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The Hi-Tech Hippie

Experience Life

Thailand Lesson 4: Say Yes

A mindset often preached about, yet never lived. Take life as it comes, don’t rush and see what is out there. It’s the last takeaway I have from Thailand. The concept of going with the flow and being impulsive, trying new things and experiencing life…Say yes, to life! I want to look at how it impacted my trip as a whole and how it’s changed my life over the last couple years. Let’s talk.

While I was in Thailand I had a general plan for what the beginning of my trip looked like, having a “yes man” mindset helped greatly in my exploration of the country. When I say “yes man” I am actually referencing the movie with Jim Carey. In the movie he was someone who turned down opportunities in life, continually saying no to doing almost everything. Then he attends a seminar that changes his perspective and gets him to start saying yes to everything.  I am actually planning on taking a trip similar to the concept of movie with some friends here in a few weeks. The main concept of the movie though is to not say yes to everything, but not be closed off to new opportunities and experiences.

After getting to Thailand after 4 flights and 23 hours I finally met the initial group of people I would be getting scuba certified with, my first and only plan. After class that day we went out for beers and I got to know them a little better. Ultimately the time came where these relatively new strangers and I had to part ways, but I had a choice. I could go with them island hopping in the south or head back north and be travelling by myself once again. I ended up choosing the island hopping route and amongst fire shows and snorkeling trips I found myself among a whole new group of people who were all doing the same thing and had the same mindset, say yes!

Travelling is not for everyone. I understand that and I actually am currently making a video for some tips on travelling to Thailand, but when you’re travelling keep in mind that your boundaries are going to get pushed. You have the opportunity to say no, but what you turn down may be something that leads you to a new group of people and to potentially new areas/countries. Whether it’s staying in a hostel, or trying a new food give it a shot. It’s like the butterfly effect. One decision can have huge implications down the road for your growth and potential friendships/experiences.

Next time you are travelling in a new country, in the U.S., or even going down to the local bar for a beer after work, have this in the back of your mind. This mindset can open your eyes to such a new world that is out there. I know it’s going to be uncomfortable, but get comfortable being uncomfortable. Growth happens on the edge of your boundaries, not in your daily routine. In a few weeks I am taking my first “yes man” trip in which we will be booking our flights that Friday before we take off. We are going to book the cheapest flight round-trip and wing it from there. I am so excited to go and truly enjoy a city by trying all sorts of new things with not a single plan in mind.

It’s a mindset I have taken on in the last few years and I can see has become more infectious with the Millennial generation. I see risks being taken, countries being explored, and people connecting with people. Some people are even turning it into a business! Who’s to say that you can’t do the same? Go out, say yes, experience life.

On purpose,

Matt

 

Thailand Lesson 3: Planning

I was talking to a friend recently on the subject of success. I asked, “What does success look like to you?” While they were describing some things to me, something stuck out. They had said the following, “I never thought I would be where I am now… I had all these plans and thoughts about the way my life would look by now and all of it has changed.” It inspired me to write this third article about my time in Thailand. The concept of planning and how we tie it into our lives and how travelling works in conjunction with it. Let’s talk.

In my opinion, past generations have been content following the general path of previous generations, and by that I mean sticking to the “mold”. This mold goes something like this… Find a girlfriend, get married, move in together, buy a dog, buy a house, have kids, work 30 years, retire to have your last 30 years be enjoyed in you red door, white picket fenced house. It’s a prototypical plan that we all follow and expect to have accomplished or be going through at some point in our lives. While that mold still is applicable to some of the millennial generation I think we see a drastic change in most of the millennials. Things like “gap” years or moving abroad, to starting your own company, and so on are now typical paths we can take. We are continuing to push off big life decisions to find paths we are passionate about and to see what this world has to offer.

This concept of a life plan really plays into almost all aspects of our lives. We even schedule our vacations to a “T” and have every last second mapped out of what we want to do. I see the value in scheduling certain aspects of your life and trips, but what happened to spontaneity and impulse decisions? Where is the flexibility?

So, what does this have to do with Thailand? Just as my friend had this life plan, I had a plan for Thailand, where I was going to go and what I was going to see, that all fell apart the third day in.  I was finishing up my open water scuba certification and a new friend I had met during diving, was asking what I was going to do next? I had told her about heading north to Chiang Mai and seeing the elephants. Then, fly back to the city to head back to the U.S. to finish off my trip. She responded by telling me to stay south and see the other islands, so on a whim…I did. I loved it!! That night I proceeded to go on a local pub crawl involving multiple bars, a ladyboy show (holy schnikes), multiple fire juggling shows, and even an LED rope light turned jump rope. The following morning came and then I continued travelling with a new group of people that we had met involving scuba trips, GoPro filming, and drinking out of sand bucket all the while not having a plan of what to do or where to go. Had I not taken that opportunity I probably would not have made the friends that I did and not gotten a full experience of the south. It’s amazing what a group of young, ambitious, and adventurous people can find in a foreign country.

Just as my friend did not have her plans go the way she wanted I had my plans change completely as well. Life does not slow down. I know I am only 25, but to this point in my life I cannot believe how quickly the years have gone by. It’s an amazing ride and I am blessed to have been able to do what I have and see the places I have seen. I have always been somewhat impulsive in life, but I too had this concept of the life I wanted. I think now my ideology has changed. We don’t need a perfect plan for life. I have set goals for myself and know what I still value, but trying to put a timeline to these is almost impossible. Life is full of turns and twists. You never know what will happen next and that is the beauty of it, we learn to deal with the hand we are dealt.

Everything happens for a reason. In life we have all these plans and preconceived notions of what we want to do and how we want it to look. I think the biggest challenge we face as young adults is truly defining what we love to do and what is important to us. The same perceptions and plans that our parents define as success or what it looks like may not be the same for you. So I challenge you to go explore and let life deal you what it will. You will never know your true capacity if you’ve never tested. So try something new, do something spontaneous, and get out and find your passion. It may be in the last place you thought you would look…

On purpose,

Matt

Thailand Lesson 2: Perspective

Perception is reality. How we interpret our world is unique to each and every one of us. We all are a summation of our past experiences and our individual upbringings. It’s what makes all of  us tick, our perspective on how the world works. In today’s society we have begun to lose sight of this. We are becoming less culturally aware and more selfish in nature; we don’t seek out differences we want people to accommodate to our lifestyles. We need to change, let’s talk.

First, let’s talk about how we have become so unaware of other cultures. We go as Americans to other countries and expect everyone to speak English, eat hamburgers, and drink bud light. I will go into some of the culture differences I saw in Thailand later, but why is it that we are so insensitive and close minded? I’m not sure what the trigger is, but we have begun to push our culture onto people rather than the preservation of their cultures. I believe is that we have become arrogant in our capabilities as a country. We think that we are always right as Americans and think our way is the only way. We need to walk a mile in their shoes, see things how they see things, learn to appreciate our differences. If we had more appreciation and understanding for other peoples beliefs and cultures I think we would see the world become a more collaborative and productive place to live.

It is amazing that in my first trip overseas I was enlightened to the fact of how unaware of the rest of the world I was. I want to touch on some of the differences I saw in the southern islands of Thailand.

Number one, phone plans. When I first arrived in Thailand my phone did not work, which you too will experience unless you buy a phone plan. I opted not to buy a plan and only utilized Wi-Fi where I could. The thing I noticed about the phone plans was that they were opposite of our traditional plans here. The calling and minutes were limited and data was not, while in the US data overages are what phone companies thrive on.

Number two, driving and roads. Other than in Bangkok the rules of the road were never posted nor talked about. I did not see a single speed limit, stop, yield, or any similar sign that we see here in the US down in the islands. I spoke briefly about this in my last blog as well in being mindful of the people around you while driving. Also, road conditions depended on what part you were in. Some roads were gravel, some dirt, some paved. It was all relative to how close you were to the main part of the island.

Number three, the service industry. No shoes, no shirt no problem. I think Kenney was talking about Thailand when he wrote that song. Most places of business in Thailand ask that you take your shoes off at the door. Try walking into a target shoeless, ha. The other thing I noticed about the service industry is there is no sense of urgency. When you go into a restaurant in America it is often a well-oiled machine, pushing customers in and out as fast as possible. In Thailand, you often have to ask for the check and even flag the server down to place your order. The pace of life is a lot slower along with the service. They are in no rush to push you out the door. I often forgot to pay and had the server run after me because I was so used to having the check brought to me.

Number four, schedules. Feeding off number three, the concept of schedules is very vague and quite unpredictable. You may have a ferry scheduled for 8 in the morning and it may show up then, or 9:00, or maybe even 9:30. Schedules are not a steadfast thing in Thailand and you need to be flexible when it comes to planning surrounding them.

Last, but not least number five. business in general. As I touched on there are some key differences in the way businesses function over in Thailand and one of the main ones is the way a business starts and is marketed. In order to open a business you must have a Thai partner in the business, you cannot start one unless you are a Thai citizen. Once opened the typical marketing strategies are used except in my experience most of the recommendations I came across were by word of mouth. Most businesses are tied together somehow and will recommend each other’s establishments for this word of mouth marketing. So when you are eating that hamburger at a food stand and don’t have a place to stay yet, I guarantee that the Hostel the chef running the stand will recommend is the same place that recommends his hamburger stand for food. The culture is very tied together and impacts how their businesses work together.

We are not the only culture on the planet. There is so much exploring and adventuring one can do in this world to bring awareness to what is happening in other cultures and countries. What is stopping you from becoming more aware? Get out and experience the world, experience life.

On purpose,

Matt

Thailand Lesson 1: Mindfullness

Be mindful of the person in front of you, such a simple idea. I was on bus heading to Ko Phi Phi Island when I was making small talk with a man from the Netherlands. He was telling me about his time spent up north in Chiang Mai and such that they had a very simple rule for driving, be mindful of the person in front of you. Let’s talk.

One of the things that I noticed while in Thailand was the lack of road rules. Looking back at my conversation with the Netherlands man, I don’t recall seeing hardly any street signs in the islands or anywhere for that matter other than in Bangkok. It is a simple rule, but very effective. In a country like Thailand that is rampant with tourists, I think having simple rules such as that, begin to make us more mindful of being aware of the people and culture around us.

Help others. Simon Sinek talks about how we have created a culture in which we no longer help or care for each other. He often says in his talks that when we genuinely try to help someone else we find that the other person gets defensive in thinking that you want something from them. Simon also speaks about the self-help industry. He says that its always about us, and how we can make ourselves better, but never about helping each other. This is true in business! We find that big companies often look out for themselves and their bottom line rather than the greater good of our societies. This creates a huge siloing effect on the different departments in companies as well. It lowers employee engagement and often raises attrition rates. It is such a sad thought that in a rapidly advancing society technology is creating a society in which we become more obsessed with our own interests rather than taking the time to help someone out.

The theme I am continually pushing and want you to take from this article is helping others. I want to talk about the Spartans. I am guessing most of you have seen the movie 300 in which Gerard Butler and his crew of “jacked” Spartans fight the Persians in an epic battle of good vs. evil. The bigger picture though is the belief that the Spartans had. There was a scene in the movie where Leonidas (Gerard) was talking to a commoner who had aspirations of joining the Spartan army. He had also brought valuable information to the king about a hidden goat path, which was the ultimate downfall of the Spartans in this fight. Leonidas asked the man to raise his shield thigh to neck, in which the man by no fault of his own did not have the strength or mobility to do so. This resulted in the king not allowing him to join. The belief that the Spartans had was that they belonged together in battle in one single unit, meaning that everyone would protect the person to the left of them and to the right. That is why they were often so successful in battle. It was such a simple idea, yet a drastic result for an entire army of people.

I think also in today’s society we not only have stopped caring for one another, but we have also begun to lose perspective on each other’s lives and cultures. We often jump to conclusions and find ourselves aware of our own beliefs and unconscious of others. I want to talk more about this in my next blog so I won’t drag on, but we need to start the wheels of change.

Be mindful of the person in front of you. I think as a society we have this capability and I know that there are companies and people getting behind this concept more and more each day. From startups to large corporations it starts with one idea, one person, one belief that we can make our companies and our cultures more about each other and less about the bottom line. It is amazing how one trip to a new area meeting a group of new people can change your perspective. I think we can continue to drive this into the workplace as the millennial generation has a stigma of being more invested in a company’s ideals and culture. So start today, why wait? Find someone and hold the door for them. When you go out to lunch, invite the new guy with you. All it takes is one small act to get people to start caring and working with each other, rather than against. Its a world I imagine and a world I know we can create.

On purpose,

Matt

Retail: Sell your people, not your products

As I was shopping the other day I had a floor salesman approach me at REI asking if needed help with anything. I proceeded to tell him that I was interested in a backpacking pack and the respective brand that I was interested in. As our conversation went on we talked about my trips I had done and where I was heading next, all the while he was continuing to help me get fitted and sized for my pack. After the sizing was complete he told me how to purchase my pack online as they did not have my size at the store, and then he sent me on my way. This experience solidified the way I believe we should sell in retail, focusing on people not products. Let’s talk.

 

I work for an electrical distributor in which we offer different products and services to our customers through branch locations all over the world. We continually focus on how to improve these services and how we can beat our competition, some of whom are other distributors while others are retail locations such as Lowes or Home Depot. I think the problem that we face is that not only are we focusing on how to beat the competition; we are not focusing on our people. I think the main difference between a Lowes and our company is the way that we sell. We utilize our people as technical resources that have an in depth knowledge of our product and applications. While in a retail store such as Home Depot, the average employee is an hourly teenager that knows locations of products, but not an in depth look at a specific product family.

 

This is what happened at REI and why retailer’s such as REI are so successful. Their people are what they focus on. The sales force within the company does not just push a product line or something that we do not want as a customer. They align with what you are saying and adjust accordingly. Their sales teams are knowledgeable in products, but also in experience. They use this experience to guide your buying decision to the best fit for you, and not just a specific brand.  Good retailers sell their people, not their products. This is why retail still exists in a world of online and virtual selling. As a company you must not forget that what separates you from an Amazon or EBay is the people in your store, not the products on your shelves.

 

We often lose sight of this in sales and sales management. We have management continually driving down specific vendors to sales teams to push for some type of bonus or kickback to that manager. Instead we need to be focusing on how we can improve our experience for the customer through our people by giving them the proper training and development that they need. Products are just accessories to our people.

 

In the book The 12 Elements of Great Managing by Rodd Wagner and James Harter they talk about a survey given to companies surrounding employee engagement and satisfaction. They pull our 12 major themes for managers to work on with their employees. I have been reading this book and I can see that it has a great outline for managers. I think it could be a great foundation for companies to start giving to their managers to stop focusing on products and start focusing on people.

 

In our everyday lives we are all in sales, whether you’re selling an idea to be implemented internally or out talking to customers in a retail setting. We need to begin to push our people in retail. As the physical store becomes obsolete, the only way we can grow our respective businesses is to acknowledge our difference, which is not the products we carry it is the people we employ. The sooner we can invest more time and money into our people, the more optimistic we can be about our future.

 

On purpose,

 

Matt

Experience Life

“Experience is the name every one gives to their mistakes.” –Oscar Wilde

As I prepare for my first international trip to Thailand I begin to reflect on what an amazing year I’ve had. The friends I have made and the experiences I’ve gone through have continually shaped my values, beliefs, and perspective. I know that not everyone has the same mindset as me, but I continue to advocate “experiencing” life. Let’s talk.

I don’t want to come off as preachy or telling people how to live their life, that is not my intention. I can say that I have become a more open and understanding person as well as creating more meaningful relationships with the people in my life by doing things I would have never said yes to five years ago. Your comfort zone and standard way of doing things is great! In routine there is comfort and security, but minimal growth.

It goes back to something I am passionate about, creating human bonds. The idea is that as we push our boundaries seeking unique opportunities and overwhelming limits we find deep meaningful connections and growth. The same phenomenon occurs when we experience life. When we test our limits and try new things, both in our work and  personal lives, we see growth. Learning a new skill at work, trying a new hike in the mountains, taking on a difficult project, or even learning how to play an instrument, all of these things play a part in growing our perspective and knowledge.

I think therefore I am. Your perception of the world is shaped by your belief sets, values, environment, and experience. So why limit yourself to your everyday routine? Get out and experience life! Start with something small if you are uncomfortable, but the key is to start! The world is waiting for you. I look forward to blogging about my time in Thailand over the next 10 days and hope that it can help shape your decision to do something spontaneous or new in the coming weeks.

“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift. That is why they call it the present” Now I know that the old turtle in Kung Fu Panda said this, but it really holds true for me in my life. Tomorrow is never guaranteed, which is why you need to say yes to life today. Go out and experience it, because do you really want to look back in 20 years and say you wish you would have…?

On purpose,

Matt

Rankings – Why they don’t matter

I was listening to another video from the world of Simon Sinek and he touched on a very interesting topic, rankings. A lot of businesses seek out rankings to validate their business, yet we don’t always agree upon the criteria were/they’re being judged on. Why do we place such importance on them? Simon believes instead of focusing on being ranked and having a sense of “achievement” we should be focused on advancement. Let’s talk.

I like to relate sports to most of the articles that I write, so today I want to talk about my time as a wrestler. Starting in high school I remember how our coach used to post the rankings on our wall in the wrestling room. These rankings were not only the external rankings (the entire state), but also our internal (highest team points, most takedowns, etc..). I always found myself checking them to see where I was or where my teammates and friends ended up. Looking back now I even found myself obsessed with these rankings in college.

In college I was blessed to be a part of a successful team in which we won two national titles during my tenure. I also was honored to start for the majority of my career until I began to get injured. I remember caring about where my opponents were ranked in the nation and where we were as a team. I saw that it affected my performance. I was not as active or willing to take risks against these opponents because I wanted to beat them to secure my spot in the rankings. Yet why were these important or even relevant at all? We see all the time in sports from basketball to football where a team gets upset in a big tournament or loses to someone they shouldn’t. So why do we place such importance on being “ranked”?

I want to look at a wrestler named Kyle Snyder. I believe he has gotten it right and Simon has formalized his mindset. I believe Kyle no longer looks at rankings, or cares where he falls in the opinion of someone else. He continually competes against himself each day to get better. This is how Simon believes businesses should run; it’s not about achievement it’s about advancement. Simon says (pun intended) that these rankings are not even based on the same criteria. You may be #1 in customer service, yet rank low in employee satisfaction. You may have a high safety rating, but low in customer retention. What’s important in one scale may be irrelevant in the next. The scales we rate ourselves on in sports and in life are all different and we have not even agreed on the criteria in which we are ranked. We always look for the poll in which we are highest and showcase it around as if it were something of importance, when really we should be focusing on ourselves.

Simon was talking about an education summit that he spoke at for both Microsoft and for Apple. At the end of the Microsoft summit he was gifted the new Zune that had just come out. Simon talks about how great of a design and how user friendly the technology was, he was amazed. Then after the Apple summit he was riding with an Apple executive and decided to “stir the pot”. Simon showed the executive the Zune and was bragging to him about how much better than the IPod it was. The apple executive responded shockingly to Simon by saying, “I have no doubt that it is better”, the conversation was over. This is because Apple does not focus on their competition. They are not trying to be better than the competition, they are trying to be better than themselves. They don’t care about where they are ranked or what products their competition is releasing, they are focused on how we improve upon what we have today to be better tomorrow. They are playing two different games, one to be better than the other and one to be better than themselves. This is why rankings do not matter.

In our everyday lives we will constantly be scrutinized by other businesses and other people for our ideas and ways of doing things. We will constantly be measured on scales, rankings, and ratings systems for criteria we may or may not agree upon or thought were applicable ourselves or our business. We need to stop caring about it. We need to focus on advancement over achievement. How do we get 1% better today, so we can be better than we were before? Focus on making yourself better, not living up to the standards of your competition or to the ideals of some scale made up on some ranking system. Work to be better than you were yesterday.

On purpose,

Matt

Authenticity – Why does it matter?

Authenticity, a characteristic often over looked yet extremely important in the business world. Simon Sinek describes it very well when he says, “Being authentic is saying and doing the things you actually believe.” Authenticity is so important when creating deep meaningful connections with people and in developing trust with new people. There is only one you, so why try to be anyone else? Let’s talk.

What does Simon mean when he says the above quote? I think it has to do with the false fronts a lot of us put up in our lives. We have the technology and media capabilities to not only alter our image, but create an image that may not resonate with our true selves. Simon Sinek says that the things you say and do are symbols for what you believe. Your actions should simply be the proof of your values and principles. These symbols that you put out will attract people to you even if they are not the type of person you want to be involved with. This is why Simon emphasizes authenticity so much, because if you are not authentic you may not be attracting the type of person that has the same set of beliefs.

So what does this look like? Simon uses Apple often in his examples, but I would like to focus on another company, New Belgium. They are a brewery based out of Fort Collins, CO specializing in making craft beer. I have taken multiple tours of their facility and love the product that they put out. Yet it’s not just the beer that draws me and the other customers that buy their product. They have a set of values and culture in their company that draws you in when you meet with the employees and visit their facility. I was talking with one of their managers who told me that they have between 300-500 applicants for every position they post, even their janitorial positions! It shows that what you are doing is not as important as why you are there. New Belgium has created such an amazing environment that people want to be there, regardless of what they are doing.

Some businesses are very authentic. They show their true vision and values to their employees and their employees reciprocate that to their customers. This is what creates true loyalty. When you begin to build a bond with your customer that is beyond just your product and differentiating value proposition. It goes deeper than that to create a meaningful bond. We develop trust with these companies and know that they have our best interests in mind.

I want you to think of companies that you are loyal too. For me some would be Burton snowboards, Nike, REI, Illegal Pete’s, and Clif bar to name a few. Now I want you to think about places you are not loyal too. For me it would be  grocery stores, gas stations, and fast food restaurants. Now I want you to think why? When someone begins to question why you are loyal, there are two typical responses, defensive or emotional. In both these responses you will see a transition to a rational train of thought. You as a human will try to quantify your feeling behind the emotion. Responses such as, “They have great customer service, their employees are always helpful, they always have stock, etc…” are said because as humans we cannot quantify our emotions. It’s based in biology. The area of the brain that is responsible for language and rotational thoughts is not the same area responsible for emotions, so we transition from an emotional state to a rational state. This is why being authentic is so important. If you put out symbols as a company you will attract customers and you will begin to build a following, but if you are not authentic in what you’re doing you will destroy your reputation at the first sign of deception or manipulation of those customers. This is why I think I am not loyal to the above companies as the transaction time I s often quick and I believe they are in it to make money rather than care for their customers.

Authenticity matters, in the business world and in our personal lives. What you say and do should simply be proof of your beliefs. So next time you go to post that selfie with a filter, or retweet an article just remember that what you say and do are symbols and you will begin to attract people to those symbols you are putting out. Are they the people you want to be bringing into your life?

On purpose,

Matt

Nature VS. Nurture – The great debate

The factors and influences that shape our values and beliefs are primarily based in two areas. These are the environment that surrounds us and our internal wiring and thought process, nature vs. nurture. This debate has been going on since the beginning of the study of the mind and people are taking a stance on which one has a larger impact on the way we think, feel, and act. Let’s talk.

In my opinion from the early stages in your life the split is almost identical. I think that your environment and your genetics play an equal part in shaping your values and your tendencies. I think the shift begins as you get older and you’re more likely to be influenced by your surroundings. One case study I want to look at is about the Reiner twins.

Bruce Reiner was born along with his twin brother in January of 1965. They were both healthy young babies until one day they started to have some medical complications. The doctors advised that a simple circumcision would help alleviate some of these problems. The doctors had decided to utilize a different method to the surgery and ended up having a botched result. The boy was scarred for life. Due to this disfigurement it left the family in confusion as how to move forward with their son. The doctor, without any scientific backing, claimed that nature was the significant factor in determining gender. He proposed they raise Bruce as a girl.

There were a few key elements in making this experiment a success. First they must not ever tell Bruce that he was born a boy. They also had to allow the boy to take estrogen and other medications to help the transformation begin. During the early stages of his life he had taken on some tendencies of normal young women, playing with dolls as well as being more neat and clean in his daily life. Yet, while showing these traits he still had a lot of “tomboy” tendencies. By the age of nine Bruce had become very unstable. His masculinity side began to show more and more and he became very rebellious. He could not make friends with people at school and even began contemplating suicide. A few months later the parents had decided to cave in and they told Bruce that he was born a boy.

He eventually took on the persona of David. He later got married and took on three stepchildren and began a family. The story does not end there. David later finds out that his upbringing was a part of medical research and had been deemed the roadmap for young boys who had similar situations. This led him down the road of depression and eventually suicide at the age of 38. So what does this mean and what implication does this have?

As stated before I think that nature and nurture play an equal role in your early childhood years. I believe this was shown in the case of the Reiner family. Although they were attempting to shape his environment to the results they wanted, his natural instincts took over. It is hard to impact the mind at such a young age with environment. We have instinctual tendencies as youth that rely more on nature than nurture. The shift happens towards the end of high school and into college. I believe that your environment becomes a more important role as your parents step out of the picture. You have your initial value sets and beliefs instilled in you early on as well as your genetic disposition on decision making and predispositions. It is in those early adulthood years though where your friends begin to challenge those initial values and beliefs. I also think this is why you see so many people delaying college or delaying a full time job to “find” themselves. They go out and test their beliefs and challenge themselves to see what is truly important to them and see what they can learn from other cultures and environments.

Life is never set in stone. Just because I believe this doesn’t make it true. There are people all over the world that have different opinions and theories on this topic. I challenge you do some deeper diving yourself to find out what you believe. It is a topic that is extremely important as a leader in all of your respective companies. Control the things you can control. As a leader you need to know that environment shapes behavior. Get the environment right to receive the results you desire.

On purpose,

Matt

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