Be Proud of Who You Are
Each of us has special gifts and talents, so embrace everything that is unique about you. As you grow up, you will come to know these talents and you will develop passions Ė a life purpose and goals that you want to accomplish. If you want to be a painter, then paint. If you want to be a teacher, then teach. If you want to be an entrepreneur, that do that. Decide what is important to you and do it. Trust me I won't be disappointed if you don't follow in my foot steps and become an Engineer and Naval Officer.
Always Do Your Best
Whatever you decide to do, it is important that you put your whole self into it. Donít hold back on love, relationships, work and involvement in your community or avocations. Give it your all. If it's worth doing - then do it right! Take the brakes off and embrace your life and all that you do. You will find that it makes life so much more fun and you will get so much more out of it. As I mentioned before the value of motivation and determination can not be under estimated. With a determined focus on achieving results you can accomplish anything you set out to do - no mountain it too high!
Be a Lifelong Learner
As you read my background you should have recognized a common theme - always be open to learning new things. Be curious about the people, the experiences, the events and discoveries taking place in the present as well as those things that you can learn from the past. Take classes, attend lectures, read books (or listen to audio books), hang out with others who you share a common interest. Don't hesitate to be engaged in life. You will find that your life is more interesting, you will have greater opportunities and you will never ever be bored.
This theme also extends to your career. As you read, my thirst for new experiences and opportunities led to continuous string of new challenging jobs throughout my career, each with an increased level of responsibility. As I've often advised my staff, if you're not constantly improving your knowledge within your organization and receiving regular promotions you should be changing organizations every 3 to 5 years.
There are Good People Everywhere
As I travelled the world in the Navy I found one thing in common in every country I visited. That is, there are good people everywhere. I have also moved many times in my life to different Canadian cities. There was always a sense of sadness when I left the familiar and replaced it with the unfamiliar. It was hard saying goodbye to friends, acquaintances and support systems. It was always challenging to start fresh and to meet new people. I have learned that there are amazing people everywhere you go. People who will inspire you and with whom you will develop a close friendship. I found that there are great people no matter where you go. And when you develop a new friendship with them, it will feel like you have always known them. Fight your natural hesitation to meet new people and be the one to take that first step and reach out to others to make new friends.
This is very much a living document. I will be adding pages and chapters as life goes on so don't hesitate to check back frequently. And when you do, consider leaving me a note on the comment page. After all I built the comment page just for you!