to day trade, you would have to never sleep, understand the markets in foreign counties, neglect your family, and have a heart attack in your early forties. No one wants that. Take the time to learn about what is right for you.
Learn about IRA’s, other retirement plans, and other ways to invest money. Right now, there is no guarantee to having external support financially from social security or something else when we become older. You must be cautious about this. You must strive to make
yourself financially dependant when you are older. Our generation has many problems that we will have to face. You must make yourself as secure as possible.
It is time to talk credit cards. I don’t care what they say, or how
many points you receive, or miles you earn, credit cards are lethal. I can’t tell you how important it is to just avoid them your whole life. This doesn’t mean not have them. I have two of them, but if you can’t manage them, you need to stay very clear. The way a credit card works is this: We are going to call the
Credit Card “Mr. Nice Card.” One day, you go and check the mailbox. There, you find a very fancy envelope from the credit card company with the return address: Mr. Nice Card 0.0 APR Street No Problem County, USA The wonderful letter says: Mr. Beckley, CONGRADUATIONS! On becoming a member of Mr. Nice Card. You will enjoy points and low interest rates your whole life, you can pay the minimum and enjoy spending and purchasing things that are way out of your limit. We all know that you want that 42” Flat Screen TV 1080 Pi from Best Buy. We know you can’t afford it on your current job, but with the help from us, you will get it tiger!
Sincerely, Mr. Nice Guy!
Here I am extremely excited that I am a member of this team. I think 70
to myself; I feel so awesome that I am an official Mr. Nice Card member. Now I have a $3,000 dollar limit. What on earth am I going to do now that Mr. Nice Card, has given me $3,000 dollars to spend and I only have to pay a little every month? Life seems great. The next day my shiny card and I go and Buy a $2,857.89 flat screen HD TV. With a smile on my face, the card slides through the machine like a hot knife through butter. I sign the receipt and go home with a huge smile on my face. Thinking I don’t have to pay for anything until a
month from now. That’s four episodes of my favorite TV show before I even have to send Mr. Nice Card any money. I get my first bill. It is $2,857.89. But Mr. Nice Card says I can pay the minimum of $20 dollars. I happily write a check and go back to a month of watching TV on this crystal clear television. A month goes buy and I get the next bill. This time the bill is $2,842.89. That is only $5 dollars less than the original but I paid $20. I read the bill and it said their was a $15 dollar fine for paying only the minimum last month. And since I only paid the minimum this month has a $40 I blow it off and write a check for $40 and go back to
watching my TV. Next month my bill comes and it is for $2,817.89. This time, Mr. Nice Card says their was a $20 dollar fine for only paying the minimum. The minimum now is up to $75 dollars. Now I am starting to panic. Every time I pay I get these fines. This goes on and on and
on. In the end, I absolutely hate this television, it takes me 6 years to pay it off, and in the end, the television cost me roughly $5,000 dollars. Mr. Nice Card in the end made more money then the television company! Now thankfully this has not happened to me personally, but it has to many of my friends in college. Credit cards are not free money. They are lethal weapons, who’s companies target our generation like no other. We are at the age of living on our own, responsible for
ourselves, and eager to have all the cool things like flat screen T.V.’s and clothes, etc. Trust me. I want a huge flat screen more than
anything, but I understand that I can’t afford it now, and I am not going to let my mercy be in the hands of a credit card company to have one. The way you use your credit card defines a lot about who you. Take a second and think of the name alone. Credit Card. It doesn’t say Free cash card. The one good thing they can do for you is build your credit. That is the only reason you should have one and be using one. It is much safer and healthier if you only put on five or twenty dollars a month and are able to pay off the entire thing than fighting to get out of debt. Again, I am not saying to not get one. It is good to have
them. Get one that does give you benefits like miles or points, but be sure to stay on top of it. I can’t tell you how important it is to not fall in this trap. I have seen it happen to too many people. Remember we have time on our
side. Being young, we have many opportunities for making money and creating successful jobs. However, we only get One opportunity in
having time on Our side. Don’t spend that one opportunity of having time on our side trying to get out of a financial hole. We need this time to invest and make our money grow for us. From this point on, I want you to think of money as a seed. The saying of money doesn’t grow on trees is very true, but the concept is very similar. An apple tree for example. When you plant a seed, water it, give it sunlight and care, an apple tree will grow to the sky and create more apples than you ever thought possible. similar to thinking of money as a seed. That is very
When you take a hundred
dollar bill, invest it, add to it, give it time to grow, it will grow and produce more money similar to an apple tree. Now doesn’t this seem more appealing than fighting Mr. Nice Card for 6 years?
Oh… The Jones’s
We live in a world and have been for a long time where the Jones family seems to have it all. The Jones family I am referring to is the “keeping up with the Jones’s” mentality. So many people in this world live this lifestyle and it is very un-healthy. There are too many people out there that think they must show wealth to be wealthy. Here is an example, you are sitting around the dinner table discussing your day with your family, girlfriend, wife, or whoever it is and the subject comes up… “Did you hear that the Jonse’s next door just got the new European car?” I think it is time that we get a new car too.” You don’t need a new car and were probably not even thinking you needed a new one until Mrs. Jones pulled up in the new 500 horse power, black turbo charged, leather seat extravaganza. Now that is making your
two-year old car not looking so hot anymore. Now your thinking well maybe we should get a new car. We don’t want to appear as if we can’t afford to get a new car as well. This is as far from building wealth as it gets. If you truly want to build a fortune for yourself, you need to be comfortable enough in going your own route and sticking to your course and staying on point. Don’t spend your life trying to appear wealthy. You feel shallow and you wont have the satisfaction you
thought you would have in buying that new car. What sounds more appealing? Driving an old Jeep with a $1,000,000 in the bank growing on its own, or driving a new 7 Series BMW stressing on when the next car payment will come in the mail?
Don’t spend your life trying to keep up with the Joneses.
Joneses have their own problems and they aren’t that happy either. Make sure to live within your means and grow your wealth regardless of what some other person shows off or purchases. You need to do this for yourself. The only person in life that you need to focus on
impressing and making happy is yourself. Now, that your young, be smart about your decisions and use time to your advantage. Cash Flow One of the most crucial things in our lives at our age is to focus on our ability to maintain cash flow. You might know what that means or simply know that it is a term that the business world uses all the time. It is a term that businesses use all the time and so should you. It is important in your day-to-day life to think of your own life as somewhat of a business. It is important to talk about cash flow even in your own world whether you are a business or not. To define cash flow, it is simply the money that is coming in and going out for a specific amount of time. The money that you make in a month or year is the “income,” coming into you and the cell phone bill and heating bill is the “outflow” during a specific amount of time. During senior year in college, my father was really suffering from an unpleasant couple of years financially. In the fall of that year, I got the call from him that he was no longer able to help with my expenses. Dreading and understanding that this call was inevitable, I did
everything I could to make sure I was able to keep my cash flow positive, (meaning more money is coming in than going out or business jargon for “staying out of the red”). Suddenly, finances for my brother and I got even worse. My
brother’s and my cell phone stopped working because my father could no longer afford to cover the bill. My brother and I were in a jam. We understood that we had to move on and begin to take care of ourselves. Which at our age is the way it should be. To briefly fill you in on my brother, he is three years younger and being 6 foot 10 inches tall, he walked on to the Division 1 basketball team at the University of Colorado, receiving a full-scholarship two years later. I couldn’t me more proud of anybody, than I am for my own brother. During his freshman year, he had no extra time being a walk-on to get a job, we agreed that I would get one to help cover these new expenses that he and I had to take on. Not letting what happened to dad bother me, I did everything I could to stay afloat. I grabbed odd jobs here and there. I even babysat, became a butler and a house cleaner. I think I became the first 6 foot 8 inch male nanny in the state of Colorado… or most likely all the states for that matter. I did everything I could to keep my brother’s and my cell phone working, bought my brother a suit from Men’s Warehouse so he would look sharp for game day and so on. Now this is not a pity me story but more of an example of what I
did to keep afloat in college. There are a lot of us out there in this situation where we are just scrapping to make it by. There is absolutely no shame in that whatsoever. In fact, us scrapping by in the United States is already light years ahead of many places in the world. My point is that cash flow is very important. No matter where you are in your life, it is extremely important to have positive cash flow. A lot of people in this world, no matter what there age is can bring their lives to a halt very quickly if they run out of cash. There are many people out there with huge aspirations and
goals yet they never can get to them because they can’t seem to control their cash flow. In all honesty, it is as simple as spending less than the amount coming in. Living within your means as most would say. But the majority of us don’t. We spend more and more. If we get a job that pays more, we spend more. We get use to being able to afford a little more. Than time goes by and we wonder how on earth did we ever live before we gave ourselves spa massages every two weeks? There are many people in this world that make over $100,000 dollars in a year and even they have problems with their cash flow. However, many people look at them and say “wow, they make that in one year? They must be rich!” When really the person might have
$50,000 dollars on a credit card in debt and numerous other bills. Imagine now if that same person lost that job and the next didn’t pay
even close to that. Now this person has cash flow problems for some who makes $100,000 a year and they don’t even make that anymore. It doesn’t matter whether you make a million dollars a year or you are cleaning toilets to make it by. Learn to forecast ahead of time what expenses are going to come your way one month from now or even a couple of months out. If you know that you have a large
expense coming even a year away, start putting money away for it now. Don’t put it off and then deal with the entire problem when it does come. Really lay out your expenses and look at what you can afford to spend, how much needs to go to rent, how much to food and so on. When you do this, you will have a much better understanding of your situation, and you will know more on how much we should really be spending at the bars or wherever else we enjoy. When taking on my first job out of college, I was scared to death. I didn’t know what to do. I was living on a couch with my old
roommates up in Boulder. I knew I couldn’t live on a couch forever so I found a place to live. three-month lease. But thinking of my cash flow I only signed a
The job being very risky and not defined, I was
hesitant to lock in expenses for a long time. I knew that this way, if the job went south and ended, I was only strapped to paying three months of rent instead of living somewhere I disliked for an entire year, stuck there figuring out ways to cover rent. Trust me, nobody wants that. In addition, learn how to cushion yourself financially. Being in our
early twenties is a very scary time. We are new to the working world, we have no idea what we are doing, yet old enough to be completely on our own. When talking about cushioning ourselves, it means to
create a safety net for yourself. These first few years out of college and these first few jobs that we take on, we have no idea whether they are going to be right for us or not. We don’t know if they are going to last, whether we are going to like them, or understand what we have been hired to do. All of these are perfectly normal feelings to be going through. That said, when you do begin to make some money, save every single penny. I know how tempting it is to go out and buy some cool things and toys that we all want, but all that stuff can wait, even if it’s just for a little while. Right now, it’s much more important to establish a financial cushion for yourself. If a couple of months go by and the job doesn’t work out, you have enough to live of off for a couple of months until the next job comes along. There are too many people in this world who are stuck with jobs that they dislike because the excuse is: at least the job pays the bills. The only highlight to these peoples lives are wishing it was Thursday so they can go to “Happy Hour” to put half price drinks on Mr. Nice Card. It is this time in our lives that we have to be extremely smart about our money, even if it is only a little that we are making. There are a lot of people out there just like you and I who have dreams to do great things in life. There are additionally many people
much older than us out there who wish they could do great things, however they are stuck in a life of constantly battling with cash flow. These people unfortunately get caught in jobs they don’t even like because they can’t afford to leave them. In life there are many financial obstacles that have, and will come our way. There are obstacles that we expect and ones we don’t. You never know if you are going to slip and fall and break a leg, or have to replace the tires on your car because the ones you currently have, are more bald than Howie Mandel of the hit TV show “Deal or no Deal.” Not knowing when expenses like these will arise in our lives, it is extremely important to be prepared for them. When you are planning your life and job or whatever stage you are at, cushion yourself with cash flow. With a solid cushion of savings and cash in your life, you will only find yourself having more confidence to shoot for the stars and go after your dream job instead of wasting years simply staying afloat. I am confident that you will do great, don’t let something like cash flow keep you from getting there. Building Wealth “Shaquille O’Neal is rich. The man who signs his check is wealthy.” -Chris Rock - Comedian
A lot of people don’t understand what it means to be rich. When you look at someone driving a Mercedes-Benz or wearing a Rolex watch, the most common response is that that person is rich. When
you see someone driving a brand new Range Rover or vacationing in Vail you might think they are rich. When you see someone making six figures or more a year you might think they are rich. If they’re smart hopefully they are. My point with this is to make a clear definition of how different wealthy and being rich really is. Here is an example. Let’s say John makes $150,000 a year. That right there would be a wonderful salary to have for anybody. But lets say he spends money like crazy and at the end of the day has nothing left other than materials and bills choking his mailbox. He can’t sleep at night because he can barely pay off everything and is frustrated because he still rents his trendy downtown apartment and has nothing saved up. Then there is Bill. Bill works very hard and makes $30,000 a
year. He saves every penny and barely has any bills other than the minimal bills of heat, phone, food, etc. At the end of the day, he has nothing left other than bills and can’t sleep either for the same reasons. Although John from the first example eats out and maybe
loves lobster, both of these gentlemen can’t sleep at night and both worry about the exact same thing. Both of the gentlemen remain on those paths for 20 years. Then comes Kyle. Kyle makes $50,000 a year but saves and invests $10,000 of his own hard earned money in real estate, bonds, mutual funds and so forth. Eight years later he buys a house with his saved money for
$150,000 and then sells it twelve years later for $800,000 dollars. What Kyle did rather than John and Bill was focused on his “net worth” rather than the wristwatch that he wore on his wrist. In your life, focus on your net worth, and build that rather than defining yourself with what clothes you can afford to buy. Your net worth is
defined as your “total assets” subtracted by your “total liabilities.” Your assets are everything that has monetary value in your life. Example: Your liabilities are everything you owe money to; bills, rent, maybe you a friend some money etc. Let’s say you have $15,000 in cash in your checking account, a house that you own for $750,000 and an investment portfolio of $240,000 for retirement, you have a net worth of over a million dollars. In essence, you are a millionaire and don’t even know it. Now doesn’t that seem more appealing than to have a Rolex on the wrist but dread checking your mail box for the bill? In life when we hear about the Donald Trumps and the Bill Gates of the world, and we hear how they are “billionaires,” it doesn’t mean that they have billions of dollars in cash laying around. They are not sitting around with a bank somewhere completely stacked with cash. What this means when we hear about them being billionaires is referring to their net worth. To define it more clearly, if today they
picked up and sold everything that they own, that is the amount of cash they would receive. It’s what they’re worth – their net worth. In your life, focus on building wealth rather than looking rich. It
is much cooler and much more respectable to be the millionaire on the corner than to be the flashy guy with the new shiny car that no one can stand being around. From this day forward spend time solely
focusing on your net worth. Don’t waste time thinking how much you have in your checking account is what you stand for. If you do that, every time you do build it up a bit, you are more likely to spend it on a flashy toy or some other material that will only depreciate. Then you are only older and back to where you started. Repeat to yourself that you will focus on your “Net Worth.” That is when you are wealthy!
Chapter 11 Our Environment
Our world is unfortunately sick and un-healthy. Our world is not dead, but it has never been this unhealthy, depleted and exhausted in its entire life. As human beings, it is important to point out that we cannot function or do other chapters in this not living in a Across disasters anything that any of the book express if we are sustainable the world we are starting different from before; more
environment. to see natural
often and a little more sever. To name a few problems we are seeing the number of category 4 and 5 hurricanes have almost doubled in the last 30 years. Malaria has spread to higher altitudes up to 7,000 feet in some places like the Columbian Andes. The flow of ice from glaciers in Greenland has more than doubled over the past decade. Over 279 species and plants and animals are already responding and moving closer to the poles. Sea levels will rise more than 20 feet with the loss of Shelf Ice in Greenland and Antarctica. Heat waves will become more frequent and more
intense. Droughts and wild fires are occurring more. The Arctic Ocean could be ice-free by the summer of 2050. More than a million species worldwide could be driven to extinction by that very same year. Enough? I hope that these facts scare you, because they certainly scare me. Or at least scare you enough to do something about it. Thankfully
going back to time, right now it is on our side. And if we take action, we can fix this. In fact, our generation is the one who will have to fix it. If our generation doesn’t, it could very well be too late. Our parents and their parents are not going to be around for very much longer. They will not have to face many of the problems that will come our way. This is our world now. Although we are guilty ourselves in
contributing to the destruction, what damage has been done, is done. We cannot avoid it, nor look past it saying “well we didn’t cause all this damage, the generations before us did.” That doesn’t matter. This is our world now and once our parents and their parents are gone, its only us living here as well as the generations that we bring into the world. It is extremely important to start now. In today’s world, talking about the environment is nothing new, it has been in the main headlines now for quite some time. However, we mustn’t keep it as only in the headlines. We must take action right now! That said, it is time to stop talking about it. We must start to do something about it. Regardless of your beliefs on this matter, whether you believe in global warming or not, the things we as human beings have an obligation to do to fix it are not absurd changes in our lives. Treating the environment better is a good thing to do regardless of global warming is really true or not. Recycling is a good thing to do regardless if we don’t see the outcome of it or not.
What top scientists and top environmentalists such as respected men like Al Gore are asking us to do, are not absurd requests. Changing light bulbs in our house or sharing a bus instead of driving ourselves are not that hard to do. It would be much easier to make these gradual changes now than to wait until it is too late; and the changes we will then have to make are much more severe. The biggest issue we face involves being able to discipline ourselves everyday of our lives towards making the world we live in much more sustainable than it is in its current form. It is very hard for us as individuals to understand the difference that we can actually make, when we decide to do something about it. I have even caught myself not paying attention to my own actions many times. For example, it is very hard for us to understand what is happening to the environment when we throw that milk bottle away versus recycling it. We might not see any change at all in our own
lives other than the bottle physically being in the trashcan rather than the recycling bin. We think to ourselves that won’t make any Look at the earth from a 50,000-foot
difference, one bottle... But…
view. Look at 300,000,000 people everyday saying: “Oh it’s just one bottle I threw into the trash, no big deal…” I think you get the picture. From here forward, make sure to be conscious of what you are doing to the environment. This world that we call home, is no longer our grandparents or parents. This world, is Ours. We can’t jump
ship when things really start to get bad. We must take action. Another important thing to be aware of is what’s called the “real cost” of an item. That item can be anything from a t-shirt, a pair of shoes, or even a car. Growing up in the
United States and elsewhere, we tend to forget or not even know what the real cost of something is. My point being is this. There are so many items and things in our lives that we replace without even thinking. example. Socks for
When we dirty them or just don’t care to wash them, it
seems to be much easier to just go to the store and buy another 6 pack of socks to wear. easy. Take a second and think for yourself. Think to yourself how is it possible to get socks that are manufactured in China, brought to the U.S. and sold for a couple of bucks? The way that’s possible is that we don’t factor in anything other than price. We don’t factor the coal that was put into the air while manufacturing that pair of socks, the fuel burned by the cargo ship to bring them to the United States, the fuel burned by the truck to bring them to the store near your house, the wasted materials before and after manufacturing that pair, and so on. Not only that, but think that millions of pairs of socks were and are being produced this way. All because we are sometimes too lazy to It might cost us a couple of bucks. Sounds
wash the ones we have, or we don’t take the time to think about the actual impact we are really making.
The “Real cost” of SOCKS!
Now this example flow chart is referring to just socks. Stop reading for a second and think of how many items are produced like this everyday in the world. Think in your own life now about the “real cost” of an item next time you want to replace something because of laziness or incompetence. Again it is very hard to do this because of the way we live our day-to-day lives. But, like I said earlier, it is time to take action and discipline ourselves to make these changes. We might not see the difference when we recycle something or not, but the outcome is there. We cannot escape from this reality. This is our world and we are the ones who will be living in it. Make it an effort of yours to really make a difference.
I could write this entire book about the environment and the things we are doing wrong. However, I believe strongly that you
understand what is happening, and what we need to do to make change. My point in this chapter is not to lecture you, or make you feel guilty. It is to make sure that you understand that we desperately need leadership and change. This is our planet. The only one we will ever have. Let’s start to treat it that way. Top 8 Environmental things you can do right now to change the world (Why 8? Why Not?) (Need better list?) 1. Change every light bulb to a CFL light 2. 3 R’s, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle 3. Walk rather than drive 4. Turn off lights in rooms you are not using 5. Un-plug cables from the wall when not in use 6. Ride a bike instead of a car 7. Don’t let water run while brushing your teeth 8. Be conscious of what you can do that is helpful to the environment There are many other things you can do, than simply the list above. In no way is this list in any specific order. If it were,
number 8 is the most important.
We all hear about the
environment everyday, and how we should be living. From this day forward, pay attention to how you can treat the earth much
better. To not only treat the world much better, but take pride in the actions and steps you take.
Chapter 12 The View from an Airplane Window
One of my favorite things to do in life is to go flying.
purposely buy airplane tickets that have a layover somewhere far from my destination just to fly to more places and spend more time in the air. I do this strictly for the window seat. You might think it is bizarre, and to many it is. But I love it more than anything in the world
because of the view one sees beyond the window. It is a shame for all the people who don’t enjoy it like I do. There are too many people who despise flying, constantly popping a “Z-bar” to sleep or drinking the $5 dollar shots to ease the tension of the kid behind them hitting their chair like boxing practice, or using their head as an off-road course for the kid’s matchbox toy car. Regardless of all that, when you look out that window, the view of the earth is like nothing you’ve ever seen before. The view of the Earth is peaceful. It is a shame that the only peace we see on Earth, we have to look from 35,000 feet above. When you are at that height, looking out
of the window, you don’t see poverty, you don’t see fighting, you don’t see crying, you don’t see guns in use, you don’t see all the bad things the world produces everyday. What you do see is sunlight, a sky as blue as a deep ocean, beautiful white puffy clouds, land, water, mountains, desert, forests, and much more. I love flying because no matter what the weather is on the ground, when you reach the cruising altitude, it is the clearest, sunniest day you have ever seen in your entire life. The reason I have this love for flying is ironically the opposite. It keeps me grounded.
When I look out over the land below me, I am reminded of how small we are as human beings. I am reminded of the amount of land that surrounds us. I am reminded of the problems and issues we let get to us so much sometimes are really nothing. There are many things in my life that I stress and worry about a little too much. I promise you that what you are feeling and going through in your own life is very similar to what we are all dealing with. A lot of times we think that there is no way people understand what we have to deal with. We look at our friends and
colleagues, and we think there is no way they worry about that or this as much as we do. How come they don’t get stressed out about this or that? Or it’s unfair that I have to deal with this and they’re cruisin’ on Easy Street. Just know that we all share similar feelings and wonders
about stress, failure and other tedious things that tend to get to us sometimes. It is important however to remember the grand scale that this world really is. I want you to be comfortable in knowing that
whatever you are feeling or dealing with, you are not alone. There are times in all of our lives when we think the whole world is against us. No matter what we are doing that day, nothing is going our way. It is important to remember however, that there are people out there on this same planet that have it worse than us everyday of their lives. Planes have also taken me to places far away from my home. That being said, make it a point in your life to travel. Traveling is one of the greatest gifts you can give to yourself. Traveling will take you to all the places you want to see, whether that being Italy, Asia, Alaska, or whatever you are interested in seeing. Although it is great to see all these places, which I plan to do, the best thing traveling has done for me is given me a view of where I am from, from the outside. I was very fortunate with my first job out of college to travel to third world countries. You might be thinking that I worked for the
Peace Corp or something similar. It was actually the music business. Now you are probably thinking music business? I thought that meant Sunset Boulevard, rims on a car, and friends like Jay-Z, and to some, it might. But when I was hired, I was hired to research the feasibility of doing a concert in San Jose, Costa Rica.
Costa Rica is one of the most beautiful places on the face of the planet. I was fortunate enough to be sent down twice to the city of San Jose. These trips, opened more doors for me than any other
experience in my entire life. Going to San Jose was for the first time in my life, a real eye-opener. It was the first time I was immersed in a culture that is far less fortunate than the lifestyle I was accustomed to. Additionally, San Jose is not even bad compared to other places on the globe. When I landed, I traveled to the hotel. Once there, I tossed my bags onto the bed and looked out the window. My view was of nothing but shacks. Tin shacks built on top of one another with trash
everywhere. There was more trash in the streets and fields outside my window than I thought possible for any particular location. After the concert related meetings that day commenced, I went back to my hotel room and just watched out the window for hours, as the night began to blanket San Jose. Later on that night, one of the locals came out of the shack they were living in and started one of the piles of trash on fire. The pile of trash was the size of a semi truck without its trailer. I sat at that
window for hours watching this pile just blaze into the night as the embers climbed higher and higher into the sky, wondering if anyone was coming to put it out. No one came. Before that night, when I was checking into the hotel, there was a girl no older than you and I hunched down across the street. As I
watched her, she was freebasing drugs with a spoon to make it through the night. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw it. I thought that stuff only happened on episodes of CSI. Thinking of that and watching this fire blaze outside my hotel room, alone I sat there almost breaking down and crying in sadness. That trip is something I will never forget. That Sunday, I couldn’t wait to get back to the United States. When I got back and saw our towns and cities mirroring one another with a Starbucks and Home Depot every other block, it really made me put our problems into scale. We grow up in a world where we think people’s problems are the drama’s we see during an episode of MTV’s Sweet 16. We compare what we have with what everybody else has, we worry about our weight and we stress about what we don’t have. When in reality we are all already extremely fortune and lucky. than we could ever imagine. I had a girlfriend not too long ago that was a graduate of a university who thought Darfur was where all the celebrities are hanging out these days. That alone is a perfect example of what We already have more
needs to change in this world, our own lack of knowledge of what is really happening in this world. Unfortunately much of the world
watches movies and gets their news from the same source; our television sets. I think a lot of us don’t realize when we see something on television that somewhere in the world that is actually happening.
A lot of us see the terrible things in the world happening and we say “that’s too bad” and go about eating our dinner. myself, a lot of us are. I am guilty of it
Before going to San Jose, I saw poverty on
television, thought about it, and went on to watching MTV Cribs or something. The time is now for all of us to wake up and become a little more in tune with the world we are living in. Although planes can take us to places like this that really make us realize the world we are fortunate enough to live in, looking outside of an airplane window also gives us hope. When you look
outside the window of a plane you really see the beauty this world has to offer. There once was an astronaut who said, “We came all this way to explore the moon, and the most important thing is that we discovered the Earth.” The astronauts name was Bill Anders. Anders was on the moon bound Apollo 8 during the crazy years of the late 1960’s, 1968 to be exact. When the majority of astronauts return from space, they don’t talk about the G-forces they experience or talk about being strapped to the side of a rocket. The majority of them talk about the view. Not the view of the moon, or the stars or space, but of our own Earth. Just sitting there alone in the darkness, one side illuminated. No sound, no taste, no smell, just pure beauty; the blue from the oceans, the green 97
of the land, and the white of the clouds. That is all one can see from that distance. Now think to yourself, that is the world we fight over, the world we destroy, the world we abuse, the world we ignore. And we have done it for as long as humans have roamed the earth. When you look at how long the earth bas been around, and you compare that to how long we as humans have been here, we are on the path of destroying the earth in a millisecond. want our legacy to be. Right now, we have opportunity like never before. The I don’t think that is what we
opportunity lies in our knowledge. Unlike any other species on the face of this earth, we have been able to use our knowledge to avoid disaster while creating disaster at the same time. Make sure you use the knowledge that you have been given to make not just a world better, but our world better. This earth is the only one we will ever have. Together, let’s make the saying “its not too late” the closest we ever get to destroying this world permanently. Going back to the view from a plane, remember the size of our problems in the grand scheme of things. fortunate. We are all already very
Leaving our problems aside, let us spend our time and
energy on the positive things we have been given and use those to make the world a better place for all. Check-List 98
1. Remember the size of the world when we worry about the problems we do face. 2. Remember all the good things in our lives that we have already been blessed with 3. Remember and embrace the beauty this world DOES have. 4. Get a window seat next time you fly!
Chapter 13 NO can be your best friend – Trust your gut! First form of saying no: Pressure
We live in a world where saying no and doing the right thing can be the hardest decision we find ourselves ever having to make. We don’t mean for it to happen, or getting into a situation where it happens, it just does. This pressure can come when we least expect it, or when we do. It can come in any situation as well. It can be drugs, drinking and driving, a job situation, or simply a decision that hurts someone else. In high school, college, and just those years of growing up, there are ample times when we put ourselves in situations where saying no might not look cool. It might be going against the very crowd that we associate with. In my own experience, there are countless times where drugs were offered, getting a ride from someone who had too much to drink and so on occurres. During college, it happened all the time. It still does as a matter a fact. I found myself many times debating on what to do. I am sure you can relate. This peer pressure that we are put in and we don’t even mean to, it just happens. Throughout high school and college
though, I had many friends who are still my good friends today. However, many of them have several DUI’s (Driving under the influence), MIP’s (Minor’s in position of alcohol), and felonies. A lot of them are good people, but when it was time to make the right decision, they couldn’t step up to the plate. Now this chapter is not the lecture
to saying “No” to everything and the famous parent lecture of “Don’t do drugs.” This is all simply reassurance that you’re not alone in these situations we all encounter. They happen all the time. If you want to try pot or drink until you get sick, make sure it is solely you making that decision. Never, and I mean never do it because you feel
pressured to do so. A big problem I see with our generation unfortunately is drinking and driving. I don’t think it is just our generation, however, we can be the ones that make it stop. What people don’t understand about Many of us always think that A lot of people have the
drinking and driving is the outcome.
getting caught “won’t happen to me.”
mentality that someone was too drunk behind the wheel if they crash or hit something. In fact, I had an old roommate who would drive He
drunk all the time saying, “I’m all business behind the wheel.”
would make it home time after time and nothing would happen. The problem with this is not that people are getting away with it, but the fact we’re doing it. We may feel fine and act fine if we find ourselves
drunk or just over the limit according to the law. A lot of you might make it home time after time fine. You might drive perfectly fine the whole way with excessive use of the blinker and the radio turned off repeating to yourself, “we’re almost there, we’re almost there.” What many of us don’t understand is the fact that
we’re gambling our entire life while driving those few blocks home. It does not matter if you make it home or not. If you get pulled over the police don’t care at all how well you were driving. If you are over the limit you are finished. Alcohol impairs your feeling and ability. You might feel perfectly fine. But what you need to understand is what action you are
conducting. You are jeopardizing everything for that short drive home because you don’t want to leave your car at the bars, or sleep on the floor. I know how tempting it is when you want to sleep in your own bed. Trust me I have been there and fought the urge to just drive
home. But think of how hard you work in your life. Think of how long it takes to open a door to success, how long it takes to accomplish a task like a semester of college, think of how long it takes to gain the respect and trust of an employer you look up to. That 3-minute drive home can take it all away from you with no mercy whatsoever. If it is not the getting trouble part that bothers you, think of this: When a roommate of mine got a DUI, it took about a year of classes, court time and $12,000 in fees, classes, etc. That is a lot of money that a lot of people our age don’t have. Think of it in this way. Think what else at our age you can spend $12,000 on? You could go on an amazing vacation to the beach. Doesn’t that sound more appealing
than sitting in a room with a bunch of drunks taking classes for a year?
Remember they don’t just get you in trouble, they cost a LOT of money! We already live in an increasingly tough economy. And when we are applying for jobs, we will be background checked and monitored very closely. I have many very good friends who are very good people, but struggle in getting a good job simply because a one night in college where they weren’t thinking clearly. The pool of prospective employees is growing. It makes it very easy for employers to say no with this type of working environment. Even if we are a good person, anything bad on our records will hinder our ability somewhere down the road. Things like having a horrible night sleep on a wood floor because you didn’t drive under the influence home don’t show up on your background. Leaving your car down at the bars because you couldn’t drive home, don’t show up on your background. Putting a $20 dollar cab fare on Mr. Nice Card to get home, will not show up on your background. But making that one mistake and getting caught will be a skeleton in your closet for the rest of your life. It will do nothing but be a ball and shackle tied to your leg, keeping you from getting to the level you really want to achieve in life. I know this is a tough subject and it is hard to make this decision but, just remember how hard we are working at our age. Again its not 103
about crashing your car, it is about putting your entire life on the craps table. It can go away before we ever can stop and rewind the situation we are in. You can’t take this back. This is not a bad dream. It is real. And it is hard to believe it until it happens. Don’t wait until it does happen. We work to hard and we have too much potential to loose it all in a couple of seconds. As I am older now with more experience, and I know I still have a long way before I am so called a man with experience, I found saying no helpful in many aspects of my life, and not just peer pressure.
Second form of saying no: Job situation
My first job out of college was to be a freelance researcher for a very astute corporation out of Denver, Colorado. They hired me to
work with a non-profit they were looking at getting involved with. The non-profit was run by a very eccentric couple who were very good at selling the vision. I want to make it clear before I say anymore that in no way am I talking negatively about the non-profit whatsoever. Anyway, their goal was and is to create a billion acts of peace over the next ten years starting in 2008. They wanted to get the music
production company I worked for to become involved and help them with making this campaign of theirs a global production. On week one, I was about to loose my mind. The non-profit
office was a house in the outskirts of Denver where the majority of the staff meeting involved talking about who’s turn it was to take care of the cats in the office. I would be typing e-mails and a cat would be on my desk using my laptop as a back scratch. I wanted to freak out! Respecting the company that I work for tremendously, I did everything I could to learn about the business and what the non-profit wanted to do. Their first big goal was to do an 80,000 person venue stadium concert in Costa Rica to promote peace. With a show that
size, the company I work for was excited to be a part of this. That size show was what intrigued my boss to hire me with the potential to look into this partnership and project even further. After researching hour after hour, I came to the conclusion that the biggest venue in Costa Rica could only hold around 26,000 people. Saprissa Stadium is its name. I checked and re-checked the numbers and could not figure out where the 80,000 person stadium show could be that the non-profiteers said could happen. Not understanding it I had to ask where that number came from. The lady running the
organization pulled me aside and told me to pull up YouTube. I pulled up the screen and she told me to search Ricky Martin Saprissa Stadium. After searching, I found a video and watched it with the lady glaring over my shoulder. The footage was from a Costa Rican’s cell phone from the back row. The non-profit lady told me that Ricky Martin
sold the show out and to look at the footage, “doesn’t that look like 80,000 people?” She remarked. Shocked on that being the answer to the 80,000 people, there was nothing left for me to do but to say very slowly in my head “Oh… my… god…” This was my first job out of college. I was scared to death of loosing it. I wanted this concert to work no matter what. At first, I thought that if I couldn’t make it work, I was a failure and I wasn’t doing something right. I spent two or three months there and couldn’t make it work no matter what I tried. I even had the opportunity to fly down to Costa Rica twice to see it for my own eyes. After a couple of months of researching the feasibility of this project, it was time to have a meeting with the man who was paying me. It was a November afternoon. I sat in a room with the President of a very prestigious foundation in Denver, the CEO of the music company I was working for, and a top level investment manager of the company that hired me. It was these men who were all experienced, all extremely knowledgeable, and much older. Here I was at 22 years old, feeling like I was sitting at King Arthur’s roundtable. It was here, in this room, where scared to death, I opened my mouth and said, “No.” This no meaning my job, this no meaning hurting individuals’ feelings, this no deterring the outcome of the non-profits vision. This same no that built the trust and respect I earned with the gentlemen in that
room that day. Saying no that day to the people sitting in that room. Speaking confidently that I did not think they should get involved with this non-profit was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do in my life. But deep down, I knew it was the right thing to do. However, being very difficult to do, this “No” in the long run helped build trust while opening doors to achieve other goals of mine as I am moved forward with my life. I know there are times in all our lives where we never mean to put ourselves in a situation like this. It just happens. But thankfully we have a gut and our instincts. greatest gifts we have within. Our gut and instincts are one of the Whether we like it or not, they are
always right. We don’t always listen to it, not even I. But it is there for us. In your own life, use it. It is very important to listen to what our gut and instincts say to us. The power to have something within us that always knows what is right is a wonderful gift to have. This gift like others must be cherished and respected. A mentor of mine that I love and respect more than anything told me one day: “You must listen to your gut and instincts. You must not only listen, but also follow through
with what it says, by doing what is right. If you don’t, as you grow older, it will slowly go away and you will no longer have it.”
When I heard that statement for the first time, I found my body covered in tingling goose bumps purely from the power that statement hit me with. statement. I couldn’t believe in anything more true than that
I said it over to myself over and over that night, while
blown away at how big of an impact a simple statement like that could make in my life. It is my hope that this statement makes an impact on your life too. There are too many examples of people who loose their gut and instincts in life as they grow older because they are consumed with greed, peer pressure, or a sense of being lost in what they are truly passionate about. The Enron’s of the world, the Tyco’s and the list that goes on and on, are all sadly, at the end of the day, people who were at one point probably really good people, however they lost the ability to listen to their own self telling them what is right.
Third form of saying no: Expired relationships
In college I dated an amazing girl for a very long time. There is not a single thing that I can say badly about her. If I met her at a
different time in my life, I feel I could have married her. During college we dated close to two years. After those two years of dating we found ourselves going on and off for an additional year. That is where the no comes in. That third year was where I learned to say no when not
happy in a relationship.
When we dated it was magical.
broke up, it was one of the hardest things to ever go through. The first one always is. This break up was very difficult for the both of us. Once we decided to end the relationship, my ability to control myself went out the window. I found myself with a few drinks inside of me, calling her up to “hang out” when we all know where that leads. This happened time after time on both ends. Now, we would find
ourselves hanging out and doing things for the wrong reasons. I will admit that I wasn’t strong enough to just say no and move on. At our age and with our generation, we find this all over the place. We see people who are so-called “Facebook official” then they are on a break, then they spend the next year fighting and making up and fighting and making up. This constant state of stress once the
magic is over in a relationship is extremely un-healthy to both yourself and your partner. What I mean about saying no to love is this. Dating is amazing and being in love is one of the coolest, best things in the world, I know we all love being in love, having that special someone that we can’t stop text messaging and thinking about. However, if it doesn’t feel right, it isn’t right. Again, our gut knows the answer,
however we stay in these relationships because we don’t want to hurt the other. We try to cover our own pain by making the other happy. We can only cover our own unhappiness for so long before it builds up
and consumes our ability to be happy. It is extremely un-healthy to both parties to go through this. You must be honest to yourself and to your other. We are all too young to get caught up in this mess. It is unfair to both of you to date and be on a break and then try and make it work and then getting to drunk and yelling at one another and then crying. It is not good for the soul, and not good for the body. Don’t be afraid to love, don’t be afraid to fall for someone, but don’t be afraid to say no and be honest to yourself. Remember the plane window and how small our individual problems really are. In all honesty, there is no answer to love. I am way down the totem pole to even attempt to give the right answer. Love in my life has been all over the place. Look at any generation. Every generation is trying to find the answer. When you look at the divorce rate, the amount of our friends we see in this mess, even the amount of us who are caught up in this mess, I don’t think any of us have the right answer. However my answer is this. Honesty. You must be honest to yourself, and honest to your other. If it is working this way, enjoy it. You are much closer to love than many of us.
Fourth form of saying no: Sex
A very good friend of mine, not too long ago informed me that
she felt she was taken advantage one night. When talking to her about it, her excuse was… “Oh next time, I shouldn’t drink that much.” I will tell you right now that is not the right answer. One of the most Rape
serious issues in life that both men and women face is rape.
does not mean all what society makes it out to be. You can’t define it as jail time, court, coming forward on telling the truth and so on. Rape is the most under reported offense in the world and we must make a stop. Rape (noun) or (verb), - the crime, committed by someone, of forcing another person to have sexual intercourse with them without their consent and against their will, esp. by the threat or use of violence against them. Now, in that definition, which is verbatim out of a dictionary, it does not say jail time, it does not say that someone has to come forward to classify it as rape. It is the simple definition of forcing sex upon an individual’s will. It is around our age that the majority of us are learning about sex, having sex, or looking forward to the experience. We are also the generation that drinks excessive amounts of alcohol, too young for serious responsibility and extremely attracted to whomever peaks our interest. When we have all these elements and we mix them together, we are no longer using our best judgments. There are countless
examples of people excusing themselves by saying that “I was drunk.” or “Whatever, it happened.” But both of those are not the right
answer. This is a serious issue that affects many people our age more than we think. It doesn’t matter what the scenario is. If both parties are not in agreement, it should not happen. Now when saying no to rape, this DOES NOT mean it is the sole responsibility of the victim to say it, the no needs to come from the person committing it. I know how judgment is when we are drunk,
horny and so forth. It relates to the silly saying of thinking with the wrong head. But, for all of you out there, when you are in that
situation, one or both of you have had too much to drink, listen to yourself. Say “No” we should not be doing this. Sex can be the most amazing feeling and experience in the world. It should remain that and only that. Anybody out there who is just trying to get laid, or enjoy it for themselves, you are entering a dangerous world. Every human being on earth has the right to his or her own body. They are the sole owner and human who should decide what happens to them. This issue is more than me just telling you that this is another important issue to be aware of. It is not just important. Understanding this should be the only way we go about living and interacting with someone else. We are all young, young enough that we are still learning about ourselves. Everyday we are learning everything from what we are
attracted to, to how to become a much better player of the “The Game.” You know what game I am referring to: The whole game of
trying to out-smart the other half in getting them to like you while the entire time not understanding anything of what the other party is thinking, or what tricks they are playing against you to get you to like them, etc. Quite honestly, I don’t think we will ever figure that one out. That said, don’t be afraid to go out and “sow your oats” as people say. Don’t be afraid to meet as many people as you want. Just remember when you are in that
Don’t be afraid to party hard.
room with someone else and sex is on your mind, make the right decision! There is always a tomorrow if you are true to yourself and respect the other. Next time your in this situation, have the strength in yourself to do what is right.
Chapter 14 Exercise
With all of the world’s obstacles we face in our lives that drive us all crazy, the best escape I have found is through exercise. Exercising is the best thing you can do for yourself mentally as well as for your body. When you exercise your body releases what are called Endorphins scientifically, are endogenous opioid
biochemical compounds that are produced by the pituitary gland. What…? I know me too. In essence, our endorphins are simply a self-producing drug that makes the body feel good. The way you feel after a good work out are your endorphins in action. Knowing that, I have a saying that says: “You never feel guilty leaving the gym.”
baskets, or just walking, exercise is simply the best thing you can do for yourself. In my own personal life, I have found cycling to be that fit. Living in Boulder, CO, I was very fortunate to have the simplicity of getting out on the road and going for 20-30 mile rides everyday. It was my favorite time of day. Getting out on the road, you have time to clear your mind, and focus on the objective. You get a change to push yourself and take your muscles to exhaustion. When I had the
opportunity to go on a 30 mile ride, in Boulder, Colorado, I found it many times to be more than just exercise. Getting out and being in the fresh air and enjoying the scenery was also a part of the exercise. The places I was able to go were spectacular. Day after day, my
roommates and I would ride to towns like Jamestown or Lyons, Colorado. Regardless of the weather, on a solid bike ride, when you got back to the house and stretched down you felt amazing. In fact, going back to pushing the comfort zone, every summer during high school and the beginning of college, I would train and work up to do the Triple Bypass here in Colorado. The Triple Bypass ride was a one-day 120 ride from Evergreen, Colorado to Avon, Colorado. Over the course of a day you would climb over 10,000 vertical feet. The ride is held every July. But those summers I spent training for that ride, I never felt
For the majority of the world, it seems like exercise is a New Years Eve resolution that we seem to forget about come February, every year. Whether it is cycling, running or whatever you enjoy, it is important to make an effort to keep at it. Right now, America has never been fatter. generation, the generation that fixes this problem. Let’s make our We are young
enough to keep at it and live healthy lives. I know too many people who are in their twenties and are already experiencing heart problems, and people in their forties who are already having life threatening illnesses because of being out of shape. We live in a world where we see kids who are not even ten years of age and they are extremely obese. Our healthcare costs are already through the roof. When the answer to a lot of these problems are simply the action of taking care of our own bodies a little more and striving to live a healthier life. When it comes to exercising, I urge you to find something that you are passionate about and do it for exercise. With exercise, set
goals for yourself. Tell yourself you want to finish a marathon and train for it. Tell yourself that you want to be able to play 4 basketball games in a row at the gym without fatigue. You must set goals for yourself. Do whatever it takes, even if that means buying a running outfit and having the pride and confidence to exercise when you put it on, or a pair of shoes, or just a t-shirt you only where when you train. Or
getting yourself an in-expensive digital watch that has a chronograph, timing yourself to run for 5 minutes, 10 minutes, etc. improvement. Set a goal and meet it. Push yourself! What a lot of individuals don’t understand is what exercise can make them feel like. When you begin to exercise, the first few times or even days or weeks can be an unpleasant and painful experience. People then psychologically associate exercise with words like pain, cannot breathe, not fun, etc. Then the majority stops and goes about their routine without exercise. To make exercise feel good, and be beneficial for the body, you must break through this experience. We all go through it. It is okay if the first time you run, you can barely make it through a mile. Every journey begins with the first step. through this threshold. But so many people don’t break Track your
Once you break through this you will feel
endorphins and a high like none other. It is similar to my stretching example. For so long it was extremely painful. Now I can’t live without it. There are tons of gyms out there to join near you. Some of them like the YMCAs the 24 Hour Fitness’s, and Bally’s are very affordable too. Whether they are $40-60 a month, I promise you it will be the best $40-60 a month you spend.
Chapter 15 Don’t Compare Yourself. Be You. Be Unique.
I just wish I was…
When I was younger, I read a book called “Losing my Virginity.” It wasn’t a magazine I found under my dad’s mattress if that is what you are wondering. It was the story of one of my all time idols. A man named Richard Branson. He is the billionaire that created Virgin
Records, Virgin Airlines, Virgin Mobile, Virgin this and Virgin that. Since he was about our age until today, he has lived one of the craziest, extreme lives any human being can with many near death
experiences. Ever since I read his book, I have never in my life wanted to be like someone more than ever before. Not for the money or the fame, but for the adventure. However, after reading his book, I found myself constantly getting frustrated with myself. I kept comparing myself to Branson and where he was and what he was doing at our age. I felt like I was doing everything wrong if I wasn’t accomplishing the same amount that he was when he was 20, and then comparing when I was 21 and so on. In addition to Branson, I would look at people Like John Mayer. Watching him jam the guitar with the greats like Eric Clapton. All this idolizing would drive me crazy because I couldn’t understand why they had these great lives and nothing that amazing has happened to me yet. I wanted to jam like Eric Clapton or balloon around the world like Brasnon. I would question myself with things like: “Why didn’t I pick up a guitar when I was younger?” What this taught me however was the fact that thinking this way was very unhealthy. It is only taking away from my own energy to do something great. You and I are not Richard Branson, and we are
definitely not John Mayer. We are all unique individuals with our own purpose and outcome. I found this present in my life a little while back when Nike, the shoe company came out with a new advertisement 119
staring Lebron James.
The commercial was footage of James
throughout his basketball career all the way to when he started in the NBA. After watching this commercial, Lebron James ends the
commercial with saying “You don’t want to be me, you want to be better than me.” That struck me as if I was born again. What I realized is that
Richard Branson didn’t get to where he was by constantly comparing himself to others, he got to where he is because of passion and the ability to believe in himself. John Mayer didn’t become the guitar great because he constantly compared himself to others, Mayer had passion and he believed in himself. The same goes with you and I. If we spend our entire lives trying to play John Mayer songs or doing every step that Branson did, we will fail. We will not only fail, but we will live a life that frustrates us I know we all do it. I know we imagine all the time
thinking what it would be like to be someone else, but the fact it we never will be. When we are trying to do what others have
accomplished, we are forcing it and not letting our own ideas, minds and potential flow. When you try to force things, you will most likely fail and get let down. Then you will only get more frustrated and that much further from being great in your own life. Kobe Bryant, the basketball star was once asked in an 120
interview: “Kobe, do you think you’re the next Michael Jordan?” His reply: “No, I’m the first Kobe Bryant.” Have the same mentality! Coming back home after college and seeing the old gang of friends, would frustrate me tremendously. It would frustrate me so
much because every time all I would see was wasted potential. I would constantly see people who are afraid to jump to greater risks and heights. To make that leap of creating a great life for themselves, and living to their own full potential. Every time I would come home and ask what everybody was doing they all had the same answer. “I am going into real estate with my parents and living at home.” That
answer would make me cringe. First of all, there is nothing wrong with real estate. Real Estate is and can be a great business. I am not
saying anything badly about that. What frustrates me are the people who go out and get a premium college education and come right back home to get a job handed to them on a platter by their parents. I know that at our age we might not know what we want to do. Even I don’t. But seeing this with so many people I believe in bothered me. Deep down within, I have a tough time believing that settling like many of my friends have already done is what they truly want to do in life. I think many of them are afraid to make the jump in getting their own apartment, bills and 121
sense of responsibility. Leaving the life that they truly want to live in their dreams category because they are afraid to make the initial step in that direction. Be aware of this trap in your own life. You have way too much potential to not shoot for the stars everyday of your life. Promise yourself that you live life where you never wake up one day, when your forty, and say to yourself, “I wish I would have tried that or I know I could have done that.” I am sure that my friends will live a secure life, have a nice home while driving a nice car. But I worry for them when they wake up one day and are stuck in a life that they never meant to get involved with. We are young and the time is now to take action and go after our dreams. It gets much harder once we have a family, bills and a
mortgage. Things just change. That said. We all have a role is life. We all have a contribution to society. I want to make it clear that there is nothing wrong with any job that we take. We mustn’t look at the role of a janitor different than a CEO of a large corporation. We need both roles desperately. Jobs
don’t define us. Whether you’re a CEO or a skydive instructor, or a custodian, we are all human beings with ten fingers and ten toes with a mind and body full of potential. Whatever you want to be, be the best at it and your life will be fulfilled. This doesn’t mean that we all have to be extremely rich, suit 122
wearing people smoking cigars. Some of us will be mechanics. Some of us will be scientists, some athletes, and some of us in business, and some of us maybe a musician. What ever we do end up being, be
yourself, and be the best. It is okay if we are in high school, college or just finishing school. Its okay if you don’t even have a clue what you want to do. It is perfectly normal to feel this way. Its okay if we can’t play the guitar as good a Mayer when he was our age, or like Branson being on his way to founding Virgin Records. We have our own lives to live and our own goals to achieve. Don’t go after someone else’s
goals. Make your own and go after them.
No such thing as age
For a long time, similar to comparing myself, I have always been really frustrated with age. There have been countless times in my life where I have caught myself frustrated with my age. I would get
frustrated that I wasn’t 16 yet when all my friends were, and freely capable to drive, or when all my friends reached the age of 21, free to go to the bars while I sat at home. Not only was I comparing myself to my friends, I was also catching myself comparing my age to others. Saying to myself, when Richard Branson was this age, he already did this, or when Lance Armstrong was my age, he was already winning large bicycle races, well on his way to greatness.
We are all unique in our own ways and we all have a role in life. Some of us shine when we are kids and some may live 70 years before their lives work is complete. But through doing this, it is important to not waste energy on when it is going to happen. towards your own goals and be yourself. You must strive
I promise you that it will
happen when the time is right. But, don’t waste time comparing ages to someone else’s accomplishments. That is only wasting taking you further away from your goals.
Today, the world is moving faster than it ever has before. Throughout history, no matter what age we are at, we have never wanted things faster than we want them now. We all want the perfect job right away. We all want the car that costs more than a small house, we want the big homes and income that allows us to travel the world first class. However, at the same time, we spend more time and
energy now than any other time in history being frustrated because we don’t have it this very instant. I of all people am one of those who are very guilty of this problem. If I don’t receive something are achieve something the
second I expect it, I have been known to get extremely frustrated. I found this to be true in many aspects of my life. Going back and being
surrounded by successful people, I would always get frustrated with why I am not there yet and so on. I would forget all about being young and having all the time in the world. Whatever it was. Throughout my life, I found myself being inpatient with everything. Why can’t I just graduate? Why do I have to wait to eat dinner? Why can I be on vacation already? I am sure in your own life, there are plenty of examples that you can think of right now where you have been impatient. You might be wondering why you’re not done with this book yet. At least I felt that way while writing it. I grew up thinking that the second I would graduate college I would be an executive producer in music, live in Malibu, yell into a cell phone while driving in traffic, and making great money. Now none of that is true, but its not all false either. I don’t want to yell into a cell phone. But what I mean, is that it will all still come true, it just hasn’t happened yet. My problem however was when I graduated college, I was getting really frustrated and depressed that it wasn’t happening like I planned it out in my head. I spent days wondering and being frustrated on why it wasn’t happening vs. spending energy focused on how to make it. What I had to learn is the art of being patient. I I would just want it now.
learned that instead of wasting time and energy being frustrated about it, I would apply that energy toward still going after that goal.
With all of this impatience going on, it is very easy to recognize it in all aspects of our lives. When you become impatient about
something, you are doing nothing but creating negative energy onto yourself. By being impatient about something, that doesn’t make it
happen faster, it certainly doesn’t make it better or easier, and you only let yourself down even more if what you are looking forward to doesn’t happen at all. When you are impatient about something, you are only wasting time and energy. That said; don’t let impatience get in the way of your potential. We are all still very young, and we all have plenty of time to work everything out. When you learn the value of being patient, your
reward will only be that much greater when it does come.
Chapter 15 Our Mind is Everything
“I have been through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.” -Mark Twain
Our Mind is everything. What separates us from other
individuals is our mind, not our bodies. For the most part, we all have the same body. We have eyes, legs, arms, and hands. Some of us may be short, and some of us rather tall. Some of us are white and some of us are black. Some of us are Indian and some of us are something else. Some of us may be in wheel chairs, and some of us are tri-
athletes. However, we are all the same. What separates us, is the wild journey we take ourselves on in our mind. I can’t tell you the roller
coaster ride I have been on in my own mind other than I think you can relate. This especially involves our generation. We are going through so much right now, I am surprised that our heads haven’t already exploded. Think of all the stress we have and are going through right now? How are my college grades going to end up? Will I get that job? Did we have safe sex last night? Are my parents proud of me? What do I want to do in life? What am I going to do after college? Am I in love? What should I be doing? Should I travel? I am no better off now than I was three years ago financially, and now I’m 27! Even if you can’t relate to any of these questions, I am sure you have your own that bother you. But take a second and think about them. They are ALL in your mind. Your arms and legs don’t give a dam what you are thinking. They just do what they are told when you think for them to do something. That said; don’t spend your life driving your mind bonkers. We have too much potential and time to be our age and getting headaches from stressing about the future, what we are suppose to do and so on. We are young. Next time you have a million things racing in your
mind, take a second and breathe. Count to ten. We are too young to drive our mind up the wall. Whatever situation we are in, just know it will be ok. It will be okay later that day, or the next day. Remember
we are still very young. Our jobs are going to change, we are going to move again, we are going to deal with many problems again and again. But what you can do is not let them get to you. Know that everything will be okay. Learn to control your mind. There are many ways that I found to help me in my own crazy world to help control my mind. One of them is meditation. I know you have heard of it, but have you ever tried it? This doesn’t mean to wear a robe and listening to chanting music. You can do it in five or ten
minutes. I have found that if you spend even that little amount of time alone, taking deep breaths, visualizing your day or not thinking at all, you are benefiting your body and your mind. I want you to try this. From now on, everyday find some time to be alone, deep breathing spending time gathering your thoughts. This is no different than an NBA star visualizing a basketball shot before the game and sinking it like De ja vu in the fourth quarter.
Stress Did you know…
Did you know that the majority of the world suffers from stress? You’re not the only one. Stress is defined as a state of mental or
emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances. That seems like a normal Monday to me. No matter where we live, what our background is, and what we are currently doing, there are always things that seem to stress us out. I, among all people in this world am guilty of this one. There
have been countless times in my own life that I find myself stressing about anything. Almost as if I try to find something to stress about even when everything is okay. Think about it… We are either stressing about homework, paying bills, getting a job, why he or she is not text messaging back? what we look like, what we want to weigh, why won’t the bed head go away, and so on. Stop reading for a second and think right now. There is probably something on your mind that you are
stressing about this second. With all of this stress going on, did you know that stress can lead
to affecting the immune system, which protects us from many serious diseases? Did you know that antidepressants and anti anxiety
medications account for about a fourth of all prescriptions in the U.S. each year? These statements just go to show that you are not alone in these feelings. Stress is a serious thing that people our age deal with. In fact, people stress at all ages. At our age, we stress about school,
relationships, money, the next step in our lives and so on. When we get older, we stress about mortgage payments, car payments, relationships, family, retirement, debt and so on. As we grow, our
problems may change but we never get a break from the stress. That part always seems to be there. What we need to do is take care of the problem early so that it doesn’t lead to heart disease, high blood pressure and so on. It is hard to eliminate stress all together right away. The
healthiest thing you can do in the immediate future is to recognize the problem first. Then look at ways to understand and deal with the issue that you are going through. Think about when you break a bone.
When you break a bone, you go to the hospital, visit a doctor, get a cast and let it heal. If you break a bone, you would never say to your self, I am okay, I am going to deal with the pain on my own. I don’t need anybody else’s help. That may seem like a silly idea yet now
think about it when you apply it to stress. A lot of us try to deal with it on our own. We say to ourselves, I can deal with this pain, it will go away, I wont stress about this forever. We don’t think about ways to deal with stress and depression the same way we do when breaking a bone and going to a doctor. The majority of people think that there is something wrong with them if they need exterior help with dealing with their stress or depression. We think of counselors are nothing but people we go to when our parents get divorced or if we are made to go. It is okay however, to see counselors and doctors to deal with stress and depression just as much as a broken bone. Healing that bone will keep you healthy just like dealing with your stress. From here on out, learn to understand your stress. Learn to
understand why you may be depressed. From here on out, know that you are not alone, and that there are people out there to help. We can’t deal and solve every problem on our own. What we do have
control over, is our health. That is what you need to keep well. Don’t be afraid to ask for help in dealing with stress. It will only make you stronger and healthier. We are young. We have time left to
understand this and deal with it much better than people who don’t. Have the confidence to help yourself deal with emotions, depression, stress, or whatever else you find yourself dealing with.
Some days just suck. And there is nothing we can do to
avoid them. Sometimes we can’t help when they happen or how long it lasts. There are times in all of our lives where we are down right depressed. Understand however that
depression is a part of life. And there is nothing wrong with us when we have a bad day, or we’re feeling in the dumps. It happens to all of us all the time. There have been many days in my own life where I have thought the entire world was against me and there is nothing I can do to make it better. Spending days where all you feel like doing is sleeping. It might even be a beautiful sunny day but in your mind all your thinking is “Whatever, I don’t care, that doesn’t make the way I feel right now go away.” Many times when we are depressed, we think that we are a special case and that no one has ever felt depression like this. Saying to ourselves that our friends or family just don’t understand. Then we treat depression as if there is something wrong with us and that the only way to beat it is to deal with it on our own. Many of us think that by admitting that we are depressed, we are not strong enough on our own. We try to hide it from our friends and family saying things like
“Nothing is wrong, I’m just tired.” Then, with the small amount of money we do have, the last thing we want to do is go spend $100 bucks on a shrink where the first visit won’t do justice to the problem. Many times, at our age when dealing with depression we turn to the wrong sources for help. We turn to things like alcohol, drugs, or an aggressive and rude attitude towards our friends and family. When it come to alcohol, we may feel fine again after a few drinks, thinking the problem is gone. Sometimes when we drink to escape we then drink too much bringing the bad feelings back, and then with alcohol being a depressant anyways we become a real mess. Getting into arguments, yelling at friends, maybe even throwing or punching something. Punching drywall has always been a favorite to many people it seems like. Going down the avenue of trying to self-fix depression with alcohol, smoking, sleep, or avoiding others is not the answer. Whatever you are going through, you are not alone. We all feel that way sometimes. Don’t be afraid to talk about it and admit that you’re feeling down to a friend or a family member. Admitting that you are depressed does not define you; in fact it helps the recovery. Admitting it and talking about it and letting out the steam are all the healthy and right avenues to take when dealing with depression. I know it seams hard to do and it might not relate right now, 134
because we may not be feeling blue this very moment.
But it will
come again. We both will be depressed again. When it comes, don’t be afraid to handle it the proper way. yourself. Be strong and confident in The sun will rise
Whatever you are dealing with is okay.
again, and you will cherish a beautiful day once more.
Chapter 17 Balance
“The longer I live, the more I travel, the more I realize that: Intelligence, and effort, and ability, and dreams are evenly distributed across all of humanity in every country.” -Former U.S. President William J. Clinton – Clinton Global Initiative Speech Take a second and look around you. Stop reading for a second and become aware of your surroundings. Look out the window, watch the people around you walk by, listen to the sounds that are being created around you. Now think to yourself about being balanced.
Then think to yourself what in life is balanced? If you spend a moment thinking about it, you will come to learn that the things that have 136
lasted the longest in life are balanced. As there is a winter, there will be a summer. As there is a fall, there will always be a spring. Even more basic than that we have left and right, and up and down. We will always have those because they are balanced. Unfortunately, you don’t see humans on that list. A lot of us are already living good lives. However, these lives are at the expense of something or someone else. We might not see the destruction happening when we do something that is out of balance. In fact the majority of the things we do are not in balance. This
includes very basic things that are not even going against the norm. For example driving our car or putting our garbage in the dumpster. We seem to take our trash to the dumpster and that is the last we think about it. We don’t realize that all that waste has to go The
somewhere and somewhere on the same planet we live on.
exhaust from our cars has to go somewhere, the trash that we throw away has to go somewhere, and so on. In addition, the lights in our homes have to be powered from somewhere, the water that comes out of our sinks and baths has to come from somewhere. And all of this we are doing, we are doing it in an un-balanced way. We don’t think of it however, because the water is still running in our showers and the trash will still be picked up and taken away tomorrow. 137
The reason I put a quote by Former President Clinton in the beginning of this chapter is to make the following point. As we travel and we go beyond the towns and cities we are from, we realize just in fact how similar we all are. People in Africa have arms and legs just like people in the upper West side of Manhattan. People in India have the same beauty that one will see in Southern California. No matter where you go, we are all human. The problem however, is that the majority of us and other dominant countries are living lives that are at the expense of those who are in less fortunate areas. There is not a single child that has been brought into this world who asked to be born with AIDS. There is not a single child that was born who asked to grow up in a third world country. We are all brought into this world in ways none of us asked for. It is important to use the abilities and resources have been blessed with in our own lives to help the not so fortunate. Regardless of what we were brought into, it is not right or fair to live lives that come at the expense at others. Much of the world takes advantage of this by outsourcing a lot of manufacturing jobs that can be done much cheaper over seas. There are countless examples in
history with sweatshops, labor camps, horrible conditions in working zones in Asia, India, and so forth that are strictly used so that we can save a buck or two on that shirt we want to by or appliance that can
now be sold for a cheaper price. All of this is creating a world that is becoming much more unbalanced. We are depleting our resources and taking advantage of
others who are less fortunate than us to enjoy the lifestyle we are currently living. There is a famous law that I find important to point out.
The Law of the Iroquois Indians: “In every deliberation we must consider the impact on the seventh generation.”
The Iroquois Confederacy consisted of five nations of tribes. The fives nations consisted of the Cayuga, Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, and Seneca. When the Europeans first came to the new world, these tribes inhabited the land that is now the North East section of the Unites States as well as parts of Canada. We live in a world where we are very fortunate to begin with. It is time that we strive to live a more balanced life. Instead of taking advantage of others, we must use our advantage to help others. We need to help and create a more balanced world. In addition, we need to become more conscious of the lives we are currently living. This doesn’t mean becoming someone who
doesn’t do anything and never leaves the house, it means to be aware
of your surroundings and spending everyday trying to become and to live a more balanced life. I promise you that if you try this, you will see a difference over night.
Chapter 18 Wealth & Happiness
There was a book that I read not too long ago that really changed my life. The book was called Siddhartha. It is a simple 150-page book written by a gentleman named Hermann Hesse. The book is about a young man who leaves his family for a contemplative life. He bares a child who he leaves through boredom to live a life of greed. In the end he discovers a sound, a sound that changes his life to a new beginning. A beginning filled with peace, rejection, suffering and wisdom. This book found me in a very unique time in my life. reading this book, I was unhappy. Before
I just graduated college, I was
single, and I had the world at my fingertips. You think this would be one of the most amazing times of my life, yet I was miserable and scared to death. This structure that we are so accustomed to of school and summer break being over, I didn’t know what to do. I found myself getting caught up in this cycle of when I get that job, then I will be happy, when I have some money in the bank, then I
will be happy, when I move, then I will be happy. When I become rich, then I will be happy. It was then that I picked this book up and gave it a read. For me, my life turned upside down over night. First off, I really hope that you read it on your own list of books to read. What I learned from Siddhartha was after relating to the main character of going out on this journey and trying to find what we are looking for, yet having no idea what that is, I realized that life is the opposite. There has been study after study in regards to money and happiness. I have read these studies in every newspaper and Growing up, I always
magazine I could find for the longest time.
thought that money and not just money but when I had this or did that, then and only then would I be happy. However, all the results in these reports say the same thing. The answer is no, wealth does not bring happiness. Don’t get me wrong, there are very happy people who are wealthy, and there are people who will disagree with me. What I mean by this however is that you can’t and should not rely on external factors to make you happy. Don’t ever say to yourself “When I have that, then I will be happy, when I get that job, then I will be happy, when I get that promotion, then I will be happy, when I become rich, then I will be happy.” You will not only spend the
meantime un-happy, but you will also be let down when you do get this or that because it wont have the satisfaction you thought it would.
After reading that book, I found that life is much more fulfilled in the opposite. Wealth does not bring happiness, yet happiness
brings wealth. Let me say that one more time. Wealth does no bring happiness, yet happiness brings wealth. After reading that book, I
really tried to figure out what makes me happy and to do more of that. I found that by truly trying to make your own self happy, and really being happy, the rest of life tends to fall into place. For the rest of your life, I want you to practice this. I want you to not have the mentality of a new Range Rover will bring you happiness or a 42-inch TV. Don’t spend time relying on others to make you
happy, don’t spend time thinking materials will make you happy, really spend time focusing on what that is for you. Whether it is exercise, reading, love, friendship, or whatever. Find what makes you happy and become happy. There is no secret to happiness. It must come from within. I promise you that everything else in your life will fall into
place. Think of it. If you spend your entire life truly happy, the rest doesn’t matter whether you make those millions of dollars or not. There are plenty of people out there who do have millions but would give it all away for happiness.
Chapter 19 Shoot for Plan A but, have plan B-Z ready
When I graduated college in May of 2007 life was good. I
remember I was at a bar with a buddy of mine. This random guy came up to us and mumbled through his beer soaked breath “B e a u…. Be
c k l e y……!” Not having a clue of whom this guy was, I said “how are you doing? How do I know you?” “Beau… I was a substitute teacher for you in middle school. You were the only person that was nice to me.” My mind starting to recollect who this guy was I said back “Yeah how are you, what are you up to?” He mumbled back. “I’m great… I’m drunk and things are good.” “That’s good” I replied. He then asked me what I was up to these
days. I told him I just graduated from the University of Colorado, in and out in four years. His eyes then became the size of golf balls,
shouting…“You graduated from CU in four years? That’s like leaving a party at 10:00pm!!!!” He laughed and then returned to his beer. Now this story really has nothing to do with this chapter however it was really funny when it happened. During the last few months of school, I really felt that I had the world in my fingers. I was going to graduate college in May, spend the summer in Boulder, and then move to California in the fall to start a great job in the music business. And all of is was going to happen on my terms and my schedule. This was
my plan A. Graduation came and went and so did that summer. It was
August now and I started to panic. My life was already beginning to derail from the original plan I thought so powerfully would happen. After sending resume after resume to companies in California, I couldn’t find a job to save my life. August 15 th came around and my roommates and I had to move out of our apartment because our lease was up. I didn’t resign with them because I knew eventually I would move on to California or somewhere and didn’t want to be stuck in Boulder for another year. Out of the three of us, the two other
resigned to a smaller two bedroom place while I was going to stay with them for a maximum of two weeks on their couch. A month and a half later, I had my routine down on how to make that couch the most comfortable night sleep in the world. All this time went by and I was still staying with them. It was now that I was looking at my finances and realizing I really couldn’t afford to make the move to California and job hunt out there. Becoming more desperate, I used every resource that I built in my network now to line up job interviews in Denver now and Boulder. I no longer cared if I worked in the music business or not, I just wanted to get off the couch and stop living out of the same clothes in a suitcase. By now I think I was on Plan H, and still had nothing. Not being
able to sleep one night I emailed a very good friend of mine. The exact e-mail was:
John, 9-10-2007 I just wanted to write you because I am in a bit of a jam. In the condition of nothing working out with the Foundation, Gary was very kind to introduce me to a man named Ken Weil. He is the Deputy Chief Director of Policy and Initiatives for Governor Ritter here in Colorado. He and I met at the Capitol a little over a week ago to discuss an amazing project called Youth Ventures. He gave me the entire business plan to read over. It was the most amazing opportunity. I had a really tough time getting a hold of him after that. When I did, he said that he is sorry that the project is not moving forward as fast as he or I would like it to be going. And that I should pursue other opportunities. However, the Foundation and this project is all I was focused on. Im in the debate of should I make the move to California? Try to find something else in Denver? Stay in Boulder for a few more months to make some extra cash? Please forgive me for bothering you with this. I don't want you to feel like you have to give me the answer, im just in a bit of a fret. That is the latest with me. I have to work during the day but i can call you later if that works. Beau B.
Now I sent this e-mail at midnight thinking I wouldn’t talk to my friend John until the next day or week. John is one of the busiest men I know. However, he is a man that I can’t see myself living without. We first met on the Live 8 production in the summer of 2005. From there on, we created a very close friendship through trust and loyalty. Anyway, it was 1:00 am that night when he called back. That night we spent an hour on the phone talking about life and what was going on and what I wanted to do. I told him, I really didn’t know
anymore because nothing seemed to be working out. All I knew now is the fact that I wanted to be a leader. It didn’t really matter what
purpose anymore. I didn’t care if it was the music business or not. It
was this night and this conversation where I landed my first job out of college. Unbelievably grateful for this opportunity in my life, it was as far from anything than I ever imagined my first job being. This road
leading to my first job was a very scary time in my life. Living on a couch didn’t help. In your own life, don’t be afraid to shoot for your dreams, but be ready when they don’t happen on the exact road you intend to pursue. You will only be let down. This in no way means that you will not achieve your dream job; it just means to prepare for the unknown journey. In my life overall, nothing has changed from my
overall dreams. What I have learned though is dreams may come in bizarre ways you never thought possible. Prepare yourself to keep
going whether it is the road you thought you were going to pursue or not. Life is made up of stones in a stream that one will walk across. Take a second and think
about this. Think of the stones you have already crossed, and the ones you still have to make a leap towards. Stones can be jobs, friends,
contacts and opportunities. We live in a very fast paced world where things are changing faster than we ever think they would. In my own experience, I was really frustrated when my first job
ended after only a few months. It wasn’t that I did a bad job or got fired, the job just wasn’t meant to be. It really bothered me that in some sense, I worked myself out of a job by telling my boss that I didn’t think it was a good idea to get involved in a project based on my research. It bothered me wondering if I worked harder and tried a
different way, I could make the job last longer. Thinking about it one night I came to a conclusion. I realized that that specific job was only supposed to be exactly what it was. That job introduced me to During that first job I
someone that helped me get my next job.
learned skills that I would be able to take to my next. In conclusion, that is all that job was ever supposed to be. It was a stone that I
jumped to that helped put the next stone in life safely in range to jump to. In your life don’t get frustrated when a job, contact or friendship seems to not be working out. When one door closes, there will always be another that opens up. When a job does end or whatever the
situation is, think of the positive things you got out of it. You may have met someone that will help you with your next job. You may have Only
learned a skill that will make you stand out somewhere else.
spend time focusing on the positive things on each stone that you jump to on your own river.
Chapter 20 Don’t be ashamed of HARD WORK
In college I was as broke as a church mouse. But it didn’t bother me for a second when it came to figuring out ways to make extra money to cover bills and have ridiculous amounts of fun on the weekends. Not being one to sit around and dwell on not having any money. I hit the ground running and did everything I could think of. I can confidently say that I did everything you can think of during college to make extra money. I worked in retail, I cleaned houses, I babysat, catered parties, watched homes, walked dogs, drove cars from Boulder to Long Island, drove U-haul trucks from Aspen to Santa Barbara, cleaned up vomit, unclogged drains, replaced light bulbs, detailed cars, painted walls, cleaned windows, scaled latters, moped floors, fixed stereo equipment, electrocuted myself, removed dead animals, mulched gardens, removed Christmas lights, put on Christmas lights, filed letters, made returns, took kids to emergency rooms, 150
painted fences, cooked, built sand boxes, shipped boxes, grocery shopped, folded sheets, made beds, polished glasses and silverware, mowed lawns, organized garages, drove fancy cars, and still had plenty of time to study. A few of these things I find worth sharing in more detail because they have been memorable moments in my life. One of which is declogging shower drains. Let me tell you what. This could very well be one the hardest things and nastiest things ever. This would definitely be on Discovery Channel’s Dirty Jobs television show. My task for the day was to go around this house and unscrew the drain caps and clean out the gunk, hair and grime that had backed up the water for proper flowage. Doing this for your own drain can be worse enough. But
doing it for other people can be a very traumatic experience. I bit my lip and gave it everything I could. Not having sanitary gloves, I
wrapped my hands with trash bags and topped them off with duct tape. I looked like the Russian boxer in the Rocky movies with deflated gloves on about to give this shower drain hell. While I was cleaning it out, I about vomited myself. But I knew that if I did, I would have to clean that up to. I spared myself the extra work. The important part of that story however is although I was cleaning shower drains; I didn’t let it bother me. Not once did I think that my life has succumbed to being a drain cleaner. It was only the task that I was given to make the extra money I needed in college.
On the other hand, some of the other jobs have been an amazing experience. Through a friend of a friend I met a very nice lady who lived in Aspen, Colorado. She was moving to Santa Barbara, California, and was in desperate need of someone to help her. Being a single
mom she need the help of a strong guy to help her move couches, beds, and tables to California. This being the middle of the school
year, I skipped class on Thursday to take a Greyhound bus up to Aspen from Boulder. Being on one of the scariest bus rides of my life, I thought I was going to die. This bus driver drove like a mad man through the
mountain passes in a horrible whiteout snowstorm. Finally making it to Aspen I met up with my boss for the weekend. By then it was Friday and it was -6 degrees Fahrenheit all day. Let me tell you moving a
brass bed frame into a U-haul truck in those temperatures, I thought my hands were going to fall right off. By the time that truck was full, I couldn’t move from exhaustion and hypothermia! Waking up really
early on Saturday, I hit the road. In one day I drove a 17-foot U-haul truck from Aspen, Colorado all the way to the beach. I drove all the way to my uncle’s house in the Pacific Palisades in California. Stayed there for a free night’s rest and then met my boss in Santa Barbara the next day after she flew out and unloaded the truck. On Sunday, I flew home and was in class at 8am Monday morning. There was an amazing family that I worked for during college. To
this day they remain very good friends of mine. During the summer months, they would live in Long Island. To make this move for the
summer, my job was to drive their car with a U-haul trailer full of luggage and other stuff for them to their house in New York. Happy to do it, I have made the trans U.S. journey for them now three times. The last time I drove from Boulder to New York was one of the craziest experiences of my life. To do the drive from Boulder to New York takes three full days. These are not days where you drive from 9am to 5pm. You drive from sunup to sundown. You eat in the car and only stop for gas and bathroom breaks which you do at the same time. Driving this far by yourself really messes with your psyche a little. It is a long time to think and be by yourself, yet focusing immensely going 75mph pulling a U-Haul trailer. On the third day, the day I was going to reach the destination, I was at the border of Ohio and Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania takes a day in itself. Driving across
Excited to be on the last day of
driving, I had the destination in the trip computer and a Red Bull in my hand. I am ready to get to New York. The day goes by smoothly.
Driving across Pennsylvania is quite pleasant mostly because the roads the entire way are in pristine condition. Getting to the border of the state of New York, the GPS screen directed me into the Lincoln Tunnel. The last thing you want in life
after driving for three days is to be thrown into the Lincoln Tunnel. In
my case, it was too late. As I came out of the other side filled with exhaustion, I was dead smack in Manhattan, additionally the GPS lost signal while in the tunnel. I had no idea what direction to go. Here I am in an SUV, pulling a trailer in the middle of the thickest traffic I have ever seen. The GPS is yelling at me to make a left turn in 100 ft. I’m thinking I would be lucky enough to get one lane over in a mile. I am driving this SUV where I am used to being in the open lanes of Boulder, Colorado and now I am looking out the sun roof at the Trump Tower and then crossing through central park not having a clue of where I am going. The only savior I had was playing Enya on the stereo to keep my sanity. Two hours later, after battling out Manhattan, I made it across the island and back on to the road that went out to the North Fork of Long Island. Being in Manhattan driving an SUV with a trailer will be something I will never forget. All of this just to make some extra
money in college. I hope that these stories entertain you at the least. But if anything, I hope they teach you that there are millions of opportunities out there to make some extra money. Going to the University of Colorado and growing up in a ski town, I have met several people who will probably never have to work a hard day in their lives and good for them for not having to. However, for the rest of us, there is nothing wrong with hard work to get you by. There is nothing wrong with any job if it helps you stay afloat during the time
when you need extra money or waiting for a better job. Never spend time worrying about what others think if they see you cleaning toilets or mopping floors to get by. Anybody who does look down at you for doing so is not worth your time. You have your own life to live and own goals to reach, don’t let anything or anybody get you down along the journey. Remember a job doesn’t define you unless you let it.
Chapter 21 Everything is Sales
Take a second and think about the last time you went to the movies. You probably went with some friends or a family member.
One of you had to come up with which one everybody was going to see, and a good reason to see it. Whether it was you or someone else, you or they were selling everybody else on why they should see this particular movie. Whether you realize it or not, everything in life is sales. You are either selling yourself, selling an idea, or selling a product. Think about a job interview. During that interview, you are dressed up sharp,
handing the employer your resume and telling them why you are the person for the job. You are selling yourself to the employer. In life, you will encounter many times where you will catch yourself selling something. It is important to now how to sell it. To do 156
this, learn how to sell.
Practice selling an idea, practice selling a
product, but most importantly practice how to sell yourself. Learn how to read people and understand the situation you are in. And apply that to the sale. During my first real job interview, I was 13 years old. You were suppose to 14, but I was able to pull it off because of my height and size. My first job was to be a stock boy and folder for a Ralph Lauren store during the Holiday season. I remember it like it was yesterday. I sat there in the interview, looked the employer in the eye, and sold myself to him. I told him blatantly how and why I was the man for the job. After a lengthy job interview, I quickly learned that my job of selling didn’t stop there. Thinking for only a second that I did my job of selling myself, and now that time was over, I was wrong. To a musician or an actor, or a project manager, there is a saying. The saying is “You are only as good as your last job.” To a musician, if they have hit over hit and then they flop with their new single, that can hurt them to a certain extent. To an actor that has had several strong roles, if his last movie was not so good, that can take a beating on his repertoire. Although at this time in my life, I was only a folding boy and holiday season gift wrapper, the philosophy is the exact same. Everyday when I would show up to work, I had to impress my boss with my folding capability and gift-wrapping skills. It wasn’t like I could do
an amazing job of folding on Monday and then decide to chill out for the rest of the week. In addition to selling my boss that I was the man for the job, Ralph Lauren was also a clothing store. There were also guests that needed to be sold on items as well. Everywhere I looked, there was selling. No matter what I was doing, I was selling. Going back to my example of an actor or actress in a movie, before the film is created and produced, the actor or actress had to audition. This usually consists of sitting in a dark, unfamiliar room in front of several strangers and here you are reciting Shakespeare and you’ve never even met the guy. But, here you are selling yourself to those people on why you should be Richard the III. The two most important things to remember from this chapter is this. One, learn how to sell. Learn how to sell yourself, a product, or an idea. And second, learn how to follow through. Life doesn’t work very well if you don’t know how to do both. Back to the example of my first job, I was very capable of telling the employer why I was the man for the job, but if I wasn’t able to follow through and actually be good at gift wrapping and folding cashmere it wouldn’t have lasted very long. From here on out, become aware of this in every situation that you encounter. You come to find sales in your life being everywhere.
Chapter 22 Street Smarts. Pay attention to your surroundings
Chapter needs WORK! but had to get my ideas out I have a friend who is a genius. He is my age and he has He knows more about
accomplished more than anybody I know.
investing and money than many people twice his age on Wall Street. However, he would burn a frozen pizza if he tried to cook it. I put this example in because it makes me laugh just thinking about it. I hope this example puts a smile on your face as well. I am confident that you can relate to knowing someone in your own life who is like this. My point with this chapter is too remind you that having street smarts is just as important as the focused knowledge we have regardless of what field we are in. My definition of street smart is this. Street smarts involve everything in your life that help you become a more well-rounded person. Its all the basics that many people don’t take the time to learn. Examples are everything from how to boil an egg to driving a manual vehicle. The ultimate example, although he is a fictional character is James Bond. Although he is a fictional
character, he pays very close attention to everything around him; he can drive any type of car or fly any type of plane. Now I am not saying we need to have the same skills. However, James Bond is the perfect
example because his street smarts are very advanced. The best way I have found to learning street smarts is to simply be aware of your surroundings. We live in a very fast world where
things are constantly changing. It can be very hard to take the time and focus on your surroundings. Although we live in this fast pace
world, it is extremely important to focus on your surroundings. What I mean by that is to pay attention. For me street smarts are a bit of everything. Street smarts is the ability to understand how to read people, understand situations, and be on you’re A-game. The first example is the ability to read people. There has been many times in my life where I have had the opportunity to sit in on meetings with people of much more power than myself. During those meetings, I paid close attention to what every body said, what their moods were like, and the answers they had given to one another’s questions. By focusing on these traits alone, I knew exactly when it was appropriate to speak up and remain quiet. By
reading people, I also understood which people I could tell that were serious, which ones lied, and which ones are people I want to learn from. With street smarts, it is very important to think of everything. Going beyond the example of sitting in meetings with powerful business leaders, there are many other things that can contribute to your understanding of your environment based on your observation.
Let’s say you walk into an office building for a job interview. You can learn a lot about a company before you even meet who is interviewing you. You might wonder how and the answer is this. Pay very close attention to what the office looks like. Does it look like they spend a lot of money on useless things? How do people dress and welcome you? Are the plants in their office dead? How old are the magazines on the table in front of you? What’s the vibe like? There are countless ways to read the situation you are in. This example is nothing but to help you get a better feel and understanding of what you are about to get involved with. Reading situations is very important. Other street smart capabilities involve having the ability to be punctual. We live in a world with over six billion people. The
competition for jobs and promotions and everything else, is very difficult. To even begin to stand out to a teacher or employer, these basic skills must be mastered. The ability to be on time or even early will only help you with whatever you are doing. The ability to
understand directions and executing them without nagging your boss or teacher will only help you. The ability to be reliable to both a
teacher or boss will only help you. In essence, street smarts is the ability to be good at everything that surrounds you. Going back to my friend, he is a genius. But the simple things like driving in snow conditions or putting together a bowl of pasta are foreign to him solely because he is consumed by only
focusing on his knowledge of interest. With this in mind, focus on every environment and surrounding you are in. Try to learn how to do a bit of everything than focusing on one specific issue. This will not only make you a more rounded
individual, you will have the skills and capability for a wider range of tasks and opportunities. To name a few, the most important street smarts that I have found that help are these. Learn how to drive a manual car. You never know when a situation will arise where you have to drive one. There may come a day where you are the only one sober enough to drive. Don’t put your life at risk because you don’t know how to drive a stick. Learn how long it takes to get to places. Learn how to apply different factors like traffic, weather, or other conditions that can delay you. This will help you be on time when you are going to interviews, class, or a job you currently have. Learn the basics of cooking. We are at the age where it’s very easy to go to the local Chipotle and buy a burrito. You wouldn’t believe how much eating out adds up over time. If you know the basics of how to boil pasta, steam vegetables, boil potatoes, and cook chicken and fish, you will not only impress a date, you will save money in the process.
List of street smarts
Chapter 23 The Power of Positive Thinking
Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right. -Henry Ford Think of the last time in your life where everything seemed to work out perfectly. Whether it was playing a sport, or taking a test, or getting that parking spot right in the front row. There is a very good chance that before it happened, you saw it happening in your mind and you believed in it happening before it actually did in reality. You were doing nothing but thinking completely positive about the event and look what happened. It occurred just like you imagined it doing so. There are many times in our lives where things like this occur. We may not realize just how many times this does happen to us, but it
does. When you are not distracted by pears, or other factors, and you are completely believing in the moment, you will be surprised on how many times things actually turn out the way that you imagined. In high school, it was basketball season, more toward the end of the season for this story. It was February and we were two games
away from being the wild card to make it into the first round of state playoffs. We weren’t very good, and we played for a small mountain ski town school. Basketball at the time was not the most sought after sport to follow or to pay attention to at all. However, those facts didn’t bother the guys on the team including myself. With two games left, we had to play a team from Delta. Delta, Colorado is about as far a drive as you can make from where we were from without driving a circle around the entire state. However, we
loved it because in those days we were able to get out of class at 10am to travel all day for a night game. On Saturday morning, our team made the drive to Delta. If we won that game, we would be set to be the last team to make it into the playoff rounds. If we lost, we would have to drive back to Delta that following Tuesday to play them again. To this day, I can’t seem to figure out why that was how the schedule worked out, but it was, and it makes for an interesting story. That Saturday night, we lost so bad, we couldn’t wait to get back on the bus, get our $5 dollars for Wendy’s and get the heck out of there. It was a beating. Getting home that night around 1am, I
couldn’t wait to fall asleep and forget about the disaster of a game alltogether. Due to our loss that Saturday we had to make that entire drive again the following Tuesday. If we lost, our season would be over. If we won, we would be the last team allowed to make it to the state play-off tournament. practice again. When Monday came around, it was time to
The whole team, including myself suited up and
started warming up. The mood was very simple. We could just give up, goof around in practice and settle for a game we knew we were going to loose the next day. However, not a single person on the team that day wanted to make that horribly long drive all the way back down to Delta, CO and loose. We were not ready to jam ourselves in those smelly green and brown school bus seats with the split window that is uncomfortable to rest your head on unless you have an extra sweat shirt to lean against, with one heater in the rear putting out an odor of burnt rubber and hot steel. If we were going to have to make that trek again, we were going to get something out of the trip, and that something was a win. Excited to leave school that day before it even started, we loaded onto the bus with our poorly tied ties, our brown shoes with black belts, our pillows, disc-mans and pop-tarts. We were ready. The energy on the bus this trip was different than the one prior. There was no pressure on us. All we all wanted to do was win. We all believed
that we could. Tip-off was seven thirty that night. In the locker room before the game, there wasn’t a single person there that doubted this game. We knew what we made this drive for. All we could think of was not letting this team beat us twice. At half- time we were tied. All gathering back in the locker room, sweat beading off our nose and necks, we attentively listened to the coach and planed out the second half. When we left the locker room to head back out on the court, we chanted our team name louder that moment then we did during the entirety of the season. goose bumps in all of us as we ran back out onto the court. With another half of back-and-forth basketball the time was running out. They got a point and then we answered right back. The clock eventually ran out of time leaving us up by two points. The team exploded off the bench jumping up and down as if we had won March Madness. And although we were a small mountain town basketball There were
team, this win gave us the excitement and joy and feeling no different to if we had really won March Madness. We screamed and jumped and yelled and hugged. To this day, it is one my most favorite memories to look back on. The next weekend we were beaten in the first round of the tournament so bad, that our school was not invited back the next two years. No, I am kidding but it was bad. However, it didn’t matter to a
single one of us. That year we already were champions. We won the game we wanted to win. My point to this story goes back to thinking positive. Everyone on that basketball team could have very easily thrown in the towel and called it quits. We all could have made that long bus trip back to Delta knowing we were going to loose, where the only thing we celebrated that day is the fact that we didn’t have to go to chemistry class. But fortunately that’s not what happened. Everyone on that team believed we could win. The energy that day was in our favor. By thinking
positive, there wasn’t a single obstacle in our way that day in favor of loosing. Now you may think this story was a silly basketball game between two small high school towns in the state of Colorado. And if you believe that, you are right, but, the concept behind the story is the exact same no matter what you apply it to. Whether it’s a goal at
work, a desired weight to be, or any other goal. If you truly believe in yourself accomplishing it, you will achieve it. Even if everybody around you thinks your crazy, if you truly are believing and thinking positive, any goal of yours will come true. From this day forward, practice thinking positive in everything you do. Practice being positive; starting when you wake up every
morning to the time you go to bed. If you practice this, your life will change over night. You will start to notice how more things you believe
in start to come true. Going back to the opening quote in this chapter, talking about whether you think you can or can’t, you are right. A lot of people everyday say to themselves that they will never be rich or never be happy. And guess what? There are a lot of people everyday that are not rich and not happy. On the other hand, there are other people who believe they are going to be successful no matter what it takes. And those people, one hundred percent of the time become successful. They think positive about what they want, they believe and see it happening in their mind, and they go after it until they’re satisfied. You should follow the same model. Never think to yourself that you can’t do something or you can’t achieve something. Just like I quoted Henry Ford, whether you think you can or can’t, you’re right!
Chapter 24 Be Ready
“Don’t have a meeting to discuss when you are going to have a meeting.” -Beau Beckley
Both during college and my first job after, there is one thing that sticks out that would really make me cringe. That problem involved people not being ready when it was time to meet. During college, I found this being a problem during the process of founding the Colorado Creed. During my first job, I found it being an issue with the founders of the organization I worked with. During college, my time spent writing and creating the Creed with other outstanding students is one of the best memories I have to date. Creating the Colorado Creed has opened more doors for me than I have ever imagined. Little do people know however is the process to where it is now took a very long time. During the days of writing and creating the Creed, the founding members, including myself found the task of finding a time each week that worked for all of us to meet was very difficult. Trying to find a time for six or seven college students to meet any day was impossible regardless of what their objective was. Anyway, the time that we did
find was very valuable. The problem however, was during this precious time we had together, we spent about 80% of the time discussing about the next time we were going to meet. This happened week after week, where very little was getting done. Additionally, we had very important faculty members working on this with us and to waste their time as much as we did was unacceptable. Whether you are working on a school project, working with a club group, or executing a task in the job world, be ready to present. Do not, and I repeat do not waste peoples time, especially your own. When you find your self in a meeting or a group project, make sure that time is spent being productive. During my first job out of college, I worked with two people who I absolutely adore and love; yet they are some of the craziest people I have ever met. Although I love them, I was shocked to see this same mistake being made in the real working world with big time players involved. There is one example that really sticks out to me. While working with them, I set up a meeting with a very powerful man in downtown Denver. This man is a good friend of mine who is a president to a very prestigious foundation in Denver. The meeting was scheduled for
9:30am. To find the free time from my friend alone is a very big deal. He already has a full plate of things to be doing everyday as it is. At 9:30am everybody called into the conference line and broke
the ice with some sensible humor and a brief talk of the weather and then the meeting was going to begin. Yet that was it, after that there was nothing but dead air. Then the discussion became the topic of
when we were going to have a meeting. This is all happening while I am panicking in my head thinking this is the meeting, how could you guys not be ready?!? Here I am after setting up this time for the two people to have a meeting, and they discuss what time is good to meet. I hope that by reading these examples you understand how important it is to not waste peoples time while being ready when it is your time to present. Whether you are the president of the United
States or a custodian at night, our time is valuable. Everyone deserves that in respect. ADD?
Chapter 25 The X-Factor
There are millions of people out in the world who are frustrated. They are frustrated because they don’t understand why they haven’t made it, with what ever the definition to them of “making it is.” For most, it is because they don’t have what I like to refer to as “the Xfactor.” What I mean by this is the following. Many people no matter what they are doing, whether it is playing an athletic game, or at their job, or in a relationship don’t give it everything they have. Many times it is difficult because we think we are giving the task everything we have, but in reality we are not. Lance Armstrong won the Tour De France 7 years in a row. Regardless of what he has been accused of with doping, or whatever else people throw his way, Lance is a champion. The ability to
discipline yourself, stay healthy, and not have a crash that hinders
your ability to ride is a miracle. It is also the case of having the biggest X-factor in the world. What made Lance the best, was not only that he was one of the best cyclists in the world, it was his ability to know in his mind and heart that he was willing to work harder than any other cyclist in the race. For Lance, it didn’t matter how much pain he was in he kept on riding. For Lance, it didn’t matter how steep or long the climb was, he kept going. That fact that he kept going, was his x-factor in play. When you have the ability to control your mind and believe you can put in that 1 degree more effort than everybody else, you will become a champion at whatever you do. Arnold Schwartzenager also known as the Terminator, also known as the Governor of (Khal –E-Forn –E- Ya!), is a champion. Similar to Lance, he is a champion because of his x-factor. Arnold has applied this x-factor to everything he has done in life. One of the best documentaries in the world to date is one called “Pumping Iron.” If you haven’t seen it, I suggest you rent it tonight. After watching that video, you will want to start pumping iron straight away. The documentary is about Arnold on his way to getting ready for the Mr. Olympia competition. The documentary follows Arnold around as he is preparing to compete against a gentle man named Lou Ferrigno. During this movie, Arnold talks about why he is the best. And
quite frankly, I think he is right. What he talks about in the movie on why he is the best is due to his ability to go that extra mile. He didn’t care if he passes out from lifting too much, he didn’t care how much pain he is in, Arnold would say, “It is in the 11th and 12th rep that the muscle is growing.” His belief and ability to follow through has made him the champion that he is today. The rule of the X-factor applies no matter what you are doing. Whether you are Eric Clapton on the guitar, or Lance Armstrong, or Arnold Schwarzenagger, all these people have the ability to practice that extra hour, or push themselves with guitar chords that can’t be reached. The X-factor is very similar to the chapter if you go back on pushing your comfort zone. What ever you find yourself doing. You must apply the X-factor to be the best. Everyone around you can do a good job, even a great job. But to be the best, you must have the X-factor within. We are
young and we still have our entire lives to using the X-factor. Whether you want to play an instrument, be the best in a sporting game, or the smartest financial investor of our generation, you will only get there by applying the x-factor.
Chapter 26 Communication
Today we have more ways of communicating with one another like never before. Think about in your day to day life, how many different ways we communicate with each other, we text, we Facebook, we call, we email, we MySpace, we mail and we Instant message each other. Yet, with all of these technologies we have, we are no better off with getting our message or point across. We live in a world where the colon and the parenthesis are only used to make happy faces or a wink in a text message. We live in a world where a word that is bold or capitalized can mean that we are angered or excited. All of these are examples of just how many ways we have to get our feelings and messages across. With all of these ways of communicating with each other, it has not made our ability to get the meaning of the message across any easier or clearer, in fact, many of the ways that we communicate, we
are hindering about ability to get the meaning across on what we are trying to say. That said, communication is a very important tool to be good at. The difference between being clear or not can lead to or avoid an argument, a job opportunity or whatever else. A lot of the time, we as humans just assume that we know what the other person is thinking and we say what we need to say thinking that, which many times leads to a misunderstanding. The ability to communicate properly is a very good tool to have in life.
Chapter 27 Follow Through!
Writing this book for me has been a personal journey in itself.
Chapter 28 I Wonder What if?
We are all young and the world is still to be ours. We have time to invest and be smart about our money, we have time to learn and study a field that peeks our interest, we can take risks, and travel to the far ends of the earth. That said, from this day forward live your life never wondering what if? That is the single most important value that I want you to get from this book. wonder what if when its too late. From this day forward live your life doing exactly what you want. Don’t let a day go by where you wonder what if you said something? What if you traveled to Europe? What if you followed through with that idea? Life is way too short to let it slip between your fingers. I know we all have goals and dreams that we want to reach. However, you keep them in your life as only goals and dreams, they will never come true. It is like my saying “an empire that is only talked about, never Billions of people grow up and
gets built.” Whatever your own dreams and aspirations are, go after them. Don’t let a single person in this world tell you can’t do something, or you will never be able to achieve it. Take a second and look at the people who have made it great. They are no different than you and I. The only thing that makes them who they are today, is their belief that they will succeed. The Richard Bransons, and the Bill Bradleys and the Michael Jordans of today are where they are because the believed and went after their goals and dreams everyday of their lives. We can do that to. And if we do, just think of the possibilities of where we will end up. Every single one of us have the capability of doing magnificent things in this world. Every one of us deserves to do extraordinary
things in this world. I hope that by reading this book you get at least one thing that helps you on your own journey. And although you and I may never meet face to face, although I would love to more than anything in the world. If you get the values and the words to live by in this book, I believe in you as much as you believe in yourself. I hope you take this book with you on your own path. Share it with the people you know who need help. This is the only world we live in. It is the only world we’ve got. It is time that we take charge and raise the standard of living for everybody. From this day forward, even if it’s Monday morning, start
living the life of your dreams. Go after your goals and don’t quit until you have succeeded. Remember the values and words in this book Remember them when things are good.
when times are hard.
Remember them when you have failed and the whole world seems to be against you. Remember them when you feel alone, and remember them when your in the spot light. Remember them when you are
stressed or miserable. Remember them when you couldn’t be happier. If we all step up to the plate and we execute these values and standard of living, just think of the possibilities. -Your friend Beau M. Beckley
Ideas while I write Don’t waste other peoples time What if? Compassion Forgiveness Love* Environment* -Recycle, lights, re-use etc. Confidence - It only feeds itself Thinking Possitive Create a board of directors Values Practice Don’t compare yourself Plane window Street smarts. NO can be your best friend There is no such thing as age Goal setting Don’t be ashamed of hard work Push your comfort zone
Exercise Be nice to the gate keeper Read and Write Find goal Never say I can’t Put money away Network Right people Passion Honesty Humor Live large Karma Give
Its an answer book. It’s a road map for success for a young man or woman who has extreme potential, yet is lost in the post college, structured world. Gives the power Weapons to understand the battle that they are about to face. Knowledge given to them Don’t get trapped in loans and debt, etc.
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