Have you ever been at work uninspired, disengaged, and bored? Time creeps by one agonizing second at a time. Many years ago before I was a keynote speaker, I was in my cubicle at work and started to yawn. Thinking it was almost lunch and lacking any motivation, I glanced at my watch. 9:17 AM. What?! It felt like I had been sitting in my little felt box for at least five hours. Ugh.
I recently delivered a keynote speech to a very successful high-tech company. Their senior leadership was meeting for a two-day planning session which allowed them to also spend time together bonding and building deeper team relationships.
One reoccurring challenge I often hear from elite organizations is their never-ending struggle to make the right decision to help them attract and retain top talent. And this business was no different.
I had never been sick a day in my life until at age 34 I found “the lump”. I had testicular cancer. Less than 24 hours after my initial diagnosis, I had emergency surgery to remove my right testicle.
Following three months of brutally aggressive chemotherapy, I needed one more procedure to be cancer-free: Surgery to remove half of my left lung. The surgery was successful. However, I was left confined to a wheelchair unable to do ANYTHING, including going to the bathroom by myself.
Several years ago, I followed the common business advice of the day on how to pursue your passion. First, find something you’re truly passionate about. Second, pursue it obsessively. And then third, become wildly successful and wealthy! Easy, right? All you have to do is work longer and harder than anyone else. Be smarter and stronger than everyone. Sacrifice everything to achieve your dream.
My Aikido martial arts academy attracts a lot of high-powered students in Washington, D.C. I have State Department employees studying with me, FBI and CIA agents, U.S. and foreign diplomats, all sorts of people part of the country’s — and the world’s — power structure.