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3 Thoughts on Life and Careers December 27, 2010

Posted by David Dirks in Achieving goals.
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Last May of 2010, I was honored with the privilege to give a keynote speech at a local community college.  Not wanting to be long winded but still aiming to have an impact on these young graduates, I thought long and hard for the right message.  I ended up focusing on three points that have made a huge difference in my life both personally and professionally.  As we close another year, I thought I’d share these with you.  Here are the three thoughts I had shared in my keynote:

1.  Never stop learning. In 1980, with the advice and encouragement of one of my business professors here on campus, I paid for and attended my very first professional seminar in NYC.  There I was, in the big Apple, a 19-year-old sitting in a workshop on communication skills with people who were already well into their careers.  It was a great experience for a budding business student like myself and it established the foundation of my communications skills that I would use for years to come.  It marked the beginning of literally hundreds of workshops and seminars I would take after that.  A passion for lifelong learning will serve you well, especially in your careers.

2. What the mind can conceive, man can achieve. That phrase is from Earl Nightingale’s “The Strangest Secret”,  which we studied here in one of my business classes.  It was here 30 years ago, that I learned the fundamental truth that if you can see yourself accomplishing a goal in life, you can achieve it.  What your mind can conceive, you can achieve.

The only person who can stop you from achieving your goals in life is you.  Consider your academic achievement here today as a stepping stone for greater achievement tomorrow.

3.  Be able to communicate your ideas clearly and with passion. I’m often asked what skill has helped me the most in my career and my answer is always the same:  communication skills.  It doesn’t matter what field you find yourself pursuing, if you can communicate in a dynamic, clear, and passionate way, you will differentiate yourself from your peers.  Take every opportunity that comes your way to give a presentation or speech and do it.  Practice does make perfect.