[MUSIC] I’d now like to share the best coaching
advice you’re ever going to get in this or perhaps any other lifetime. Where’s
that great advice going to come from? Inside you. I want you to imagine
that you’re 95 years old. 95, you’re just getting ready to die.
Here comes that last breath.
Right before you take that last breath, you’re given a wonderful gift, a beautiful
gift… The ability to go back in time… The ability to go back in time and talk
to the person listening to me right now. The ability to help that person be
a better leader, a better professional… Much more important, the ability to
help that person have a better life… What advice would that wise 95-year-old
you, who knows what really mattered in life and what did not matter, and what was
important, and what was not important… What advice would that
wise old person have for the you that’s listening to me right now?
You don’t need to say anything or do anything or write anything.
Just answer that question in your mind. What advice would that
old person haveforyou? Whatever you’re thinking now, do that.
In terms of a performance appraisal, that’s the only one that’s going to
matter. If that old person says you did the right thing, you did the right
thing. If that old person says you made a mistake, you made a mistake.
You don’t need to impress anyone else. Some friends of mine interviewed old folks
who were dying, and got to ask them this question… What advice would you have
had? Three themes come up with the answer from old people facing death on
the personal side. Theme Number 1 could be summarized in three words: Be happy now…
Not next week, not next month, not next year… The great Western
disease is sweeping the world. What is that great Western disease? I’ll
be happy when… When I have the money, the status, the BMW, the condominium…
I will be happy when… We all have the same ‘when’…
That 95-year old person facing death, that is when…
Learning point from old people… I got so busy chasing what I did not have,
I could not see what I did have when I had everything. My guess is you’re one
of the luckiest people that ever lived. You probably have friends, family,
interesting work–relative to me, you probably have youth.
You have it all. Don’t get so wrapped up looking at what you don’t
have…you can’t see what you do have. I’ve asked thousands of
parents around the world… I say, Complete this sentence with
one word… When my child grows up, I want my child to be… One word
comes up in the answers from parents. One word more than every other word
combined, no matter what country I’m in… What’s that one word? Happy.
You want your kids to be happy. You want your parents to be happy.
You want the people that love you to be happy. You want the people
who respect your work to be happy. You go first. You be happy. Learning
2 from old people facing death… On the personal side, friends and family…
You probably work for a great company. I’m going to help you. When you’re 95
years old and you’re on your death bed, and none of your employees are waving
goodbye, you start to realize, you know, these friends and family, they’re kind of
important. They’re the only ones that seem to matter a whole lot today. And learning
point Number 3–if you have a dream, go for it. Because if you don’t go for
it when you’re 45, you may not when you’re 55, and
you probably will not when you’re 85. And it doesn’t have to be a big dream,
maybe a little dream. Go to New Zealand, or speak Spanish, or play a guitar…
Other people think your dream is goofy… Who cares? It’s not their dream,
it’s your dream. It’s not their life, it’s your life. I had a very embarrassing
experience a couple of years ago. I was teaching this and I said,
Go to New Zealand, speak Spanish. A guy raised his hand and
he goes, We’re in Spain, you idiot…we all speak Spanish.
[LAUGH] Business advice isn’t much different. Number 1, have fun…
Life is short. Life is short. Number 2 is do whatever
you can to help people. The main reason to help people has
nothing to do with money or status or getting ahead. The main reason to help
people is much deeper. The 95-year-old you will be very proud of you because
you did, and disappointed if you do not. And if you do not believe this is true,
you interview any CEOs who’ve retired. And I’ve interviewed a whole bunch
of them, and asked them a question. Please tell me, what are you proud of?
So far, none of them told me how big their office was. All they ever
talked about’s the people they helped. Final advice is also the same.
Go for it. Your industry’s changing. Your world’s changing. You do what
you think is right. You may not win, at least you tried. Old people, we almost
never regret the risks we took and fail. We always regret the risks we did not
take. And in my role as an educator, as a coach, I got one simple mission. That’s to help you have just a little bit
better life. So I hope that something I’ve said or done helps you have just a little
bit better life. Thank you very much. [MUSIC]