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.

Are you in the career you are supposed to be in?

Monday night I had dinner with my friend Greg Rozycki at his home in Emeryville, California. Zyck and I grew up together in Norwich, Vermont. We went to high school together at Hanover High School in Hanover, New Hampshire. Which is just across the Connecticut River from Norwich.

Fun Fact: Our school district was the first interstate school district in the United States. It took a bill signed by JFK to be approved. And it was the last thing JFK signed before he was assassinated (so maybe he shouldn’t have signed it… hmm…).

Hak Lim
Zyck and I holding a board during our high school talent show. (that was our talent).

Zyck and I have known each other since we were 12-years old. We played football together. Zyck was a star athlete. Not only did he make the All-State football team, he was an All-American lacrosse player in high school. He went on to have an outstanding college lacrosse career at Brown University. Then he went to medical school at Dartmouth. Today he is Dr. Rozycki, a Pediatrician in the San Francisco Bay Area. He’s a pretty amazing dude.

Zyck at Rett's
Zyck and I and our Buddy Rett Emerson.

The Introduction

Before Monday night Zyck and I hadn’t seen each other in person in 8 years. When I arrived at his home he re-introduced me to his two children, Sanam (13) and Sachin (11). Then he said something really interesting to his kids:

‘Of all of my friends Adam is the one who has the most perfect career for him.’ – Dr. Greg Rozycki

Me, Zyck and Sanam on Monday night in California.


Since I first started my career as an advertising creative I have heard this same sentiment many, many times. My great childhood friend Marcus Chioffi says this every time I see him. My Uncle Rod says he is glad that I am finally able to put my unique thinking to good use.

Rett's with kids.
Spending time back home in Vermont. That’s little Sanam in the green shirt.

Finding Your Perfect Fit

I always laugh at these comments. But they are true. I have found a career that is perfectly suited to my strongest and most natural skills and abilities. I love the work I do and I think it shows. When I launched my own advertising and idea agency, The Weaponry, I found the hard work of starting a new business as enjoyable as anything I have ever done. Because I love what I do.

The Big Questions

Would your closest friends and family say you are doing exactly what you should be doing with your career?

  • If not, what should you be doing?
  • What are you really great at?
  • What do you love to do that you are not doing right now?
  • How can you make money doing that?
  • Why aren’t you doing it?

Key Takeaway

Finding work that you love to do is one of greatest discoveries in life. It makes it exciting to get out of bed on a Monday morning. It makes it easy to put in the extra effort that will make you extra successful. It gives you special energy that makes long hours not seem so long. Best of all, you don’t spend any time thinking about the career you wish you had. Thanks for the reminder Zyck.

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