20 Years Later: Happy But Not Content

Earlier this month I attended my 20 year reunion at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota. There were a few friends who could not make it so — truth be told — my excitement was slightly deflated. But as I look back at it now, without question, I’m glad I went and connected with classmates I have not seen in years.

Before driving down to campus, I had a thought-provoking chat with my Mom that Saturday morning. We were discussing whether or not I was happy and content about where I am now post college graduation. It got me thinking about all the good things that I have been able to accomplish since 1998. So my immediate answer was “yes!”

But that would not be my complete answer….

Indeed, if I knew where I was now 20 years ago I probably would be happy but would I be content? In other words, would I feel like I have arrived? Or like I have used all my God given talents and skills? My answer to that would be an emphatic, “no, I’m not content at this stage.”

Don’t get me wrong, having lived overseas, married to a beautiful and loving bride, having 2 healthy little ones, having a strong family, and having started my own business are just a few of the things I can say without any hesitation that I’m very blessed and proud about. But these are not reasons for being content. A resounding sense of appreciation and gratitude, yes, but certainly I am not in a state of bliss or utter satisfaction. And I’m OK with that because this is what I believe makes the journey of life so enjoyable.

In my heart’s of hearts, I know that my greater purpose in life is just getting started. And for me to reach contentment, I have to continue this path with humility, discipline, integrity, and hunger. And by being hungry, I mean feasting on knowledge that will keep me fired up to take thoughtful action. It is this action that I hope to achieve my utmost greatness in this gift we call life.

And to find out what that greater purpose is, well then I guess you’ll have to keep following the “FullEffect Life” to find out.

In conclusion, if you have a reunion coming up definitely go but have that internal conversation with yourself before you step foot on campus. This will ensure that you benchmark your life against YOU and nobody else.

The Most Important Factor in Hiring: Culture

Aside

One thing that I have learned during my time in Silicon Valley is that increasingly entrepreneurs — at least the ones who get it — are putting more time hiring the right talent. This is a good thing that I hope will become more mainstream across organizations, regardless of size. Just recently I went to a fireside chat hosted by the Founder’s Floor and a seasoned entrepreneur astutely stated that he dedicates a significant amount of his time to interviewing talent. He believes that hiring the right talent is instrumental in maintaining the right company culture which he has been able to do. In fact, he stated that culture is more important than skills since these can be taught. I would have to agree with this assertion. Company culture is perhaps the most critical factor that can help turn a good company to a great one.