Al D’s Four Keys To Life


On June 26, 2013 we lost one of the good ones. One of the influencers. One of the thought leaders. He may not have been published in the Harvard Business Review regularly but he influenced the people around him and the students he taught in a way that changed their lives forever. Much, much, more of an accomplishment in my opinion.

When you die, if the people you’ve inspired can make a video like this, then I think you’ve lived a pretty remarkable life.

Al Derges from Strategy Lab on Vimeo.

At the celebration of Al’s life, his son Adam, told us about Al’s 4 Rules for success.

They are four guiding principles to live by. And if you do, your life will be pretty darn awesome. They are: You are who you hang out with. You are what you think about. Good things happen to good people. Everything happens for a reason.

You are who you hang out with.

What do your friends talk about? How about the people you work with? Do they gossip? Do they talk about anything productive?

Reminds me of the Eleanor Roosevelt quote “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.”
Choose your friends wisely.

You are what you think about.

Tony Robbins, The Secret, Napoleon Hill, The Answer, the law of attraction. They all come back to the same concept. If you can believe it, you will achieve it.
Your mind is very powerful, it will create whatever you conceive. Your job is to set your sites high. To set a large goal, to write it down, to tell other people about it, sets it in motion. Your subconscious mind is much more powerful than your conscious mind. Setting long term big hairy audacious goals helps motivate you subconsciously.

Good things happen to good people.

Religion, spirituality or whatever the hell you believe in, if you put good into the world it will come back to help you. The social-psychological principle of reciprocity is biological. When people go out of their way to be nice to us we feel a need to repay the favor. If you’re nice to people, even when you don’t need to be, it will be recognized in a major way. Never pass up an opportunity to help someone.

Everything happens for a reason.

Mans Search For Meaning by Viktor Frankl is about having an attitude toward life to get the most out of it. Mr. Frankl survived the auschwitz concentration camp and went on to publish one of the most widely read books of all time. If you consistently seek out the positive. If you strive to see the best in the world. If you truly believe everything happens for a reason, even when things are at their worst you can still learn something. You can still find a positive side. That’s always the challenge. That’s what Al was so good at. Even after receiving some of the worst news possible Al’s immediate response was “wow, am I lucky to have come this far.”

How inspiring Al. Your legend will live on.

Al Derges and Ray

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