You’re reading this sentence. Done. A couple seconds is all the time that you get.
Someone’s walking across the stage. You hand them a diploma. You shake their hand. And now you say something that they can take with them as they finish college and enter the real world.
You have a couple seconds.
What would you say?
This is the scenario that Chris ‘Drama’ Pfaff gave to his guests on the (very special) 100th episode of his podcast (YouTube, iTunes), Short Story Long. Three of his favorite guests (Keven Stirdivant, Tom Bilyeu, and Rob Dyrdek) come back on to have a discussion together.
Through 100 episode, Drama’s become great at interviewing people. He steers the conversation really well to create two solid hours of wisdom.
I’m sure I’ll write a few more posts about this episode but the first thing I wanted to write about was their answers to this question.
My question is this: In the spirit of college graduation, if you could have two seconds with a kid who just walked off the stage at his college graduation, and tell him anything, what would you tell that person?
Keven Stirdivant: “Stick to your gift”
One thing that I really enjoyed here is that Keven starts with “stick to your craft” but makes it more specific and says “stick to your gift”.
He doesn’t say passion.
And he explains that he can be as passionate about basketball as anyone on the planet and it won’t get him to the NBA. You have something in your life that comes easier to you than it does for other people. Whether you believe it’s god’s gift or that you were raised in the environment doesn’t really matter: you have something that you excel at.
If you pursue that, you’ll have a career that will allow you to pursue your passion on the side.
Idan Ravin was passionate about basketball. Best player on his his school squad.
“I’m not going to pursue another career, I’m passionate about basketball and I’m going to play in college and then the NBA and it’s that way or the highway.”
Guess who said that? Not him.
Didn’t get to play a minute in college. Studied law and was good enough to be a working attorney. He still stayed passionate about basketball. He started coaching at lower levels and fast forward a few years and he’s in an Adidas commercial training Carmelo Anthony.
(It’s not exactly an overnight path to go from lawyer to doing private training sessions with Carmelo and LeBron. Check out my video about his book, The Hoops Whisperer, for more.)
Tom Bilyeau: “What you build your self-esteem around matters”
Alfred, I have this CEO job at Wayne Enterprises but it’s not really making me happy, what should I do?
“Endure.” – Alfred, if he’s like your parents
Tom tells a story about a job that sounds like a job everyone has at some point. If you’re a new college grad, you might be stepping right off the stage and into one of these kinds of jobs.
You have a job that pays the bills and has a path up the ladder, but it doesn’t make you happy. There are different levels of this. The lower levels can be bearable for an entire career.
At a certain level, you need to stop and consider leaving.
Tom looked at his situation. There were two options:
- Just feel good: Leave this company because he felt he couldn’t add value
- Not worry about feeling good: Clearly unsustainable
He went with the third option that many people would miss: “Change what I feel good about myself for.”
Rob Dyrdek: “I’m a big believer in Tony Robbins’s theory on this one. That’s the idea of the earlier you figure out what you want to master, the better.”
Clarity, clarity, clarity. That’s a huge theme in this episode.
It can take a lot of time to find clarity. (For instance, some people never find it in their lives.) But it’s worth the time you put into it.
When you know what you want to master, then you’re able to get through the day to day. With clarity, you’ll be able to plan well and know what you need to focus on at every level.
If you want to succeed, there are going to be challenges. You might want to quit. But if you can align what you’re doing to a clear vision, then you’ll be able to—like Alfred would suggest—endure.
With that clear vision, you can skip some dead ends. Yes, there are lessons in challenges. But it’s a better use of time skipping some challenges to get to the harder ones. (Don’t worry, the world will never run out of challenges to give you.)
All of that is from like 10 minutes of the episode
Now I’m gonna go listen to some podcasts so that I can continue pursuing my gift: saying “I heard this on a podcast…”