I make time to find inspiration regularly. It is something that fuels my soul (someone smarter than me taught me when you identify things that activate triggers, keep them around- regularly). Given the distinction and honor of giving a commencement speech- I appreciate the time, effort, and detail speakers put into their address. And often their advice is so candid- so raw- and while it’s aimed at helping new graduates tackle life, I think their advice is applicable to anyone- no matter how old you are.
Below is one of my favorite commencement speeches I’ve seen. Jon Lovett isn’t a famous movie star, singer, or comedian- but rather someone whom at a young age was a speech writer for Hilary Clinton and President Obama. He does a masterful job of weaving humor with deep insightful life coaching advice. It’s great.
My favorite excerpts/transcript from his speech…
Don’t cover for your inexperience. You are smart, talented, educated, conscientious, untainted by the mistakes and conventional wisdom of the past. You have to be confident in your potential, and aware of your inexperience.
Sometimes you’re going to be inexperienced, naïve, untested and totally right. And then, in those moments, you have to make a choice: is this a time to speak up, or hang back? Now, lessons one and two can be in tension. And I can’t tell you how to strike the balance every time. Though it helps to be very charming. And from my point of view, I’d rather be wrong and cringe than right and regret not speaking up. But the good news is, as long as you aren’t stubbornly wrong so frequently that they kick you out of the building, or so meek that everyone forgets you’re in the building you’ll learn and grow and get better at striking that balance, until your inexperience becomes experience.
Know that being honest — both about what you do know, and what you don’t — can and will pay off.
I get fired up reading things like this. But it’s a good thing. Given the years of experience my friends and I have with fundraising for The Ugly Christmas Sweater Party(we are going on our 10th year) it’s interesting to read this POV. Hours upon hours we have debated this topic. I don’t agree nor disagree with all of what he writes- but the author fails to recognize that seemingly silly efforts like this #IceBucketChallenge can create positive, long-lasting behavioral change. His notion around the moral licensing phenomenon is not off or wrong. I’ll give him that.
However, what he views as short-sided silly efforts only for attention are actually key small (often subconscious) steps and notches closer to someone genuinely being altruistic- and making commitments to serious, long-lasting behavior change. Sometimes you just need something silly like pouring ice water on your head to kickstart it. I’ve seen, I’ve experienced, I’ve observed it first hand with friends, peers, and colleagues …that ongoing altruism is not part of many people’s identity- it’s episodic for most. Convenience is a big factor. But these ‘silly attention driven stunts’ over time can transform people who are just more transactional by nature in regards to surface level involvement with non-profits and charities. It can evolve them and propel someone into true ongoing commitments and deep understanding into specific causes and issues in our world. And it’s truly magical + fun to see it happen to someone you know.
Therefore, when I see efforts like the #IceBucketChallenge I smile and cheerlead the hell out of it- because if someone can connect with a great cause in this way- no matter how silly it is to others, this puts them that much closer to making altruism part of their true identity.
Each week at our DEG Monday meeting, I share some form of inspiration or education with my social media team. This is the latest installment.
I can remember early on in my career how infatuated and obsessed I was with others in regards to things others they created. People like Mitch Joel, Thomas Hawk, Chris Brogan, Brian Solis, Rebecca Peters, and others. I’d follow these people because they would post gorgeous photography, tell amazing stories through video blogs, and/or write beautiful blog posts. This was inspiration to me. These people drove me to explore more of this type of creative and myself, in regards to what do I want to create? How do I want to express in story form the things that interest me? It drove me to learn about not only the tools and technologies to do it- but more importantly how to express myself and channel my creativity. Something I didn’t realize existed within me until I started producing and creating.
All that said, this video below is an excerpt from a longer interview with Ira Glass that is timely for myself and my team. We are doing some amazing things already here at DEG, but I’m a believer of always pushing and reaching for that next level. I love this message, and it’s relevant because I have lived through this- and am still going through this yet again in a different way. He nails it when he shares, “the key is to have the taste” and to push past this phase + gap. Hopefully this inspires you. Let’s close that gap. So our work IS as good as our ambitions.
Did you know you can pair TWO Jambox Minis from 1 phone?! I had no clue you could do this. Pretty sweet to have a speaker inside and outside/patio when you’re entertaining. Or in two rooms for a party. You can put them side by side and it sounds twice as loud (go figure). Thanks to AT&T for the Jawbone Jamboxes! I’ve always been a huge fan of these because of their size and quality (btw, you’ll need to download the firmware update on their website if you want to do this). Yes, you can get better sound from other mini speakers like the UE Mini Mobile and the Bose SoundLink Mini, but all in all the Mini Jambox is a better overall package.
Instructions on how to pair and play two Jambox Mini speakers:
In my #MondayMotivation for my social team today, I showed a Friday Night Lights speech (my favorite TV show of all-time). Yes, it is a stretch to relate professional career advice to a TV show football speech …but Coach Taylor is dead-on when he shares that you will have many fights where you win and lose. Day-to-day wins and losses. The key is to never lose yourself throughout it all. And no day is better than today to redefine yourself (and your teams) and make right. Start by committing to today and get a ‘win’ in your column: http://youtu.be/FYIzhV2uIbw