By the time I retired as a university professor last year, I had seen thousands of gifted students pass through my doors.
Invariably, I would try to give them what passed for advice.
One of these bits of wisdom stemmed from a question a student posed years ago. “If you could only give a single piece of advice,” he asked, “what would it be?”
My answer became a staple in all my classes from that point forward.
“You may not believe it,” I told him, “but someday you are going to be able to pay the rent. Once that happens, what’s it going to be that gets you out of bed in the morning?”
I would pose this as a question and listen to their answers. Then I would leave them with the real point I wanted to make…
“For me,” I told them, “it is all about keeping up the excitement and anticipation. You do this very simply. Each morning, challenge yourself to push the envelope: pose a new question, solve a new problem, reexamine a situation from a new perspective, or just refuse to admit defeat.”
It’s the way I have lived this life, one that has seen some rather unexpected turns.
One of them is happening right now in Fort Lauderdale. It’s a change so stunning, I can barely contain my excitement and anticipation this time.