What I Learned...

What I learned this week…

In today’s society there is a constant stream of information flowing in and out of our lives. So much so that it makes it difficult to lock in and recall that information later. This is an attempt to capture the information and provide it as a source for myself to look back on and for others so he or she may capture something as well.

I got the idea for this blog from a podcast I was listening to called Invest Like the Best – EP. 87 – Tren Griffon – Pulling the ThreadOn this podcast, the host Patrick O’Shaughnessy, interviewed current Microsoft executive Tren Griffon on a range of topics from business models to his writings on the insight of Charlie Munger. This podcast also led me to Tren’s personal blog that he posts on every week about business, investing, and anything that peaks his interest. I try my best to emulate the good traits of people I meet or hear about in everyday life, and figured that I should give it a shoot.

Yesterday I sat in Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theatre about to receive my MBA from Iona College. I’ve spent the last 18 months working towards this degree giving up nights, weekends, and numerous outings. I was looking forward to this day with my parents and grandmother looking on from the crowd smiles from ear to ear as they looked down to my peers and I. I was also looking forward to hearing the wisdom and lessons that the speakers were going to share with the Class of 2018. The commencement speaker for the ceremony was Kate Snow, NBC’s ‘Nightly News’ anchor, who gave a rousing speech about her job as a journalist and the risks she took to get to the top of her field. The thesis of the speech was that we all must take risks to earn what we want in life. Unfortunately her speech was rather political and forgettable as she pounded her own chest for 30 minutes. The speech that stuck with me was the one given right after by fellow graduate Lisa Alexander. Lisa is a career woman in her late 40’s that went back to college to pursue a degree in education, in an effort to reach her childhood dream of molding the minds of the younger generation. During the speech she spoke to “connecting the dots” in life to reach your ultimate passion.

Her story goes like this, growing up she always wanted to be a teacher. She would stay behind during recess to help her teachers grad assignments and routinely would practice teaching to her dolls.  At this time in her life she was connecting the dots to reach the goal she has always had. All until she was advised by family to study computer science during her undergrad, which inevitably led to graduating with accounting degree.  This deviation from her passion led to Lisa no longer connecting those dots. She was going through life with a constant probing reminder that she wasn’t doing what she wanted. It wasn’t until she enrolled herself into a Master’s level education program did she feel that she was once again connecting those dots. She graduated alongside me yesterday and just by the way she addressed the crowd it was evident that she will become a success.

It is easy to feel yourself lose connection, especially in the monotony of day to day life. In some instances you will not know you lost connection until years later, which is what happened to Lisa.  But through all the trails and tribulations it is never to late to change the path you are on and refocus yourself. Her speech gave me the perspective that I could change the trajectory of my life at any moment and that it is my choice. No one should feel trapped by a job or a career path, because each of us has the power to alter the path to meet our own passion and skill. This is a valuable lesson and I am thankful to hear and understand it at this point in my life.

Bye for now…

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