Had the opportunity to hear Eric Saperston speak the other day. He was a breath of fresh and inspiring air. He is a free spirit who went on a quest to discover the secret of success. All of this was the focus of a documentary film call The Journey. Eric is such a cool and down to earth guy who walks the talk.
He literally followed this Chinese proverb:
To know the road ahead ask those coming back.
Here's the essence I gleaned from his talk.
- Live a Life of Wonder—Seek experiences, people that test your limits that make you think, that define your dreams. Live in awe by pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. Find and then pursue the "what" you want to do.
- Live an Open Life—Do you have the courage and confidence to ask for help? To know when you don't know and seek assistance. Eric says too many people think they can "fake it til the make it." He met John Portman, a famous architect, on his journey. Mr Portman said, "An open life is yours if you have the courage to ask for help."
- Speak your Possibility—Clearly articulate the "what". Your dream, your goals, your aspirations. Talk about what you want and engage others in your quest. Ask for help, advice, for role models. Tell your story and where it is going.
Succinct and relevant words to live by. Can't be successful doing just one or two of these. You need all three.
Eric learned and confirmed that total strangers would share with you great truths. The fact is many people will share their truths with you–if you ask. I remember when I shared the stage with Jack Canter of Chicken Soup fame. He discussed the lessons he learned from pro-athletes, movie stars, and famous leaders. Yes, well-known persons have very compelling points of view. But I argued that day that the "average" people I knew had equally if not more powerful words of wisdom. That the people you interact with on a daily basis are the real stars and will give you more value and mentorship than a far away icon. As a society, we place too much value on celebrity, but I digress…
The people you know or have access to have amazing insights and secrets they would love to share with you if they had the opportunity. They can help you understand how to get you on a path that has more fulfillment, reward and meaning. Find them.
Once you realize what you don't know, you seek help. And if you ask for help, you will learn, progress, and get closer to your goals. But you gotta ask.
Most people say they are team players and that they collaborate well. But most do not know how to engage others to learn. Knowing who to ask, I have found is the biggest key to success and effective leadership. The old Jersey joke, "I know a guy who knows a guy….." Find people who know what you don't know.
Driven by wonder, you wander. You look for advice and answers and encounter the awe. And because you live an open life, your journey to seek help gets shifts and changes. And you can arrive at destinations you never planned.
We adopt a lifestyle of mentoring and networking and "speak our possibility," and seek the possibilities of others. We encounter others on our journey that we help and they help us. This is a life that defines the dream.
Thanks for reading. John