Why I don’t believe the lesson I was taught in driver’s education.

When I was 16 years old I enrolled in a driver’s education course so I could get my driver’s license, my freedom and my own pair of fuzzy dice to hang from the rearview mirror.

I took the class over the summer so it wouldn’t interfere with the spring track season or the fall football season. Both of which were far more important to me than the fuzzy dice.

My great friends Greg Rozycki and Marcus Chioffi were also in the class, which made it hilarious. I still remember us trying to control ourselves when the instructor said that to make a left turn at a green light you should nose into the intersection and perch like a beaver.

Enrolling in that class paid dividends for years to come. Not just in the lessons I learned, but in real money too. In fact, the owner mailed me a check years later when I was in college when it was determined that he had overcharged students and was forced to offer a refund many years later. Ouch.

But there is one lesson from that course that sticks with me today. In one class a police officer came in to talk to us about the dangers of speeding. He said that speeding doesn’t really get you there faster. Because ultimately stoplights and traffic, even things out. And even when you speed you end up getting to your destination about the same time you would have if you just drove the speed limit.

Decades later as I reflect on this lesson I realize it was total garbage. I appreciate the sentiment, the theory, and the fact that they were trying to slow us down. After all, they had to reprogram what we learned watching The Dukes Of Hazard and Smokey & The Bandit. #yeehaw!

But the Everyone-will-get-there-about-the-same-time-anyway Theory is a lie.

In driving, and everywhere else in life, pace matters. I don’t advocate speeding on the road. And I limit myself to 8 or 9 MPH over the posted speed. Most of the time. But I know that the faster you go the quicker you will reach your goal. It works in cars. It works in career advancement, self-improvement, and wealth accumulation.

If you want to separate yourself from the crowd pick up the pace. The world rewards those who put in the extra work. You have to be ahead of the average to get noticed. And that doesn’t happen unless you move quicker.

Key Takeaway

Move faster. You have a lot to accomplish. And if you don’t pick up the pace you won’t get it all in. Separate yourself from the pack by moving faster than they do. Work harder. Work smarter. That’s what the elite in every field do. Compare yourself to them. Even if you don’t become the best of the best, you will become a whole lot better than the masses. And the rewards will be substantially better.

*If you know someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them.

+For more of the best life lessons I have learned check out my book, What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? from Ripples Media.

3 ways to use sleep for more success.

If you want to climb a mountain you have to take all the steps to get to the top. There is no way around that. The higher and steeper the mountain, the more effort is required. There is no elevator, escalator, or Wonavator to the summit. Sorry, Charlie.

To make sure you are prepared to do the work you need to take care of your personal machinery. That means getting good exercise and eating well. But there is a third pillar of hard work that is not to be ignored, like Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction.


Getting good sleep is one of the most underrated ingredients of success. A good night of sleep is the first step to preparing for a day of hard work, be it mental or physical, like Olivia Newton-John, or Dua Lipa.

It is valuable to run your own sleep experiments to determine 3-important numbers in your personal sleep arsenal.

  1. Your optimal amount of sleep. This is your perfect night of sleep for optimal performance. Which means you wake up fully refreshed and energized. For most people, this is 6 to 9 hours. I insist on getting my optimal amount of sleep on Sunday nights in order to start my work week at full charge.
  2. Your working minimum. This is your sustainable nightly sleep total that will enable you to function at a high level.  This could be a couple of hours less than your optimal sleep. For example, my optimal sleep is 7.5 hours. I can’t remember the last year I slept a night longer than that. But my working minimum is 5 hours. I can crush it for several days on 5 nightly hours of sleep.
  3. Your absolute minimum. This is the minimum amount of sleep you must-have to be able to put in a full day of work. It is useful to know this number for times when you really need to push yourself because of extreme demands or massive opportunities. My number is 4 hours. But there were times when I was first launching my business (The Weaponry) as a night and weekend project that I was sleeping for only 2 or 3 hours at night. I was loving the business progress and the results. While the absolute minimum pace is not sustainable, it is good to know you can do it if you need to.

Sleep-Food Substitution

Sleep is like food for your mind and body. A night of sleep or a nap refreshes and energizes you as if you were eating a meal. In fact, I consider food and sleep interchangeable. In situations where I am tired and can’t sleep, I eat. In situations where I am low on energy but can’t or don’t want to eat, I sleep to reenergize. This simple substitution has helped me recharge and power through many a low-energy crisis. I encourage you to add this technique to your personal energy policy.

Key Takeaway:

Serious achievement requires serious work. Keep your mind, body and spirit strong through regular exercise, nutrition and sleep. Understand your own personal sleep/performance needs. Then prioritize your sleep accordingly. Because every great day starts the night before.

*If you know someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them.

+For more of the best life lessons I have learned check out my new book, What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? from Ripples Media.