To build something great, it’s gotta be bigger than you. It’s gotta serve more than your wallet, or your resume, or your ego. It’s gotta ignite more than your own passions.
The “experts” say it just needs to solve a problem. But I believe it has to make a difference. It’s gotta truly help people.
Sure, your own financial success most definitely can/should be a part of it. Pursuit of personal legacy or celebrity or influence may play a role. Yes, you should enjoy it. And of course you want to make your mama proud.
But the larger purpose, the greater mission, has got to be about others.
It has to be more about meaning than money.
It has to be more about fulfillment than fame. And it’s gotta be a lot more giving than getting.
Those are the missions worth fighting for… Those are the missions that make you feel alive.
In every part of life, you lose more than you win.
Business, entrepreneurship, sports, relationships. No matter who you are or what you’re chasing, life has an uncanny way of kicking your a$$. And, the bigger the stages and bolder the places you pursue, the more punches you take.
But life is not about sliding through unscathed.
It’s about breaking free in a body of beautiful bruises and hard-earned scars. It’s about keeping your heart clean and your mind clear, while you crawl through the dirt and destruction. It’s about growing thick skin and concrete ears, so you can ignore the hecklers and haters on the sidelines.
It’s about believing in yourself and your vision so much, so passionately – so delusionally – that you are crazy enough to keep creating.
Because FAILURE is not only part of the Path, it’s an enabler of it. Losing is the only way.
All those hits make you a better fighter. All those falls make you a better climber. And each time you sink, you learn how great you swim. So when you lose, take a moment to absorb, reflect, learn, and be grateful…
Then, keep going. You’re right where you’re supposed to be.
Two weeks ago we decided to come down to Houston and help. The impact of Hurricane Harvey hit home. We knew our help would be small. But we believed that little things can make a big difference in times of need. An unexpected lift. A helping hand. A comforting conversation.
People came together. Strangers became saviors. Distant neighbors became lifelong friends. A city rich in contrasting colors spilled into the streets with total disregard for tints or pigments. A Muslim boy gave blankets to a Catholic woman. A white cop helped a black family onto his boat. A liberal pulled sheetrock out of a conservative’s walls. No one asked for documentation or green cards.
We learned a lot, but remembered even more. Core values and shared beliefs that were somehow lost or buried or forgotten, all washed up on our doorstep. People became people again. And we waded in our sameness. Our tears flowed in the same direction. Our smiles were the same shape. And, when life was flooded, we all reached for the same thing: each other.
Boats were sent for animals and loved ones. Family heirlooms and wedding albums were pulled out of windows. Silent memoirs were plucked from soaking shelves. Cars and clothes and TVs and toys and fine china and pricey furniture were left to float on their own. In the moments where life mattered most, we all remembered what really mattered.
With as much damage and destruction that our city and state endured the past 9 days, I hope a little of what was in that rain remains. I hope it soaked into all of us – just enough to move forward without forgetting what it left behind. And, when the streets are dry, and homes are rebuilt, and strangers become strangers again, I hope we remember what was in that Water.
When I was 15, and bussing tables at the neighborhood Fuddruckers, my dad would come by every Sunday and order a burger and fries during my shift.
When I was 19, at the The University of Texas at Austin, and decided to major in Communications instead of Medicine or Engineering like the rest of my family, my dad told me the words on the “paper” (diploma) didn’t matter, my happiness did.