Thursday, May 31, 2007
"Sweat, pain, and exhaustion are all temporary - finishing Boston is forever."
This poster refers to the Boston Marathon. Even if you're not a runner, this poster refers to you as well because you're in a marathon too. Getting your degree is a marathon - not a sprint.
Whether it's an athletic marathon or an academic marathon, there are two things you have to do to cross the finish line:
Number one is start.
Number two is continue.
Sounds simple . . . but it's not that easy. As a matter of fact, only 42 percent of students who start four-year colleges in the U.S. ever receive their diplomas.
1) Start: It's the start that stops most people. Most people plan on getting started. They hope to get started. They want to get started. But they never get started. Why? Because they procrastinate. Procrastination is a killer. Procrastination is getting ready to get ready. The secret is that you don't have to feel like getting started - you just have to get start. Don't wait until you feel like doing it . . . just do it and then you'll feel like it! So today start going to all your classes, start studying, start doing your assignments - whether you feel like it or not.
2) Continue: In other words, "Keep on keeping on." Why do so many people fail to continue once they get started? The number one reason for quitting for marathon runners is pain and exhaustion. The number one reason for college students is discouragement. In the long run, it hurts more to quit than to continue.
Question: How do you fight discouragement?
Answer: With success.
Let me explain . . .Nothing succeeds like success. When you actually start seeing results, your whole world changes. Results change attitudes.When you actually start seeing good grades on your quizzes, exams, and assignments - these results are powerful motivators. Nothing succeeds like success.
Cross the finish line!
The tassel is worth the hassle.
Do you need a little more motivation? Call Success Hotline at (973) 743-4690. Recorded messages are available 24/7 with new messages every day at 7:30 a.m.
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
“Everyone who got where they are; started where they were.”
-- Gary Pritchard, entrepreneur and coach
In one of my sport psychology classes last semester, I started by asking my students, “How many of you can sing?” Sensing their professor’s hidden agenda, my students nervously looked around the room and only a few hands were raised after some hesitation.
Then I said, “Wrong! All of you can sing. I didn’t ask if you can sing well. I just asked if you can sing. Of course you can!”
“Now that we know that you CAN sing,” I continued, “who wants to come up to the front of the class and sing right now?” I told them they could sing “Happy Birthday,” “Amazing Grace,” or whatever they wanted.
One young woman said that she CAN sing but she didn’t WANT to.
“EXACTLY!” I said. “That’s the whole point of this demonstration. There’s a big difference between who CAN sing and who WILL sing.”
Then I pointed to another young woman and asked if she would come up and sing for the class.
She nodded, confidently walked to the front of the room, and belted out “Somewhere over the Rainbow” as if she were a professional. When she finished, she received a spirited round of applause.
I then exposed the scam. Nikki Cappiello, the singer, is a pro. She’s been singing ever since she was a young child and now she’s the lead singer for “Plan B.” She’s a
My next question to the class was, “How many of you CAN sing as well as Nikki?”
No hands went up. Then I went into “motivational-speaker mode” and said, “I’m certain that at least five or six of you CAN sing that well -- maybe even better -- but you WON’T.”
There are thousands of people who have big-time ability, but they are frightened away by the big stages and the bright lights.
Who’s your favorite singer? No matter how rich and famous that person is right now, at one certain point, he or she had to cross that frightening bridge from “I CAN” to “I WILL.”
Each famous performer had to stand up and take that first step in front of an audience -- maybe at a recital, an audition, a small club, or even in a college classroom.
Enough about me and my class ... enough about Nikki and singing ... let’s talk about YOU.
You also will have to cross that frightening bridge from I CAN to I WILL. You also will have to take that first step. It might be when you take that first step in front of an audience to sing or dance or act. It might be when you take that first step in front of a class to teach. It might be when you take that first step in front of an employer to interview.
Remember: Feel the fear and do it anyway. No pain -- no gain. No risk -- no reward. No guts -- no glory. YOU CAN and YOU WILL!
Don’t die with your songs unsung.
ONE LAST THING . . .
I want to take you out to lunch. Call my Success Hotline today at (973) 743-4690 to hear more.
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Many years ago, Nancy, a Success Hotline caller, faxed me these Wealth Secrets. Then I lost them.
Recently they surfaced again.
2. FACE YOUR FEAR. You will always find the best fishing holes in the places where the average fisherman is afraid to go.
3.Watch the crowd then go in the opposite direction.
4. KNOW VALUE. Until you know value, everything is worthless. As soon as you know value, everything is valuable.
5. ALL OPPORTUNITIES ARE DISGUISED AS PROBLEMS.
6.People who live The Golden Rule - get the gold.
7.Money is attracted to great ideas.
8.YOU ARE YOUR WEALTH. The money that flows to you is just a by-product of your non-financial resources.
9.There is NEVER any failure only feedback.
10.A network saves legwork.
11.ROUTINE BRINGS RESULTS. A disorganized genius is no match for the average person with a daily routine.
12.THERE ARE NO WEALTH SECRETS. Common Sense + Action = Power
Monday, May 28, 2007
There is no message that I could possibly write today - for Memorial Day - that could be as effective and as touching as today’s Success Hotline. Please call (973) 743-4690.
Thank you, Angela Rose Stephens . . .
Sunday, May 27, 2007
Some days I have no ideas for my Success Hotline. Some days I have no idea what to write here.
What do I do?
I get up and take a walk to the Krauszer’s that’s just next door.
When I get there, I pick up my SECRET WEAPON – “Investor’s Business Daily.”
I don’t buy it to check on my investments or to get some hot stock tips.
No. I turn to page three (it’s usually page three). Here you’ll find “LEADERS & SUCCESS,” a full-page devoted to motivation.
There are motivational quotes across the top of the page. Then there’s an inspiring biographical story. And on the left side you’ll find “IBD’s Secrets to Success” – a management-type article.
I always find just what I need.
Here are some of my favorite quotes that I’ve found in IBD:
Thomas Edison on Perseverance:
“Nearly every man who develops an idea works it up to the point where it looks impossible, and then gets discouraged. That’s not the place to become discouraged.”
Writer Scott Reed on Goals:
“This one step – choosing a goal and sticking to it – changes everything.”
Mark Twain on Attitude:
“There is no sadder sight than a young pessimist.”
William James on Human Nature:
“The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.”
Check out Investor’s Business Daily, it just might be better than caffeine (and cheaper)!
Give me a call at 973.743.4690 . . .
Saturday, May 26, 2007
I don’t want to write this blog today. It’s Memorial Day weekend. No one is going to read it anyway.
You want to hear more excuses?
I can give you 10 quick reasons why I don’t want to blog today.
They are all lies. Oh, they’re good-sounding lies but they are still lies. They are “rational lies.”
The truth: The reason why I don’t want to write this blog today is because I FEEL LAZY!
You can watch Dr. Phil and Oprah all you want. You can make up all those sophisticated “rational lies” for your lack of productivity and failures.
For most of us -- most of the time -- the reason we fail and do not succeed is because we are lazy.
Here’s what one of my students wrote about laziness:
Many people make the mistake of confusing laziness with many things.
Laziness is a habit that almost all of us can let go of anytime we want, but we choose not to.
We blame our problems, especially in school, on our lack of intelligence - or stupidity.
For example, if students feel unmotivated or lazy, they do not complete the required assignments for the class and then they blame their bad grades on their lack of intelligence.
They believe that a bad grade was the result of not having the ability to understand the material and ignore the fact that their bad grade was totally the result of their laziness.
The good news is that laziness is something that everyone has the ability to control and overcome instantly. You can let laziness stand in your way, but it doesn’t have to.
We create our laziness . . . so we can overcome our laziness!
Here’s what I know about you:
You’re not lacking ability.
You’re not lacking intelligence.
BUT, sometime you’re lacking DILIGENCE.
Sometime you feel lazy, too.
That’s OK! As a matter of fact – it’s GREAT!!!!
Lack of intelligence is difficult to overcome.
BAD NEWS: It’ll take years to make an unintelligent person intelligent.
GOOD NEWS: A lazy person can become productive almost instantly.
You can overcome your laziness RIGHT NOW!
I just did.
I just overcame some temporary resistance and wrote this, even though I didn’t want to.
In writing this, I unblocked some energy. I feel better now.
I put myself in motion and I changed my emotions.
I feel more energized now.
I’m going to record Success Hotline.
I’m going to clean out my car.
See you at the car wash!
Friday, May 25, 2007
You’ve made a lot of mistakes in your life, but there’s one mistake that’s so huge that it towers over all the others. This mistake is . . .
Just for starters, let’s look at what you have going for you. You have the world’s most powerful computer sitting right on top of your shoulders. You also have the world’s greatest machine as a body.
Most people underestimate themselves because they judge what they can do based on what they have done. There’s a big difference between what you have done in the past and what you could do in the future.
Just because you haven’t gotten your incredibly powerful mental computer up and running to its full capacity in the past doesn’t mean you won’t in the future. Just because you haven’t gotten the world’s greatest machine as finely tuned as possible in the past doesn’t mean you won’t in the future.
Imagine trying to drive your car forward by only looking in the rearview mirror. You’d have trouble getting anywhere! Many people have trouble getting anywhere with their lives because they’re constantly looking in their rearview mirrors.
Just because you weren’t a superstar student in high school doesn’t mean you won’t be one in college. Just because you weren’t an outstanding athlete/musician/artist/actor/writer/etc. in high school, doesn’t mean you won’t be one in college.
Let me tell you a story. Bruce Baumgartner grew up in
What’s the point? There is one championship Baumgartner never won. He was never a
YOU’RE GOING TO NEED SHADES.”
There will be a new blog for you every single day this weekend.
Stay with me,
Need some more motivation? Call Dr. Gilbert’s free Success Hotline at (973) 743-4690. Recorded messages are available 24/7/365. New messages every morning at .
Thursday, May 24, 2007
“You can pretend anything and master it.”
- Dr. Milton Erickson, Psychiatrist
A few years back were your surprised when Jamie Foxx won the Academy Award for best actor? I wasn’t.
After all, who usually wins that award? Not the best actor. Not the most skilled actor. Not the most experienced actor. The winner is usually the actor who takes on the most challenging role.
That’s why Jamie Foxx won for his portrayal of Ray Charles. That’s why Dustin Hoffman was a sure thing for “Rain Man” and Tom Hanks couldn’t miss for “Forrest Gump.” And the same goes for Hilary Swank in “Million Dollar Baby.”
Challenging roles create great actors.
You have the opportunity to play a challenging role too. You can be cast to play the part of “the world’s greatest student, athlete, salesperson, etc . . . !” It’s a tougher role than anything Foxx, Hoffman, Hanks, or Swank ever had to do because you’ll have to play the part of someone who is totally focused, insatiably curious, and unstoppably motivated. And the commitment lasts every day, seven-days-a-week.
Most people turn down this role because it is so difficult. For example, most people want to go to school, but they don’t want to become a real student.
As Helen Keller once said, “Life is an exciting adventure or nothing at all.”
You have to read that again: “Life is an exciting adventure or nothing at all.”
More people would accept this role if it were easier. As Dr. M. Scott Peck wrote, “Life is difficult.” Not only is life difficult — it’s supposed to be difficult. In the movie “A League of Their Own,” Tom Hanks, playing the manager of an all-women’s professional baseball team, said “It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great.” Of course, Hanks was speaking about baseball, but he could have been speaking about college.
Will you accept the part? You can start playing this role immediately. For example, if you’re a student as soon as you walk into your next class, act like you are “the world’s greatest student.” Sit in the front row. Sit up straight. Ask questions. Answer questions. Laugh at the professor’s jokes. Act as if you’re “the world’s greatest student.”
After one class, don’t expect someone will come up to you and present you an Oscar, BUT if you keep acting this way you awards and rewards will come. Don’t worry about that. Absolutely, positively, guaranteed!!!
For instant inspiration, call Dr. Gilbert’s Success Hotline at (973) 743-4690. Messages are available 24/7/365. New messages every morning at .
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
“Every now and then I think about my own death, and I think about my own funeral . . . I don’t want a long funeral. And if you get somebody to deliver the eulogy, tell them not to talk too long . . . Tell them not to mention that I have a Nobel Peace Prize . . . Tell them not to mention that I have three or four hundred other awards . . . I’d like somebody to mention that day, that Martin Luther King, Jr., tried to give his life serving others. I’d like for somebody to say that day that Martin Luther King, Jr., tried to love somebody . . .
“Say that I was a drum major for justice. Say that I was a drum major for peace. That I was a drum major for righteousness.
“And all of the other shallow things will not matter.
“I won’t have any money to leave behind. I won’t have the fine and luxurious things of life to leave behind.
“BUT I JUST WANT TO LEAVE A COMMITTED LIFE BEHIND.”
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Written many years ago by Arthur Hoppe ...
On the morning of his 42nd birthday, Grabwell Grommet awoke to a peal of particularly ominous thunder. Glancing out the window with his
bleary eyes, he saw written in fiery letters:
"SOMEONE IS TRYING TO KILL YOU, GRABWELL
With shaking hands, Grommet lit his first cigarette of the day. He didn't question the message. You don't question messages like that. His only question was, "Who?"
At breakfast as he salted his fried eggs and buttered his toast, he told his wife, Gratia, "Someone is trying to kill me."
"Who?" she asked with horror.
Grommet slowly stirred the cream and sugar into his
coffee and shook his head, "I don't know," he said.
Convinced though he was, Grommet wasn't going to the police with his story. He decided his only course was to go about his daily routine and hope somehow to outwit his would-be murderer. He tried to think on the drive to the office. But the frustration of making time by beating lights and switching lanes occupied him wholly. Nor, once behind his desk, could he think a moment what with jangling phones, urgent memos and the problems and decisions piling in as they did each day.
It wasn't until his second martini at lunch that the full terror of his position struck him. It was all he could do to finish his Lasagna Milanese. "I can't panic," he said to himself, lighting his cigar. "I simply must live my life as usual."
So he worked until seven as usual. Drove home fast as usual. Studied business reports as usual. And he took his usual two Seconal capsules in order to get his usual six hours sleep. As days passed, the man fully stuck to his routine. And as the months went by, he began to take a perverse pleasure in his ability to survive.
"Whoever's trying to get me," he'd say proudly to his wife, "hasn't got me yet. I'm too smart for him."
"Oh, please be careful," she'd reply, ladling him a second helping of beef stroganoff. The pride grew as he managed to go on living for years.
But as it must to all men, death came at last to Grabwell. It came at his desk on a particularly busy day. He was 53.
His grief-stricken widow demanded a full autopsy. But it showed only emphysema, arteriosclerosis, duodenal ulcers, cirrhosis of the liver, cardiac necrosis, cerebrovascular aneurysm, pulmonary edema, obesity,
circulatory insufficiency and a touch of lung cancer.
"How glad Grabwell would have been to know," said the widow smiling proudly through her tears, "that he died of natural causes."
Monday, May 21, 2007
EVENT: The 17th Annual Commencement Ceremony
Once again we have been blessed with perfect weather for our commencement ceremony here at
Most commencement speakers are honored for having achieved something great. Lisa Sargese is different. She is achieving something great. After undergoing gastric bypass surgery last August, Lisa has lost more than 100 pounds. And she is not doing it alone! Through her blog, she is baring her soul to the whole world. Every day we can read of her successes and failures . . . every day we hear of her pleasures and pains. Someone once said that example is not only the best way to teach, it is the only way to teach.
I’m pleased to introduce a teacher, a professor, a pioneer . . . our commencement speaker - Lisa Sargese.
Thank you for welcoming me here to celebrate this milestone with all of you.
It's a pleasure to be with you today for graduation.
I'd like you to consider this question...
Was this your destiny?
What do we mean by that exactly?
Something that was destined to happen no matter what?
Fate somehow taking over where human will might stop?
Something that’s meant to be fighting it’s way to its rightful place in reality in spite of us?
Were you meant to be here today in your cap and gown ready to move your tassel to its destination signifying the completion of your degree?
I believe you were meant to be here.
I believe this was your destiny, but not because it would have happened no matter what.
It couldn’t have happened no matter what.
It could not have happened without you.
You made it happen.
Your work, your effort, your determination.
Your journey, your destiny.
Your destiny is yours because you reached it.
You went there.
Like many of us here today, I’m descended from a family of immigrants. My grandparents came to
They worked hard to get here and once they arrived they continued to work.
Their lives were not glamorous.
They struggled to make ends meet. They never lived comfortably.
They didn’t master the English language easily.
But they believed it was their destiny to be here in
Like many of us here today, ours is the first generation to attend college and earn our college degrees. Having learned the value of hard work from THEIR parents, OUR parents toiled and saved in hopes of giving us, their children a better life, to give us the opportunities they didn’t have growing up as the children of immigrants.
The opportunity to attend and complete school.
To graduate from college.
My mother will never forget her graduation. She grew up as one of 11 children during the Great Depression. There wasn’t enough money to spend on a new dress for her to wear to the ceremony. There was barely enough money to feed all of them.
But they were resourceful, scrappy you might say.
She was tough.
No one at school dared make fun of her hand me down clothes or worn out shoes.
She would ball up her little fist and threaten to give them the what-for.
She was proud.
Her older sister, my Aunt Mae sewed some lace on a second hand dress for my mother to wear on the dais. She tied ribbons in my mother’s hair. She fashioned a makeshift corsage from the roses in my grandfather’s garden. My mother felt special. She’ll never forget that day she walked across the stage at Public School #9, the day she graduated from the 8th grade.
That’s as far as she went. She wasn’t able to finish high school. The war was on and the women had to work in the factories. My mother dropped out of high school to work as a welder. She wore overalls and a welder’s mask. She helped support the family during World War II.
She married young, became a mother at age 21 and never thought about school again.
She had a child to raise and a household to run.
She chose her destiny out of what she believed to be very limited options.
My father played football in high school.
He graduated then immediately entered the Army.
It didn’t occur to him to go to college.
College was for those other kids, not a second generation Italian whose father spoke broken English. My father worked hard all his life. He provided for me, paid off the house, bought me my first car.
When I graduated high school he wasn’t sure if he should encourage me to go to college or to go to work.
I went to work.
I didn’t think college was my destiny.
When I came here as a freshman back in 1994 I was already 30 years old.
I had worked in the corporate sector for over 10 years.
I was miserable.
Something was missing.
I wasn’t quite sure what.
I wasn’t sure until my grandmother died.
My father’s mother, Mary Sargese.
Mary the Shoe they used to call her. She had a great sense of humor and was the neighborhood story teller.
She didn’t just tell a story, she acted out all the parts complete with different voices.
She was one of the few women in the neighborhood who could read.
The little Italian ladies would gather around her as she read to them from the newspaper.
One day she put a leaf between her nose and her upper lip and shook her fist as she imitated Adolf Hitler. One of the ladies was so frightened she ran from the porch screaming and spitting to ward off the evil eye.
My large, loving grandmother shook with laughter.
I was sad to see her go.
As I looked at her resting in her coffin, I prayed a silent prayer to her.
I told her how sad I was that she hadn’t seen me do anything much with my life.
I had no husband or children.
My career was sketchy and unsatisfying.
At 30, I didn’t believe I had accomplished much.
I vowed to change that.
I promised her that her son, my father WOULD see me do something great with my life.
I had always dreamed of becoming a philosopher.
I promised her I would do just that.
That Fall, I sat in a college classroom for the first time as a student.
And I earned my degree.
Was it my destiny?
Just because it DID happen, does that mean it HAD to happen that way?
I could have chosen a different path.
I could have chosen a corporate job.
I could have chosen a marriage and children.
I could have chosen to postpone my college education.
I could have, but I didn’t.
I made THIS choice.
Attended THIS school.
I rode that shuttle bus the first day here, crying. Crying because I didn’t know anyone. Crying because I was afraid as an older student I wouldn’t fit in.
Crying because I was afraid I wasn’t smart enough to be a college student let alone a college graduate.
I was afraid it wasn’t REALLY my destiny to graduate college.
I prayed again.
If it was meant to be, please help me.
Help me do this every day.
Help me ride this shuttle bus up to College Hall and walk to my classroom.
Help me read every night.
Help me learn to type so I can write my papers.
Help me make friends so I won’t feel so alone.
If this is my destiny...help me fulfill it.
Help me do the work.
It took a lot of pulling to get to this place.
Destiny didn’t pull me along, I pulled myself toward my destiny.
You did the same thing or you wouldn’t be sitting in those seats, proudly wearing your caps and gowns, proudly smiling the satisfied smiles of accomplishment.
This wasn’t your destiny till you MADE it your destiny.
Every day you fought for a parking spot, every day you climbed that hill to University Hall, every paper you lost sleep over, every exam you studied for pulled you closer and closer to this day, your destiny.
Were you destined to be here?
Your hard work says yes.
Your friends and families beaming from the bleachers say, yes.
That diploma in your hand says yes.
You’ve reached your destination.
It was YOUR destiny because YOU reached for it.
And now that you’ve arrived, you’re here forever.
The college graduate.
you were destined to be.
I’m honored to be among you at this graduation.
We did it.
We finally did it.
We’ve reached our destiny.
Sunday, May 20, 2007
The biggest mistake almost every commencement speaker makes is talking too much.
Someone once said that if you want to give a great speech, you need to do three things:
#1. Be sincere.
#2. Be brief.
#3. Be seated.
I’m going to follow that advice. Here’s my graduation speech in just 99 words!
After you graduate, whether you’re going to continue your schooling, or you’re going to go into business, or education, or medicine, or into the service – here are 99 words of timeless wisdom:
I’d appreciate your additions and deletions.
Call Success Hotline today at (973) 743-4690 to hear about one of the greatest strengths you possess ...
Saturday, May 19, 2007
SEX! Now that I have your attention . . . I know you’ve heard that before.
Maybe men are from Mars and women are from Venus . . .
But maybe all the “experts” are making sex more complicated than it really is.
Here’s the best advice on HOW TO BE A GREAT LOVER that I’ve ever found . . .
Adapted from the book The Big Moo by Seth Godin:
HOW TO BE A GREAT LOVER
#1. First ask your partner what they like.
#2. Then you give them what they like.
#3. Then you ask them if they liked it.
#4. If they liked it, do it again!
Now that’s not too complicated is it?
Let me know how it works out . . .
Friday, May 18, 2007
One day a middle-aged woman clutching a plastic bag close to her chest walked into a picture-framing store.
She looked at the store manager who was standing behind the counter and said, “I have something in this bag that costs me over $100,000 dollars, but it’s worth much more than that.
“May I see it?” asked the manager.
Carefully and with great pride, the woman unrolled her daughter’s college diploma.
If you’re graduating from
If you’re graduating from any school this spring – CONGRATULATIONS!
If you’ve paid for someone to attend school and they’re graduating – CONGRATULATIONS!
Remember "THE TASSEL IS WORTH THE HASSLE!"
In case you’re not going to attend a graduation ceremony, I thought you’d like to read what I consider the world’s most inspiring commencement address.
It will make you laugh. It will make you cry. It will make you think.This is the text of the Commencement address by Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, delivered on June 12, 2005 at Stanford University.
I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I've ever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That's it. No big deal. Just three stories.
The first story is about connecting the dots.
I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit. So why did I drop out?
It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young, unwed college graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption. She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife. Except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl. So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of the night asking: "We have an unexpected baby boy; do you want him?" They said: "Of course." My biological mother later found out that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would someday go to college.
And 17 years later I did go to college. But I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents' savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn't see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn't interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting.
It wasn't all romantic. I didn't have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends' rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5¢ deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on. Let me give you one example:
Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn't have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can't capture, and I found it fascinating.
None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, its likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later. Again, you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.
My second story is about love and loss.
I was lucky — I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz and I started Apple in my parents garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees. We had just released our finest creation — the Macintosh — a year earlier, and I had just turned 30. And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started? Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me, and for the first year or so things went well. But then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out. When we did, our Board of Directors sided with him. So at 30 I was out. And very publicly out. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.
I really didn't know what to do for a few months. I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down - that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me. I met with David Packard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly. I was a very public failure, and I even thought about running away from the valley. But something slowly began to dawn on me — I still loved what I did. The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit. I had been rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over.
I didn't see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.
During the next five years, I started a company named NeXT, another company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife. Pixar went on to create the worlds first computer animated feature film, Toy Story, and is now the most successful animation studio in the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT, I returned to Apple, and the technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple's current renaissance. And Laurene and I have a wonderful family together.
I'm pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn't been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don't lose faith. I'm convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You've got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don't settle.
My third story is about death.
When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: "If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right." It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And whenever the answer has been "No" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something. Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.
Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7:30 in the morning, and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas. I didn't even know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months. My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is doctor's code for prepare to die. It means to try to tell your kids everything you thought you'd have the next 10 years to tell them in just a few months. It means to make sure everything is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for your family. It means to say your goodbyes.
I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy, where they stuck an endoscope down my throat, through my stomach and into my intestines, put a needle into my pancreas and got a few cells from the tumor. I was sedated, but my wife, who was there, told me that when they viewed the cells under a microscope the doctors started crying because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and I'm fine now.
This was the closest I've been to facing death, and I hope its the closest I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful but purely intellectual concept:
No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.
Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 1960's, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.
Stewart and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalog, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words:
"Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish." It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.
Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.
Thank you all very much.
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Thanks for all your comments to yesterday’s blog. Great stuff!
The following are too big for the fridge, but great advice nonetheless.
First of all, from the late, great syndicated advice columnist Ann Landers (1918-2002):
12 RULES FOR A HAPPY MARRIAGE
1. Never both be angry at once.
2. Never yell at each other unless the house is on fire.
3. Yield to the wishes of the others as an exercise in self-discipline if you can’t think of a better reason.
4. If you have a choice between making yourself or your mate look good - choose your mate.
5. If you feel you must criticize, do so lovingly.
6. Never bring up a mistake of the past.
7. Neglect the whole world rather than each other.
8. Never let the day end without saying at least one complimentary thing to your life’s partner.
9. Never meet without an affectionate welcome.
10. Never go to bed mad.
11. When you’ve made a mistake, talk it out and ask for forgiveness.
12. Remember, it takes two to make an argument. The one who is wrong is the one who will be doing most of the talking.
Here’s one more . . .
From the book Love by Gregory J.P. Godek:
IN ANY LOVING RELATIONSHIP
Is there something you have to do today but you’re going to HATE doing it? I think I can help. Give me call at Success Hotline (973.743.4690) . . .
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
I held back yesterday, I gave you only some of the quotes on the magnets on my fridge.
I’ll give you more of mine IF you give my some of yours . . .
“Recent studies prove that I don’t have to be reasonable.”
“I have an open mind, but it’s closed for repairs.”
“I never met a diet I couldn’t break!”
"DIET: A short period of starvation followed by a gain of five pounds.”
“The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra.”
“Stop DOING just for this moment.” –
“Luck is being prepared for opportunity when it comes.”
“My reality check just bounced.”
“Every time I hear the word ‘exercise,’ I wash my mouth out with chocolate.”
“Some people go through life standing at the complaint counter.”
“Everyone is entitled to be stupid but you’re abusing the privilege!”
“When your ship comes in, don’t be waiting at the airport.”
“There is no right way to do a wrong thing.”
And the one quote I would love to have on a magnet . . .
“Be at the right place, at the right time, and do the right thing.” – Coach Oliver Gelston
Now it’s your turn. Leave your quotes here.
One more thing . . .
What’s a great quote?
A GREAT QUOTE is one that makes you laugh, makes you cry, or makes you think!
To hear Muhammad Ali’s advice for you, call Success Hotline (973.743.4690) today.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
I’ve been doing this blog for more than a month and I’m totally amazed how few of you ever leave messages. If it weren’t for my good friend ED SMITH, I’d feel isolated!!!
Now it’s your chance and I want to get personal.
I want you to share some of your deepest darkest secrets. Oh, you don’t have to leave your real name, but you do have to tell the truth.
Here’s the question:
WHAT “QUOTES” OR SAYINGS OR PRAYERS DO YOUR HAVE ON YOUR REFRIGERATOR?
To break the ice, here are my refrigerator magnets:
“Passion makes perfect.”
“Fake it until you feel it.”
“It’s never too late to be what you might have been.” – George Eliot
“I’d give up chocolate – but I’m no quitter!”
“Grant me patience Lord, but HURRY!”
“God put me on earth to accomplish a certain number of things. Right now, I’m so far behind, I’ll never die.”
“Leadership is the ability to hide your panic from others.”
“We treat this world as though we had a spare in the trunk.”
“If you are happy, notify your face.”
“The only trouble with resisting temptation is that you may never get another chance.”
No refrigerator magnets??? OK . . . I’ll settle for material from bulletin boards or posters.
I know that Ed Smith will share. Will you??? All you have to do is click right here.
If you want an easy, effortless, FREE way that will get almost anything you want, call Success Hotline (973.743.4690) TODAY.
One more . . .
The Ten Most Powerful Two-Letter Words:
“If it is to be it is up to me.”
Monday, May 14, 2007
-- Helen Keller (1880-1968), educator and writer
For the last few months, I’ve been eagerly waiting for that one magic phone call where I hear, “Dr. Gilbert, we want you to be our commencement speaker this year.”
Well, it hasn’t happened yet, so it probably won’t happen this year. But, just in case a Nobel Prize-winning scientist, or an influential politician, or a famous writer has to cancel his or her commencement address at the last moment -- I want the world to know that I’m ready!!!
And I’ll travel. I’ll go to that small college in
But, in the unfortunate event I never actually deliver my 2007 commencement address, I hope you will at least read it. Here it is:
A commencement address gives the speaker a chance to proclaim universal truths. Today, I would like to share with you, the members of the Class of 2007, one of these truths -- the ultimate secret of success. What is the ultimate secret of success in business, in sales, in school, in sports, in relationships, in life, in everything?
Here’s the answer: DO NOT HOLD YOUR NOSE!
Let me explain . . .
It’s the middle of the summer and you’re standing on the high-diving board at your community pool. Everyone is looking up at you. You’ve never done this before and you’re scared to death. What are you going to do?
Are you very safely and cautiously going to tiptoe to the end of the board, hold your nose, and jump in feet first? Or, with everyone watching you, are you going to go for that big, spectacular swan dive and risk an embarrassing, painful belly flop?
You know the answer: DO NOT HOLD YOUR NOSE! Go for that spectacular swan dive.
Here’s the ultimate question that will impact every aspect of your life: Are you going to hold back or are you going to go all out? Ever notice how all the movie heroes and heroines go all out? If you want to be the hero or heroine of your own life -- go all out.
When you keep holding your nose and jumping in feet first, you’re training yourself to play it safe and you’ll end up living a life of mediocrity. No one shocks the world by holding back and playing it safe. Do you think anyone ever got into the history books by playing it safe and holding back? Of course not! So if you want your life to be a daring adventure -- go all out!
It’s much better to go all out and fail spectacularly than cautiously hold back and play it safe. At the end of your life are you going to say to yourself, “I’m glad I did” or “I wish I had”? If you don’t attempt to swan dive off that high-diving board at least once, you’re going to have regrets.
DO NOT HOLD YOUR NOSE.
Thank you and congratulations to the Class of 2007!!!
* * * * * * * * * * *
TODAY ON SUCCESS HOTLINE: WHY IT’S GREAT TO BE LAZY!
Go all out,
Sunday, May 13, 2007
After the divorce, her teenage daughter became increasingly rebellious. It culminated late one night when the police called to tell her that she had to come to the police station to pick up her daughter, who had been arrested for drunk driving.
They didn’t speak until the next afternoon.
Mom broke the tension by giving her daughter a small gift-wrapped box.
Her daughter nonchalantly opened it and found a small piece of a rock.
The daughter rolled her eyes and said, “Cute, Mom, what’s this for?”
Here’s the card that goes with it,” Mom said.
Her daughter took the card out of its envelope and read it.
Then tears started to trickle down her cheeks.
She went over to her mom and gave her a big hug as the card fell to the floor.
On the card were these words, “This rock is more than 200,000,000 years old. That’s how long it will take before I give up on you.”
Happy Mother’s Day,
P.S. If you want to hear another Mother’s Day story,
call Success Hotline at (973) 743-4690.
Saturday, May 12, 2007
It’s early Saturday and I’ve already received two condolence calls about my book.
I asked everyone on my Success Hotline (973.743.4690) and this blog to buy my book (How To Have Fun Without Failing Out: 430 Tips from a College Professor) in the hopes that it would get to #1 on Amazon.Com.
It didn’t get to #1.
It didn’t even come close.
Here’s my book’s rating history on Amazon . . .
April 23: #717,197
Friday: (at ): #726
Eventually the book got to 665.
Oh, the condolence calls . . . they wanted to know if I was upset.
I’m elated!!! No, I’m ELATED!!!
Here I am with no advertising budget, no public relations agency, no ads in the media, no book reviews yet, etc. . . .
All I had was my phone and my computer.
Wait a second . . . I don’t want your pity.
But that’s not ALL I had . . .
I had the most important thing anyone can have: A NETWORK OF FRIENDS!
In other words, I had YOU. And you helped me. THANK YOU.
Please reread yesterday’s blog about Joe Girard’s “Law of 250.”
You have this hidden power too: your friends, your family, your professional colleagues, your relatives, etc. . . .
With your network, you have a great deal more power than you realize.
I don’t know how Amazon.Com works. I’m only beginning to learn how to sell my book.
All I know is that in Amazon rating #717,197 is not great and 665 is totally remarkable!
#665 is a lot closer to #1 than it is to #717,197!
So I didn’t get to #1. WRONG!
I didn’t get to #1 yet!
“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss you’ll be among the stars.”
P.S. Remember: I’m one of your 250!
Friday, May 11, 2007
If I have a penny and you have a penny and we exchange pennies – you still have a penny and I still have a penny. BUT, if I have an idea and you have an idea and we exchange ideas – you now have two ideas and I have two ideas!
Whenever Joe Girard went to a wedding he always counted the number of people who were there.
Joe discovered that the average wedding had 250 people.
Why did Joe do this? Because Joe was obsessed. He was a car salesman and he wanted to sell more cars than anyone in the world.
He developed “Joe Girard’s Law of 250.” All of us have 250 friends, colleagues, relatives, neighbors, etc. . .
Whenever Joe was selling one person a car, he wanted to do a great job because Joe knew that person had a network of 250 people who could also become his customers.
Joe Girard has sold more cars and trucks than anyone ever.
I want to use “Joe Girard’s Law of 250” today.
I have this IMPOSSIBLE DREAM. I want to get my book, How To Have Fun Without Failing Out: 430 Tips from a College Professor, to the #1 position on Amazon.Com today.
Is this probable? NO.
Is this possible? YES!
If I buy a copy and you buy a copy . . . it’s not going to happen.
BUT if you tap into your network of 250 friends, colleagues, etc. . . if you call people, if you email them . . . then just maybe we can make this happen.
But it has to happen TODAY!
Please help me out.
Go to Amazon.Com right now and order a few copies. And tell your “network of 250” to do it too.
My book is the perfect high school graduation present for anyone going to college.
It’s required reading for anyone in college who hopes to graduate.
And it’s a must-read for anyone paying for someone else to go to college.
PLEASE HELP ME TODAY!
I appreciate it,
Thursday, May 10, 2007
I love hearing stories.
I love telling stories.
I love collecting stories.
But most of all, I love sharing stories.
I’ve been doing this my whole life.
to open up my treasure chest
of stories and tell you my
24 GREATEST STORIES OF ALL TIME!
Here’s what I’m going to do . . .
Starting tonight at on my
Success Hotline (973.743.4690),
I’m going to change the message
every hour on-the-hour.
Every hour for 24 straight hours,
there’ll be a new story for you.
Among the stories you’ll hear . . .
- Bill wants to hear Coach Lou Holz’s story about Nelly
- Jay wants to hear about Mr. D’Amato story
- Ralph from Bergen County wants to hear the Henry Peterson story
- I’ll tell “The Touch of the Master’s Hand” for Ann
- Amy wants to hear “The Cookie Thief”
What story do you want me to tell? Call the hotline today and tell me what story you want to hear. Or email your request to: firstname.lastname@example.org
THE 24-HOUR STORY-TELLING
STARTS TONIGHT AT !
Why am I doing this???
Very simply, I want to provide a gentle reminder for
you to order my book from Amazon.Com on Friday.
I’ve been told
if I can get 1,000 people to order
the book on the same day,
my ratings can get to #1.
THE KEY THING IS FOR
EVERYONE TO ORDER
ON THE SAME DAY.
TOMORROW (FRIDAY) IS THE DAY!
Wednesday’s Amazon.com rating: 414,514
Thursday’s Amazon.Com rating 167,581
Friday’s Amazon.Com rating: #1 (with your help!)
Wednesday, May 9, 2007
Until one is committed,
there is hesitancy,
the chance to draw back,
Concerning all acts
of initiative (and creation)
there is one elementary truth,
the ignorance of which kills
countless ideas and splendid plans:
That the moment
one definitely commits oneself,
All sorts of things occur
to help one that would never
otherwise have occurred.
A whole stream of events
issues from the decision,
raising in one’s favor all manner
of unforeseen incidents and meetings
and material assistance,
which no man could have dreamed
would have come his way.
I have learned a deep respect
for one of Goethe’s couplets:
Whatever you can do,
or dream you can — BEGIN IT!
Boldness has genius,
power and magic in it.
W.H. Murray, mountain climber
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
I NEED YOUR HELP!
GOOD NEWS! A few weeks ago, my new book on college success --
was published by HCI (the publishers of Chicken Soup for the Soul).
BAD NEWS. I just checked the Amazon.Com website.
My book is rated: #414,514.
That means 414,513 are selling better than my college success book is!
But . . . I take number as a challenge. The challenge is to go from #414,514 to #1.
Is this probable? No.
Is this possible? YES!
Here’s where I need your help.
I’m asking all my readers and Success Hotline callers
to order a copy of HOW TO HAVE FUN WITHOUT FAILING OUT
this Friday from Amazon.Com. Don’t buy it from a bookstore or from another website. Go to Amazon.Com.
The book costs $11.66 plus shipping.
Please help me!
P.S. Let me tell you the truth. If I buy a book and you buy a book, this book will never get to #1 on Friday . . .
BUT . . . if I use THE LAW OF 250 and you USE THE LAW OF 250 then just maybe…
What is THE LAW OF 250? Call Success Hotline at 973.743.4690 to find out!
Tuesday, May 8, 2007
Athletes have the Super Bowl, the World Series and the Final Four. Students have final exams.
Athletes have coaches who give them pep talks before big games. If you’re not psyched up for finals yet, here’s your own personal pep talk...
DO YOUR BEST WHEN IT MEANS THE MOST . . .
#1. It’s the start that stops most people.
#2. Are you willing to give up what you want NOW for what you want MOST?
#3. Are you going to say, “I’m glad I did” or “I wish I had”?
#1. IT’S THE START THAT STOPS MOST PEOPLE.
The hardest part is getting started. The ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tsu said, “A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” Are you procrastinating? Procrastination is getting ready to get ready. What are you waiting for? Don’t get ready to start studying. START STUDYING RIGHT NOW!!! Don’t let the start stop you.
#2. ARE YOU WILLING TO GIVE UP WHAT YOU WANT NOW FOR WHAT YOU WANT MOST?
I once saw this quote on a T-shirt: “You can always retake the course, but you’ll never be able to make up the party.” Funny quote, but dangerous advice! For the next few weeks, the important thing is to make the important thing the important thing. The important thing right now is your course work. Fight through those feelings that you just have to go to that party. Fight through those feelings that you just have to sleep more. Fight through those feelings of “senioritis” and “spring fever.” Delay gratification — DO YOUR WORK! Don’t sacrifice the MOST for the NOW.
#3. ARE YOU GOING TO SAY, “I’M GLAD I DID” OR “I WISH I HAD”?
Why should you get started now? Why should you delay gratification? Some day in the middle of May, you’re going to receive your grades. When you look at your results for spring semester 2007, are you going to say to yourself, “I’m glad I did” or “I wish I had”?
Don’t let “obstacles” get in your way, you’ll happily be able to say, “I’m glad I did.”
But, if you do delay, and let the obstacles interfere, you’ll regretfully say, “I wish I had.”
“THE PAIN IS TEMPORARY; THE PRIDE IS FOREVER.”
Make sure you’ll be able to say, “I’m glad I did.” Guarantee: You’ll be glad you did.
What’s the Law of 250???
To find out call Success Hotline (973.743.4690) today!
Monday, May 7, 2007
No monument has ever been erected to a critic.
No award has ever been given to a spectator.
So why do we have so many critics? Why do we have so many spectators?
Because the participants — the athletes, the artists, the students, the salespeople, etc. . . are putting themselves on the line.
They can be cheered, but they also can be booed.
They can be praised, but they also can be scolded.
They can know the “thrill of victory,” but they can also experience “the agony of defeat.”
TODAY’S MESSAGE IS DEDICATED TO YOU:
YOU'RE ACTUALLY IN THE ARENA.
YOU’RE ACTUALLY GOING FOR IT.
DON’T LET THE CRITICS AND SPECTATORS HOLD YOU BACK. THEY’VE ALREADY HELD THEMSELVES BACK BY CHOOSING TO BE CRITICS AND SPECTATORS.
Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th President of the
It’s not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled or where the doer of deeds could have done better.
The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes up short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know never victory nor defeat.
Forget about the critics.
Don’t even consider becoming a spectator.
Act as if it were impossible to fail.
To hear about another invincible warrior, call Success Hotline (973-743-4690) today.
Sunday, May 6, 2007
You can beat other people IF you can hang on longer than they can.
You can beat yourself IF you can take one step more than you're used to.
Persistence = Hanging on until you catch on.
Here are THE FIVE STEPS TO PERSISTENCE.
If you use them, you’ll never fail.
Oh, you might fail in the short run, but you’ll never fail in the long run.
Persistence is a simple process:
#1. What is the next step?
#2. What’s in the way of taking that step?
#3. Remove (or disregard or ignore) the obstacle.
#4. Take the step.#5. Go back to #1.
- from the great book DO IT! by John-Roger and Peter McWilliams
For more on how you and I can change the world
call Success Hotline today (973) 743-4690.
Thanks for reading,