On May 19th, I attended the event “Wealthy and Wise” with speakers David Chilton and Arlene Dickinson – who most recently were featured as cast members on CBC's hit show, “Dragon’s Den.” Peter Legge, President and CEO of Canada Wide Magazines and Communications, offered some opening remarks and stories, as well. Although this nearly 2 and a half hour event was packed with so much inspiration and content, I decided to simplify this event into 4 key things that resonated with me during the speakers’ discussions. That is, and after a week of reflection, 4 major/key themes or statements made by the speakers themselves that I find extremely valuable to the success of one’s career or career path.
1. BE ACTION ORIENTED
Peter Legge noted that what lies before us and what lies behind us is nothing in comparison to what lies within us. He believes we were all created with a blank canvas and it is up to you to determine how to paint that canvas. Action is your responsibility and the seeds of greatness will most ultimately remain dormant until YOU decide to pursue it. This key theme iterated by Legge is an extremely valuable and necessary point as we meander through our own career paths and journey. If you decide to sit back and wait for the opportunities come, then you may be waiting a long time. Rather, the most successful people – the innovators and the entrepreneurs, are pro-active. They create the opportunities by taking action. He also noted that, at the end of the day, to win something you must be in the race and you must always be a participant.
2. THE CONCEPT OF TIME
Also from Legge is this concept of time. Essentially, the question was raised about what you are doing with your time and how you are spending it. In other words, what are you doing during what he refers to as the ‘runway of life.’ This is such an important point that many of us take for granted. We assume ‘time’ to always be there and ‘time’ to always be available. And after all is said and done there is ONLY 86,400 seconds in a day – which many of us would not think is that much. What things you choose to do with these seconds is not only entirely up to you but must be done with a sense of purpose, dedication, and commitment. The day is truly valuable and is something that must not be taken for granted or wasted. In sum, what Peter Legge tried to convey is that time is a finite resource. One cannot stop it or rewind it and thus, one must never take it for granted. In addition, one cannot alter the things that have happened in the past which is now history. But one can affect what happens today and moving forward. Take action now and change your life. He also reminded us that ultimately, what you think about the most is eventually what you will become.
3. BE AUTHENTIC, BE GENUINE
The next theme was given by the one and only, Arlene Dickinson. Her message was loud and clear. If you are authentic and if you are genuine, then everyone wins. Often individuals suppress their voices or ideas simply because they compare their inner insecurities with the outspoken and confident nature of today’s leaders. However, she notes that today’s leaders or high-profile individuals are not any different than you and I. They also suffer from the same insecurities and fears. But until we can let our voices be heard and stop allowing our inner demons to destroy our outward appearances then we will always be held back. It is only when we understand that anything is truly possible that that statement becomes a reality. And Arlene’s humble and tough youth to her now extremely successful life was only accomplished by being an authentic, genuine individual and by being a person who realized that her voice did matter. And although I truly dislike the cliche-ridden phrase, ‘anything is possible,’ Arlene brought it to new light for me. Anything is truly possible, as long as you: 1) try new things; 2) are authentic; and 3) never let the voices and pressure of others influence you.
4. EVERYTHING IS BETTER NOW
This next theme comes from David Chilton. He iterated that as a society, we must learn to be better and to learn to distinguish between a major problem and a minor inconvenience. All too often those in today’s society (myself included) have lost touch with reality. We complain more often than we appreciate and we often forget that everything is better now than it was in the past. And at the end of the day, we as individuals in society must be better. We must not get caught up in the minor speed bumps when potential mountains lie ahead. This is true for those not only starting their career but for those currently in their careers, as well. The world is at our fingertips and we are better positioned than any of our ancestors were in achieving those high levels of greatness or success. Let’s as a society, be better, strive for more, and learn to keep small problems exactly that – small problems.
Overall this event was not only inspiring and motivating, it reminded everyone of some of the finer details we often miss. This event wasn’t simply a recap of old works done by Arlene and Dave, but rather, a specific discussion on success and how to get to there. What made this event truly remarkable was that it applied to everyone, despite where one might have been in their career trajectory.