Award-winning businessman and bestselling author Dr. Peter Legge visited UFV on Tuesday, February 8 to provide insight and advice to students and faculty. Speaking on his experiences climbing the corporate ladder, Legge shared his thoughts on the best ways to accomplish one’s goals. While much of his wisdom could be considered common sense, Legge packed a wallop of sage advice into his hour and 15 minute talk. Drawing on his own practices as well as other teachings and philosophies, Legge made a convincing case for The Power of a Dream, the title of his latest self-help book.
Placing a strong emphasis on hard work, Legge described his own bumpy road to success and how he managed to turn his failings in work and education into a drive to accomplish his goals. Legge stressed that while many business students come to him asking for the shortcuts and easy roads to success, the only sure-fire way to achieve is through a willingness to work extremely hard.
Referring to Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers, Legge mentioned the 10,000 hours of practice that are said to be required in order to become the best at one’s given skill or discipline. In addition, he noted, people need to realize that if it seems that it will take a very long time to reach their goals, that time will pass anyway, and time is a gift that must be embraced and appreciated.
Legge shared several tips on how to best succeed in life. He emphasized the importance of writing down one’s goals carefully – stating that “95% of people who write down their goals will accomplish them” – and of being realistic about one’s future while aiming as high as possible.
He also recommended evaluating one’s fears and figuring out what steps to take to avoid these feared potential situations. Legge described how when we die, the ghosts of our dreams will be standing at our bedsides, asking us about opportunities that we declined. He stressed the importance of not wasting a single day and making sure to stop and smell the flowers.
The true crime in life, said Legge, is not failure itself, but the failure to dream big. According to him, the importance of aiming high cannot be emphasized enough. The honorary doctorate outlined seven important principles of success through wise decision making, passed on to him by his father many years ago. First, one must be resourceful, creatively finding ways to invent and innovate in every way. One must also choose friends carefully; Legge suggested selecting five individuals whose incomes we would like to attain, since, according to him, our own income will be the average of the five people with whom we spend the most time.
In order to find true success in life, he shared, one must live with passion and vigour, embracing each day and never wasting time. We must also find good mentors; Legge mentioned Joe Segal of Fields and Zellers fame as someone whose sage advice had assisted him in his travels through the corporate world.
For Legge, a large part of wise decision making lies in serving the community through philanthropic endeavors and volunteering one’s time to worthy causes. Through this, we are not only assisting others, but helping ourselves to see what is worth valuing in this world, and furthering ourselves on the path to wisdom.
Lastly, Legge noted that it is vital to set big goals and to also guard integrity closely, as once you have lost it, it might never be regained. While one can always learn from failure, it can be difficult to come back after having compromised one’s moral code.
In all, UFV students and faculty who attended Legge’s lecture were granted a plethora of excellent advice packed into a short duration. Legge certainly wasted no time himself, ending the seminar with a PowerPoint presentation listing more than 30 different additional pieces of wisdom, from “drink at least 8 glasses of water a day,” to “don’t tailgate,” and “do something kind for someone, without them knowing about it.”
Legge has proven himself to be a vital asset to the community – from his philanthropy to his annual hosting of the Variety children’s charity marathon – and he continues to compile his sage advice into volumes for public consumption, with his now 7 best-selling titles available for purchase.