Brett has been a professional for more than 35 years and what he learns and experiences each day reinforces the guidance given to him by his father when he was growing up. His father told him to remember that "what you choose to do in life is not nearly as important as who you are and who you choose to become". He went on to say that people will remember the type of person you are, and how you treated and helped other people long after they will remember what you accomplished in your job or profession.
Brett is the first to admit that it was hard to put this into practice early on. Most people around him focused on the accumulation of wealth, power and prestige as measures of their success in life. As he grew older and wiser as a result of his many and varied experiences around the globe, Brett came to realize why his father told him what he did. As he observed colleagues, friends, and acquaintances, he noticed a pattern. Wealthy people who focused on the accumulation of wealth to the detriment of integrity and other people were generally not happy or fulfilled at more than a superficial level. In contrast, philanthropists often exhibited an aura of fulfillment and happiness.
While watching the news it is easy to conclude that there the bad in the world outnumbers the good. How often do we watch the news and see or hear of someone doing bad things compared to seeing or hearing of something good? Why is this? Perhaps the business side of the news organizations has priority over the human side. Brett recalls many years ago listening to a presentation by a prominent national news anchor who said “remember that the news business is first and foremost a business”. Perhaps the news needs to report more of the good.
The older Brett got, the more he realized that everyone is dealing with something in life. He started seeing this when he coached baseball many years ago. He met a 17 year-old who had no mother and father and his 18 year-old sister had custody of him. He wanted to play ball but had no money and he was doing poorly in school. Brett and his other coaches took him under their wing, and they found him a part time job. Over the course of the next year his grades improved, he qualified to try out for, and he made the team. Two years later he was offered a scholarship to a junior college. One never knows just how much positive impact a kind act can have on a person.
Through many similar experiences, Brett continues to see this today. A kind word, a kind act, and charitable donations, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant, can have powerful positive impacts on other people. A smile or a thank you goes a long way to reinforce this belief. Brett’