"Dave is a master of productivity, a philosopher of motivation, a self-appointed self-help guru, and full-time brand ambassador." -AOL
This year I'm working on the 10,000 Kevins Project, attempting to get 10,000 Kevins to sign a petition so Kevin Bacon will take me to dinner, and in doing so build awareness to raise $1 million for his charity, Six Degrees.
Want to get involved? Sign and share!
I live in NYC, make sketch comedy videos, perform improv, worked 100 Jobs in 2012, and I'm a former NBC Page.
I've been featured on New Year's Eve with Carson Daly, The Today Show, Forbes, CollegeHumor and FunnyOrDie.
Follow my new 10,000 Kevins project!
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On our birthdays growing up, my dad would always ask us brothers half-jokingly if we had any wisdom to share now that we were a year older. I say half-jokingly only because I imagine wisdom-givers to have beards at least as long as that of Gandalf the Grey. There is wisdom that comes from experience, however, and we’d all do well to listen to it. From my life’s journeys so far, here’s what I have to offer.
You alone are in control of your actions. Remember that saying from Charles Swindoll, “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% what you choose to do with it”? It’s basically true. Yes, unjust things happen to you, and to all of us (and we unknowingly do it to others). They might have wronged you, but you choose whether you want to get angry or upset about it. David Brinkley said, “A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.”
Stop blaming others, and do the work. There are a lot of faux-inspirational quotes on Facebook to the effect of “Don’t let your critics/enemies/doubters keep you from your dreams” but let’s call it what it is. WE are the biggest obstacle to our dreams, each one of us individually. Let’s swallow that difficult truth, stop blaming others, and do the hard work to make our goals happen.
Be patient with yourself. You won’t reach your goals right away, whether it’s building a shed, writing a term paper, or completing a work of art. Most of that time is spent alone, unnoticed, uncongratulated, and at times agonizing and failure-ridden. Don’t panic! This is normal. Our culture of instant fame overlooks years of work done out of the public eye.
Be patient with others. When you see someone lose their temper or fall into some misfortune, it’s easy to gloat. But chances are you’ve had parents who’ve patiently dealt with your shortcomings for years! You have friends like that too. Recently that video came out criticizing the CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch for not wanting to market to uncool kids. The CEO’s comments were inexcusable, but if we vilify him, he’s beyond restoration. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn said, “the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being.” Who am I, and who are you, to put yourself firmly on one side of that line and choose who goes on the other?
Love your work. The Holstee Manifesto says, “If you don’t like your job, quit. That might work, but to someone who’s a parent or in a bad economy it’s probably not the best blanket advice. That’s why I say, “Love your work,” instead of, “Find a new job.” Yes, I’ve had amazing experiences working in TV and plenty of other jobs, but still I say you’re not going to enjoy yourself in the future if you don’t start enjoying yourself now.
Respect your parents. Chances are I’ve lost you by now because this seems like a lecture. I’ve learned that while your parents don’t understand us completely - our generation and our individual perspectives - they do want what’s best for us. Sometimes that comes off as oppressive and authoritarian, and it certainly could be at times. But know that their intention is to encourage us for the best, though it may not feel like it at the time.
Have real faith, not stupid faith. Ask a religious person why their beliefs are true, and they might say, “Because I have faith.” That doesn’t answer the question. Believing doesn’t make something true. According to the Bible, “Faith is the evidence of things not seen.” If your faith is subjective (meaning you just want something to be true), it’s worthless. If your faith is objective (relying on something actually true), then, my friend, you can believe confidently and inspire a sure hope in others too.