As I reflect back on the short period of time I’ve had on earth, I think about the three things I’ve done right.

1. I’ve failed miserably.

2. I’ve had my heart broken.

3. I chose meaning over money.

Through these three things, I discovered my true self, realized that I wasn’t going to be around forever and made a conscious decision to make NOW count. Thankfully, I interact with an increasing number of people that are waking up to this same idea. Like me, they’re realizing that a meaningful life IS possible for them. They’re realizing that money can’t and will never buy them the passion they seek, but that discovering and living that passion (and a life lived meaningfully well) can and will make them money.

Life is not a series of events that occur to you. There is no third party influencing your life. It is through establishing the right mindset (thoughts become things) and your undying pursuit of living the life of your dreams that will guide you and create unbounded opportunity. Being around the right people will change you, so be ruthless with your time and select your acquaintances carefully. You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with, so surround yourself with people who believe what you believe. As required, perfect the art of saying “No” to those who do not fit your vision for your future.

Although life rarely affords you second chances, you must believe that in front of you are infinite possibilities. Many people fail to have great careers because (1) they know they’re supposed to follow their interests/passions…but they don’t, (2) they tell themselves that they aren’t geniuses or that they don’t have special skills, or (3) they tell themselves that they’re not unique…that they’re “normal”. If you look at yourself through any of those lenses, remove those thoughts from your mind and allow life’s infinite possibilities to occur by taking the brakes off your mind and what you are capable.

Remember, nothing replaces human contact. It isn’t and should never be viewed as a luxury. Generate value for and be nice to all those you encounter as you never know what they’re going through. At the end of the day, there are “leaders” and there are those who lead. Which are you going to be? People will not remember what you said or did, nor will they buy what you do, they remember how you made them feel and they buy WHY you do it.

To determine your Why:

1. Fail fast and learn from your mistakes,

2. Have deep and meaningful relationships with diverse people,

3. Choose not to buy iStuff and McMansions,

4. Error on the side of taking action NOW,

5. Create a positive mindset and visualize yourself being successful,

6. Surround yourself with people who believe in what you believe in,

7. Generate value for everyone, and

8. Ask yourself, “What legacy do I want to leave behind?”

Just like the point of education isn’t grades, your Why shouldn’t be retail therapy or escaping from your career. On the contrary, the point of grades, however, can be education and your Why should be focused on determining how to live a unique life, loving a lot and unlocking your own potential.