Welcome to the Middle of the Night! | Max Woolf

Max Woolf is a motivational speaker and career coach for Gen Y and beyond. Max speaks to organizations, groups, sports teams, and individuals to help them maximize their potential, live life more fully, and discover their passion and purpose. He has developed a new context for living that invigorates life experiences and improves quality of life called Living at the Edge.

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We’re here to help others, as much as we’re here to help ourselves.

I find that the best ideas come to me in the state just before waking while I am still in a partial dream state. Unfortunately, I have been experiencing an interesting problem of finding that those times are between the hours of 3am and 5am. Most nights, I refuse to get out of bed, turn on the light, or even acknowledge the brilliance from sheer lack of motivation. Well, if success is motivated by vision and action, here I am sitting in my bathroom with the heat cranked up at quarter of four in the morning!

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For the past several days, I have found myself trying to answer some of the big questions at work and in life. Questions that seem to have answers that are intuitive, yet always slide into the realm of elusive. It’s a vicious game of cat and mouse because most of the answers come during the middle of the night and most of the questions are asked during the middle of the day. So now that I am finally bringing these two realms together, I can hopefully find some peaceful solace in my warm, comfortable bed, although the linoleum bathroom will soon be quite toasty.

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In the past 48 hours, I have had the fortunate luck of meeting three brilliant minds in the blogging community: Lindsey Pollak, Marcos Salazar, and Thomas Edwards. It has reminded me (although to be fair, the signs were on Brazen a few weeks ago) the value of sharing your ideas with the world. It’s not about self-serving personal branding, but rather about serving the community of readers that dare to pay attention to the insightful musings of others’ lives. So, in that vain, let me share why I find all three of these muses, who have helped me find my voice this evening are truly so inspiring.

Thomas Edwards is a personal coach who helps men find success with women, which ultimately helps them gain more confidence and find all around success their lives. He runs a program called Project Infinity to help men understand how to interact with women, through a series of simple observations. For Thomas, it’s certainly intuitive to dress the right way, have the right posture, and say the right things, which just don’t come as naturally to everyone. His goals are modest, but his approach is genuine: help others (men specifically) be successful.

A simple google search will lead you to Lindsey Pollak. Not just because she has great personal branding, strong SEO, or a great book, but because she has a message that needs to be heard. She has fantastic advice that helps Gen Y workers find success in the world as well as educates the rest of the world on how to deal with Gen Y in the workplace. After watching Lindsey’s keynote speech at the Unlocking Potential conference held by Experience.com yesterday, I was moved by how truly personal the story was to her. She commented that it was from the “big sister’s” that she counseled the room of Gen X and Baby Boomers. And it was true!

Marcos Salazar is a coach, author and speaker who focuses on the topic of finding your way in your twenties. He provides great advice and insight from a psychological perspective as well as well-founded research in the field. Recently, he has started a website called FiveDailyGratitudes that lists the five things that he is grateful for each day as a means to increase success, happiness, and self-esteem, among other things.

After reaching out by e-mail because he too is an Amherst Grad, we spoke on the phone for about an hour yesterday (Thursday, which is really the day before yesterday). Just as we had come to a logical ending point for the call, he asked me, “Are there any other questions I can help you answer?” Perhaps this may seem like a simple and very reasonable question, it resonated with me because, although we had just met, he was extending me an offer that we frequently lose in the fast-paced world of me where personal branding is king. It was with this same genuineness, authenticity, and care that I found passionately drives Lindsey and Thomas in their efforts to help others.

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So, it is out of gratitude for these three who have inspired me that I am able to take a slow, deep breath knowing that I have remembered something that is so easy to forget: we’re here to help others as much as we’re here to help ourselves!

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Ahh, there it is. The gentle knock of the sandman. He’s ready to put me back into the bed so that I can rest soundly. I am glad to have shared, thankful to have learned, and honored to have met three people who are saving the world one person at a time!

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