Thirty Years: Thank you

Warning: This isn’t a technology post but it’s worth your time.  It’s about a fire.

Do you feel like you could do something else that would make you happier?  Do you want to make a difference?  My answer was yes to both questions.  Even before having my daughter I’ve always had something burning inside that made me want more out of life.  It’s one of those things that drives you.  I feel like it’s a constant battle to do what I can to be better.  It’s probably silly but I want this for others too.

A couple of things happened recently that prompted me to write this post:

  1. I joined EMC as a vSpecialist almost 5 months ago.  The draw was the culture that Chad Sakac had fostered.  I felt tapped out in the role I was in at another organization and most importantly felt like I could make a *bigger* difference elsewhere.  It has been unbelievable.
  2. I read “Tribes” by Seth Godin.  The book hit me at the core.  It’s about being a leader.  What’s holding you back in life?  Most of the time it’s fear.  I’ve overcome so many fears in life by just taking the risk.
  3. I sat next to a lady on a plane who helped her son go after his dreams.  Her son decided he wanted to go to MIT before his teens.  She fed his never-ending desire to learn math and reading.  She took him to museums and lego robotics competitions.  Now he’s at MIT doing what he loves.
  4. Chris Hoff tweeted that he had donated to Kiva for the 83rd time.  Kiva does micro loans in developing countries.  Imagine if you could loan money to someone to buy a cow and that in turn helped out their whole family or village in a developing country.  With Kiva, you can do it.
  5. Wade O’Harrow (Director of vSpecialists worldwide) called me one morning to help me set up my iPad and we got on the subject about “smiling”.  Just smiling makes you feel better and makes those around you feel good.  Wade is one of those energetic leaders who knows what matters.
  6. Ade Olonoh, who I consider a best friend moved to San Francisco.  An idea he and John Wechsler ( had while running took off like wildfire.  I’ve known Ade from way back in the day when I interviewed him for a job (my peer) at the Indianapolis Star.
  7. I turned 30.

Seriously, I’m one of the luckiest people on the planet.  I’m surrounded by incredible people who have all made an impact on me  I could expand the list above for hours.  You’ve probably heard these tips before but it’s always good to be reminded.  It’s so easy to make a difference.  It’s the little things and they all add up.

  1. You can do anything you want to do.  I’m not kidding.
  2. Find what your passion is and do it.
  3. Pay it forward.  If you’ve been given something, give back.  It makes the world a better place.
  4. If you fail, just get back up.  What’s worse?  Trying and failing or never having tried at all?
  5. Read “Tribes” by Seth Godin.
  6. Smile.


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  2. StorageNerve

    Hi Ed,

    A very good post, A real fire in it…

    Now you are talking like you are 30 🙂

    You have gone far ways, and wish you continue your journey in this direction.

    Kids change it all, the power they bring along with them probably calms the internal fire, makes one a better thinker and react to situations in different ways than one would.

    I am surely ordering “Tribes” today and hope to finish reading and put some of it in day to day implementation.

    And honestly, Wade Harrow is one of those EMC heroes, I have similar impressions about him, just from a lunch meeting we had.

    Hopefully catch with some of your fire at EMC World….

    Congrats on turning 30!!!


  3. Simon Long

    Hey Ed, Great post!

    First of all happy 30th! I got a few more years yet until I reach that goalpost, but it’s certainly on my mind.

    I completely agree with the “Smiling” statement. I observed one day whilst commuting into work, that everyone looked miserable. Fair enough, they are going into work, but they even looked miserable at the end of the day too. So my aim each day is to make someone smile by smiling… Sometimes it works, sometimes people must think I need putting in a padded cell! But your right, it makes you feel better, and people feed off of that energy.
    I also found, if you’re ever feeling really down, make yourself smile and say to yourself “I like myself” over a few times. You will always end up smiling… and sometimes laughing to yourself about how silly you are talking to yourself. Works a treat though.

    Thanks for the Post Ed, I’m glad someone else shares the same thoughts about life as I do.

    You can do anything you want to do. I’m not kidding. <<< He's not kidding!


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