This past Friday morning I had the honor of delivering a brief – but hopefully impactful – commencement address at Grand Oak Elementary in Charlotte. This school is a special place, with special people, and a special culture!

Here is a brief outline of the key points I shared:

One of the most important skills you can develop is the ability to give someone or something your FULL attention. To ‘be where the feet are’ and be full present. You do that by ‘listening with your eyes.’ You hear with your EARS, but you listen with your EYES. What you choose to focus on shows what’s most important to you in that moment.

I encourage all young people to find their Strength Zone: the intersection between what you love (your passion) and what you are naturally pretty good at (your talent). The more time you can spend in your Strength Zone… the higher you’ll perform, the more impactful you’ll be, and the more fulfilled you will feel.

3 keys to being a Top Performer in any area of life:

  1. Give a great effort: If you are going to do something, do the best that you are capable of. Working hard is a choice. It’s the most fundamental decision you make each morning.
  2. Have a great attitude: Choose to be positive when others don’t. Choose to be optimistic when others won’t. No matter what happens to you, choose a thoughtful and kind response. Be coachable. Be a good teammate. Be an energy giver.
  3. Make great decisions: Your life is the culmination of every decision you make. If you want a good life, make good decisions. Do what’s right, not what’s cool… especially during the Unseen Hours. Take care of your body. Process your emotions. Leave things better than you found them. Makes decisions your future self with thank you for!

Doing these three things consistently will get you an invite to the 1% Club (a club where members do the things that 99% of people choose not to do)!

“Do what others don’t do… and you’ll have what others don’t have.”