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In December 2010, I was doing a speaking tour in the Middle East and I had a day off in Qatar.
And I decided that I wanted to go dune-blasting
because the brochure in the hotel said that...
“your guide will drive you over 100-foot sand cliffs at 70 mpr
But my favorite part of the brochure was that it said...
“and then he will help keep you alive overnight in the desert.”
And then I said –“That sounds confident enough for me. Let’s do that!”
So I wandered out at 7 o’clock in the morning, and I meet my guide.
And it’s this man right here.
Now, this is the only time throughout the entire course of the day that he was not smiling.
Because he said the ladies like it when you look intense in photographs.
And then I walked towards this guy.
He jumps out of the car. And he throws his hands and he goes,
“Mr. Dudley! Welcome to Mustafa’s Grand Adventure. I am Mustafa!”
And I want to match his energy,
so I idiotically went with this, “Mustafa, like the Lion King.”
(Sings Lion King melody)
And he’d like deadpan looks at me and goes, “That’s Mufasa.”
I see apparently he’s not gonna try that hard to keep me alive in the desert, right?
And then he gets this big grin and said, “I’m kidding. I’m kidding. Hop in.”
And this guy starts to talk.
And he starts to talk about what we’re going to learn from the desert.
He starts to talk about all he knows about Canada.
This man is just pouring energy out.
And this is seven o’clock in the morning.
And this is one hour non-stop.
And we’re outside the city and have fun and I just go, “Mustafa – man - where do you get your energy?
You are the most upbeat dude that I’ve ever been with.”
And he looks at me with a huge smile and says, “It’s my first day! “
Now I’m well aware that everyone has to start somewhere.
But when there are100-foot cliffs involved, I’d rather not be in the car with a newbie, right?
And I guess I looked terrified.
And he goes, “don’t worry. Don’t worry.It’s always my first day.”
And I said, “what do you mean?”
He goes, “think about it, on your first day, you dress your best.
You show up early.
You really, really try to impress your boss.
You are incredibly nice to your co-workers.
You’re never more committed to your job than you are on your first day.
As a matter of fact, you are never more convinced...
that this is going to be the greatest job that you've ever had that you are on your first day.
As soon as your second day starts,
all of that starts to stop being quite so true. “
He said, “13 years ago I started this job.
AndI loved it. And I knew that I was gonna love it.
And so I decided 13 years ago that I would never have a second day of work.
So it has been my first day for 13 years.”
And I was so inspired by that way of looking at life and work.
But what’s really weird was that just as quickly I kind of got depressed.
Because this was right after I quit my job.
And I loved my job.
But there had been this really intense inter-personal conflict
that has been going on for quite a while
And finally made me feel that I had to go.
And when I heard him talk about how much he loved his job,
I couldn’t help but start to think about everything that I felt like I had been pushed away from my mind.
Everything I helped to build, that I had to say goodbye to.
And everything that seemed to be like, torn apart.
And I start to think about the person that I held responsible for
And I got really quiet.
And he thought that he insulted me.
And he said, “Drew, I’m so sorry. Did I say something wrong?”
And I said, “no. Mustafa.”
And then I basically tell this complete stranger an incredibly personal story of my life’s conflict.
And he gets really quiet. He finally says,
“Drew, this person that you are talking about. They are so far away.
They are so far away that it is night where they are, it is day where you are.
But you are letting them make it night where you are.
You are letting them wreck Mustafa’s Grand Adventure.
And they are not even here.
And what’s worse, you are acting like it’s their fault.”
I kind of got annoyed, “Well, it is their fault. I just told you the story.”
“No, with respect, Drew. It’s your fault. Because you are letting live rent-free in your head.
He says, “think about it.
Think about a landlord.
A landlord will allow people to use their property
But they charge rent to make sure they get something valuable in return to protect their investment.
Your head and your heart are the most valuable pieces of property that you own.
If you are going to let people use them
You’d better make sure that you get something valuable in return.
All this person brings you is anger, bitterness and sadness.
None of those things are valuable to you.
But when you accept anger, bitterness and sadness in return for access to your head and your heart,
you are basically letting someone live there rent-free.”
And he said “Drew, the landlord sets the rent. Alright? You are the landlord.
You are not allowed to be angry when all you get paid is what you ask for.”
And this guy was dropping knowledge like that on me for 18 hours straight.
It was like going….honestly, it was like going dune-blasting with Yoda.
And we talked a lot about the power of human connections that day.
When I think about what Mustafa said,
what I was reminded of, was that not everything to which we are connected, brings us value.
And unfortunately some of the most powerful connections that we allow ourselves to forge...
can actually be among our most limiting.
And I was a producer of a musical project once,
And one of the songs that was submitted have this set of lyrics that I’ve always remembered.
And they said, “There’s a difference between grounded, and run into the ground.
Some things keep you rooted, and some just weigh you down.
And you have to decide what you’d rather keep around…”
And I think that the ability to take a look at the connections in our lives,
And honestly ask ourselves, which of these things are keeping us rooted, and which of these things are weighing us down -
that’s an incredibly valuable skill to have.
In order to get the most out of the life, it’s gonna knock us around some times.
Because they are things that live rent-free in our heads.
And it’s not always people. It’s also failures. It’s also losses.
And it’s also these ideas that somewhere along the way we picked them up, and they start to limit us.
There’s one particular idea that has been living rent-free in way too many young people’s heads
that it has kind of become my passion to go after it.
For me,it started when I was working with a group of university students in a work shop,
And I asked what I thought was a completely innocuous question.
And I’m gonna ask some unfortunate person in the front row here as well.
You of one. Congratulations.
Are you ready?
You look so excited right now.
So let me ask you that question I asked that day:
“Why do you matter?”
And that look of absolute terror is exactly what happened.
And I said okay.
Then I asked somebody else in the crowd, “Why do you matter?”
And I get that same look of confusion, and sort of fear.
And I started to ask that question.
And I’ve asked it to hundreds of university and college students all around the world.
And watching them struggle to answer has made me realize that...
there's this idea that’s been living rent-free in your head:
you are somehow training to matter right now.
And that one day when you get good enough marks, from good enough schools
and you make enough money from prestigious enough jobs,
then all of a sudden, then you’ll be ready to matter.
Everything that we are doing in the mean time is some sort of training session.
And I think we have got to evict this idea that...
the biggest impact you are going to have on the world is gonna come down the pipe later on.
We got to evict this idea that this is some sort of “training to matter”.
You matter right now.
And we’ve also got to ask ourselves,
Can we call it an education when the best, the brightest, the smartest and the most well-educated young people in our countries freak out,
because no one has ever asked them –“Why do you matter?” before?
Because you do.
When I was 19 years old, my parents let me throw the “End of High School Party”.
Like the one that has been on every teen comedy movie ever.
Half way through the party,
And I was leaning back against a cottage
And I saw two of my friends who were a couple, and they were all snuggled up, watching the sun goes down.
And I snapped a photograph of it.
And I leaned back against the cottage and got all bitter.
And I turned to my buddy Scott, who was sitting right next to me.
And I said, “Scott you know it sucks that I don’t have somebody like that.
You know, it really sucks. I’m so tired of always being alone.”
And Scotty, who’s that friend who’s the athlete and musician, the-perfect-balance-of –left-brain-and-right brain guy.
Scotty looks at me and goes, “Drew, for a guy who’s got everything going for him...
all I ever hear from you is about what you don’t have.”
And I was not yet at the point in my life,
where I want my friends to tell me what I need to hear, as opposed to what I want to hear.
So I pushed back. And I said,“I don’t have everything going for me.
You know, all I have is pressure.
All I have is people telling me - make sure you keep getting those amazing marks.
And make sure that you live up to your potential.
All I feel like I have is an opportunity to disappoint everyone.
All I feel is like I have an opportunity to be a failure in front of everybody who believes in me.
And Scott looked at me for what seemed like a really long time.
And then he said, “Drew, you’ve got to give your friends more credit.”
He says, “we don’t care about you because the guy that you might be one day.
We care about you because of the guy that you are now.
I think you have to start to do the same thing.”
And that’s a piece of advice that has stuck with me for my entire life:
never diminish the person that you are in the name of this person that you think you are going to become one day.
And you know what – give your friends more credit.
Because they are going to forgive you.
And the really true friends - I discovered as you get older – the true friends in your life –
they are the ones who judge you based on the person they know you are on an average Tuesday afternoon.
Not the person we are sometimes or we’re on Saturday nights.
But, unfortunately, only after a few weeks after Scott gave me that advice
He and my other friend, Tim, were actually killed in a car accident.
just outside of my hometown.
And Scotty was 18 years old.
And that was 16 years ago.
And I’m talking about what he taught me on a stage at a TED event, 16 years later.
Because he mattered.
And so do you guys.
After I’ve said good bye to Scott, I went off to university.
And I met this amazing guy.
Not to be stared as a typical Canadian,
but there is this hockey uniform.
His name was Jason Abraham.
Jason was one of the senior staff members at the bar that I ended up working at.
And everybody loves this guy.
He was one of the coolest guys on campus.
And I wanted to be cool, since I was old enough to know that I wasn’t - so like, four.
When I had to work, I said to Jason
“How do you connect so easily to people?
How is it that people seem so drawn to you?”
And he said, “you know what,
I just try to keep it simple.
I think that you life is better the fewer times you put yourself in a position...
where you might feel forced to say ‘I’m sorry."
And if you want to pull unnecessary “I’m sorry”’ out of your life.
The easiest way to do it is this:
Every time you talk about somebody, act as if they’re standing directly behind you.
Your life just gets easier.”
“Every time you talk about somebody, act as if they’re standing directly behind you”
is may be the best life advice that I’ve ever been given, that I find a way to ignore on an almost daily basis.
And this how guys talked, and this is how this guy lived.
And unfortunately just a few weeks after he gave me that advice,
Jason was diagnosed with adnominal cancer.
Within five weeks, he was gone.
Jason Abraham was 23 years old.
And I stand on stages all over the world.
And I talked about what he taught me.
Because he mattered.
I’m 36 years old and I’ve been to 6 of my friends’ weddings
And I’ve been to 15 of their funerals.
And I could do a full talk on what every single one of those individuals taught me, and that has made my life better.
Not one of them lived to see their 24th birthday.
But they mattered.
And I think we need to evict this idea from our minds that...
impact, and the ability to make an impact is in any way, shape or form...
related to how old you are, or how well you do in school, or how much money that you were going to make.
Because honestly, your ability to matter to someone else, and have them talk about what you’ve taught them...
is absolutely immeasurable.
I love talking about the lessons that my friends taught me,
because that’s how I let go of their loss.
I talk about them in a lot of different places.
Two years ago, I was talking about Scotty and I was talking about Jason.
At the end of the presentation, this young woman walked up.
And she said Drew I really like your presentation.
But I feel bad for all the pain that you had in your life.
And then she told me her story.
And it was filled with so much more courage, and so many more challenges, and so much more pain and loss than mine was.
I looked at her and said,
“How in the world can you tell me that you feel bad for the pain I’ve had in my life...
when yours so obviously dwarfs mine?”
She looked me and she said...
“Drew, I’ve discovered that there’s no universal measuring unit for pain.
Hurt just hurts.
So comparing it is pointless.
But I had discovered that only hurt people hurt others.
And so if I want to be the type of person that I want to be,
I’ve got to let go of the things that hurt me,
so that I don’t end up hurting the people that I care about.
Only hurt people hurt others.
Honestly that is one of those things that you know that is true when you hear it.
But the more thatI’ve lived with it in my life, the powerful that it has become.
Because what it has come to mean to me,
is that leaders have to heal.
We’ve got to let go and disconnect from the things that have hurt us
Otherwise we will carry those things around with us
And then one day we will use them as a weapon to use against the people that we care about the most.
The fact is - leaders have to forgive.
The problem is, I think, that we want to win.
Like we carry around this conflict with us,
and we know that it’s sucking value out of our lives,
but we want to win.
We don’t want anybody out there, thinking that they beat us,
anybody thinking that they got one over on us.
We know that we should let them go.
But we are not willing to do so, until somebody acknowledges that
“we were right and that we won”.
And I want to let you know that
the most extraordinary people that I’ve worked with in my life,
they couldn’t care less about winning.
What they cared about is succeeding.
And sometimes the only true way to get into success,
is to let go of this idea that we have to win
I’ve lost way too many friends in ways that I cannot control.
to not tell every audience who would listen, that
if you can save a relationship - personal, family, romantic–
by simply saying “I’m sorry”, or hearing “I’m sorry”,
please do it.
Because there is absolutely no worse feeling in the world
than going to a funeral of somebody that you care about desperately,
and the last thing you said to them was terrible.
And I think leadership means going to bed every single night,
and knowing that can’t possibly be true.
But I know that almost everybody in this room has somebody.
Somebody that you wish were still in your life.
The only reason that they are not,
that you cant text them or call them or share things with them,
is because either you’ll not say “I’m sorry” or hear “I’m sorry”.
Guys, do it
There is no weakness in forgiveness.
And I honestly believe that sometimes leadership begins where forgiveness begins.
But I know that it’s not just that easy.
I recognize that you can’t just forgive and snap your fingers.
I mean I don’t do it.
I know that I’m still carrying things with me.
And Idon’t expect that we’ll be able to walk out here today
and immediately forgive everyone who has ever hurt us
or let go of everything that has ever made us feel like less than we are.
But what I do think what we have to do
is that we have tobe willing to ask the question everyday honestly –
“What is living rent-free in my head?
And am I ready to let it go?”
Because the answer might not be yes today
And it might not be yes tomorrow
And it may not be yes for a long long time.
But I honestly believe that any question that is asked everyday
is going to get answered sooner than one that is only asked once a week,
or once a month,
or once a year.
Or we never ask at all because we’re afraid of the answer.
Coz honestly guys,
I think that leadership is not knowing all the answers.
Leadership is being willing to keep asking the unanswered questions in our lives over and over again,
until we are ready to hear the answer.
Because there are things living rent-free in our lives.
But guess what?
We’re the landlord.
The landlord sets the rent.
And I think when it comes to our head, and our heart,
that it’s time to jack up our price a little bit.
Guys thank you so very much for sharing that with me.
Thank you very much. Thanks.


【TEDx】The Power of Disconnection: Drew Dudley at TEDxFoggyBottom

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Jane Liang 2015 年 5 月 14 日 に公開
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