Link Duarte – Don’t let your mistakes ruin what you could be.

Link Duarte
Link Duarte discusses why we should "Strive for excellence, not perfection " That we need to "Live your bliss " and explains why you shouldn't "let your mistakes ruin what you could be: . Hosted by Diana White

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About Link Duarte

Link,” formally known as Chris Duarte, is committed to inspiring the world to be more inclusive of everyone.  As the chair of the Advocacy group at CTW, Link is committed to lifting the voices of the worker (open talent), to ensure that they not only have a seat at the table, but that they have instrumental influence for positive change in the future of workspace. 

Link is committed to making the world a safer place in his efforts as a pro human advocate, consultant, innovator, program developer, trainer, speaker, and storyteller.  Link, a Veteran of the armed forces, holds 2 BS, and an MA in Sociology, Criminology, Law, and more recently, a Master’s Certificate in Business Analytics (HBAP) from Harvard Business School. Since the start of his career, Link has founded and directed several entities and programs that serve people, educated publicly about rural and minority issues, and volunteers his time to support social justice initiatives. As the Founder and CEO of Linking Dreams, Link provides cultural strategy consulting, training, DEI/EIG evaluation, and program design to help entities enhance their reach of underserved populations. Link also chairs the Advocacy group at the Center for the Transformation of Work where he engages audiences to lift up the voices of workers in the #futureofwork space. Link believes in the power created when people unite to form ecosystems of support and dedicates his time to ensure that the voices of the underserved are valued and included. 

Episode Notes

Lesson 1: Live your bliss and the universe will open doors for you that you thought were only walls 01:52
Lesson 2: Let your past be your guiding post and not your hitching post 04:11
Lesson 3: In 10 years, nobody will remember what you did, but they will always remember the way you made them feel 04:52
Lesson 4: Don’t let your mistakes ruin what you could be- stop giving your mistake so much power 06:49
Lesson 5: Strive for excellence, not perfection 09:08
Lesson 6: Identity shouldn’t define you; it is merely of characteristic that helps guide us and who we are 10:53
Lesson 7: Be your authentic self because your authenticity is the one thing that no one can take away from you 14:03
Lesson 8: Exercise and learn healthy habits while you’re young because it only gets harder as you get older 16:01
Lesson 9: If college is your bag, give it all you got- look at that piece of paper as an investment in your future 18:03
Lesson 10: In the white room with the red door, be the 3rd type of person 22:41

Link Duarte – Don’t let your mistakes ruin what you could be.

[00:00:00] Diana White: Hello and welcome to 10 Lessons Learn Where we will talk to leaders and luminaries from all over the world to dispense wisdom for career, business, and life in order to make the world wiser lesson by lesson.

[00:00:13] My name is Diana White, and I am your host for this episode. Our guest today is Link. Link is committed to making the world a safer place in its efforts as a pro human advocate, consultant, innovator, and speaker. As founder and CEO of Linking Dreams, Link provides cultural strategy consulting, training DE and I E I G, evaluation and program design to help entities enhance their reach of underserved populations.

[00:00:41] Link also chairs the advocacy group at the Center for the Transformation of Work, where he engages audiences to lift up the voices of workers in the future of workspace.

[00:00:55] Welcome link.

[00:00:56] Link Duarte: Thank you. Thank you. Happy to be here.

[00:00:59] Diana White: I am so happy you decided to be on the show. And, uh, I’m going to start right off with what would you tell your 30-year-old.

[00:01:09] Link Duarte: Don’t do it. No, I’m kidding. No. I would say, um, stop and smell the roses and enjoy your life while you’re young. Oh, you know, I enjoy it then. That, that’s, that’s the biggest piece of advice I would give to myself at 30. Cause, you know, as a working horse, a hundred miles an hour.

[00:01:28] Diana White: Weren’t we all at that age though?

[00:01:30] Link Duarte: Oh yeah. Oh yeah. You know, hindsight is 2020. You know, stopping and smelling the roses to enjoy life a little bit more. We have, uh, made my life less stressful.

[00:01:42] Diana White: I love it. All right, we’re going to go right into your lessons and, and viewers and listeners, I’m going to tell you right now, these lessons are awesome.

[00:01:52] Lesson 1: Live your bliss and the universe will open doors for you

[00:01:52] Diana White: Lesson number one, live your bliss and the universe will open doors that you thought were only walls. Talk to us about that Link.

[00:02:03] Link Duarte: Now, I can’t take credit for this on all on my own. It was actually a quote that I found. I was going through a really tough time in my life, and at that time in my life I was complaining a lot and complaining about everything going wrong and wishing that things could go right in this way or that way.

[00:02:22] And I was venting to a friend who was very matter of fact that he said this quote to me, and then he turned around and walked away. And I thought long and hard about it, like what did he really mean? And it took me a while to really own this and adopt this. A way of thinking that, you know, if, if you live life, in a way that you feel like you have to do this and you have to do that, then you’ll end up where you feel like you have to be.

[00:02:46] But living your bliss, you’ll live a happier life. We made these choices and making, carving out free time in your life and carving out the, the creativity aspects of who you are, I think is really important. And, uh, not to dwell, you know, live your bliss and suddenly things start to fall into place.

[00:03:04] You know, uh, live what you live your purpose.

[00:03:08] Diana White: And you know, I, I think Link and I, I see this a lot. I saw it in myself. When someone says, Live your bliss to the average mind, that means well live the life you really want to live. But I can’t do that because I don’t have the money to live blissfully.

[00:03:26] But it’s not about money, is it?

[00:03:28] Link Duarte: It’s not. There’s times in my life where I was born living, living, homeless, and, and, um, but bliss really is something, it’s, it encompasses your whole life and frame of mind of, of making the best about your day, no matter what cards you’re dealt, you know, enjoying those moments and, and living your bliss, living your happiest moments, um, and, and taking it as a life lesson that it’s meant to teach you something, you know?

[00:03:55] And I think that helps a little bit more than saying, God, you know, I’m in this really bad space. Complaining about it, but rather spin it. Look at the good things, and live your bliss through those struggling times.

[00:04:06] Diana White: Live your bliss during those struggling times. I love that.

[00:04:11] Lesson 2:   Let your past be your guiding post and not your hitching post

[00:04:11] Diana White: Lesson number two, Let your past be your guiding post and not your hitching post.

[00:04:18] Oh, my tell, tell me Link. Tell me.

[00:04:24] Link Duarte: Sometimes we get stuck on the mistakes we. made The choices we would’ve made or would’ve, shoulda, coulda, you know? Um, and you know, that that past is supposed to be, to teach us, to guide us. We made those mistakes, but what are we going to do better to make sure we don’t make those mistakes again?

[00:04:42] Um, let it, let those mistakes guide you. Everybody makes mistakes, but don’t get hung up and stuck on, on those mistakes and, and, and let them hold you back.

[00:04:52] Lesson 3: In 10 years, nobody will remember what you did, but they will always remember the way you made them feel

[00:04:52] Diana White: Love it. Number three. In 10 years, nobody will remember what you did, but they will always remember how you made them feel. Now we’ve had this lesson a lot on the show, and it just always seems to resonate.

[00:05:09] Give me your take on this lesson.

[00:05:11] Link Duarte: So, I was working for, a university and I was creating a program, for LGBT students. You know, at the, with all the rainbows and the excitement, it’s easy to get carried away and, and, you know, and, and do a whole bunch because it’s almost, uh, energetic and almost addicting of the energy of the community and how excited people get.

[00:05:33] But there was one year that we did over 165 events. And sometimes two and three a day, whether they be workshops or educational or whatever the program was. But at the end of it, I realized that I didn’t even remember half of what we did. But it was the people that I ran into that they’d say, Oh man, it’s so good to see you.

[00:05:55] And they would remember the time I spoke to their class or told my story and how impactful that was and how they felt afterwards. And I realized that it was the, that that impact and making a, not a good impression, but, uh, leaving a good lasting impression. A positive one that even if they don’t remember how they know you or what they, what they knew you from, or what you said or what you did, they’ll re, they’ll look at your face and go, I remember this person and I liked them.

[00:06:26] And I think that that’s really important. when it comes to change in impacting the world in a positive way.

[00:06:31] Diana White: I believe the same thing I do.

[00:06:34] Number four. Number four shook me to my absolute core. So here we go, viewers and listeners. Bear with me. Uh, I’m going to read this a little slowly so you can get it because this is powerful.

[00:06:49] Lesson 4:   Don’t let your mistakes ruin what you could be

[00:06:49] Diana White: Lesson number four, Don’t let your mistakes ruin what you could be. From that bad situation there might be 10 people who heard. Three people who knew you were involved by name and one person who actually cares. Stop giving your mistakes. So much power. I almost want to stop the show right now. . .

[00:07:14] That is gold.

[00:07:17] Link Duarte: That’s a recent one. Oh, that’s a recent one.

[00:07:19] Diana White: Talk to me about it. Talk to me about it. Link.

[00:07:21] Link Duarte: You know, as an advocate, and, you know, I’ve developed quite a reputation and people know me and my name resonates. And I’ve made some mistakes. I’ve said some things I shouldn’t have and or I’ve done some things I shouldn’t have, or however the case would be.

[00:07:37] Dwelled and anguished on those things, and they are the things that kept me up at night. And six months, you know, there was a situation that happened that six months later nobody remembered, and it was actually somebody else’s situation that six months later, nobody remembered their name. Nobody even knew that they were involved, but they were so concerned that everybody aided them because of this bad situation that happened that really no one cared.

[00:08:02] And I thought about most situations, and I said, God, you know, that’s, that’s quite true. Is that really, the big situations that get blown out of proportion that really kind of hold us back and say, Oh my God, and let define who we are. No one’s going to remember them anyway. Kind of goes back to the, you know, in 10 years no one will remember what you do.

[00:08:21] Diana White: I’m inclined to add, I’m inclined to add that. You know, wait long enough and somebody will do something that

[00:08:30] Link Duarte: equally as dumb equally as dumb, if not more,

[00:08:34] Diana White: then you’re off the hook, right?

[00:08:36] Link Duarte: Yeah. Think about little kids and the kid that wet their pants, you know? And it’s so embarrassing at the time.

[00:08:42] It defines their child entire childhood. As adults. No one remembered that happen. Oh, that was you. And like no one cares.

[00:08:50] Diana White: Exactly. Oh, oh, that was so powerful. Link. Thank you for that lesson. It’s, it’s all, it’s really rare that I tell someone thank you for a particular lesson because it resonated with me so much, but this one did.

[00:09:06] Oh my.

[00:09:07] Link Duarte: Thank you. Thank you.

[00:09:08] Lesson 5:   Strive for excellence, not perfection

[00:09:08] Diana White: Number five, strive for excellence, not perfection. Hey, someone may argue that that’s one and the same, so link. Tell me your perspective on that.

[00:09:19] Link Duarte: Perfection has no end. You can’t define perfect because you could never really reach it because there’s always improvement to be done, but something can be very excellent and serve its purpose and do what it’s supposed to do without being perfect.

[00:09:35] And so if you get stuck on the same task with the same project, trying to perfect it all the time, then everything around it crumbles to the wayside. So, strive for excellence in every situation, and it’s about as perfect as it’s going to be. I mean, that’s, you know, It doesn’t have to be perfect. The only one that notice sees those little mistakes is you.

[00:09:56] Diana White: That is a bumper sticker. Strive for excellence, and it’ll be perfect.

[00:10:02] Link Duarte: I used to tell my daughter that all the time. She used to get mad at me.

[00:10:07] Diana White: But I dare say now she knows that that’s the real deal, right?

[00:10:10] Link Duarte: Probably. I hope so. I hope so.

[00:10:13] Affiliate Break

[00:10:13] Diana White: We’re going to take a little ad break. I’d like to take a short break to thank our affiliate partner Audible.

[00:10:20] Audible is an amazing way to consume 10 Lessons Learned books and other podcasts, allowing you to build a library of knowledge all in one place. You can start your free 30-day trial by going to audibletrial.com/10lessonslerned. With Audible, you can find your favorite lesson while at home or on the go.

[00:10:41] Once again, that’s audible trial.com/one zero. Lessons learned all over case for a free 30-day trial. The link will be in the show notes.

[00:10:53] Lesson 6:   Identity shouldn’t define you; it is merely of characteristic that helps guide us and who we are

[00:10:53] Diana White: Let’s welcome back Link and continue with lesson number six. Lesson number six, identity should not define you. It is merely a characteristic that helps guide us and who we are.

[00:11:05] Talk about that one Link.

[00:11:08] Link Duarte: I’ll drop that bomb now. Diana. You know, my identity throughout my life has kind of defined me, and, and I’ll, I’ll, uh, let everybody in and your listeners, um, know that I was born actually biologically female and I’m a transgender man. You know, I’ve been in transition, uh, taking hormones for about 15 years almost.

[00:11:30] And you know, there was periods of time because I was an advocate, I was out in the community. I had face in the community, and people knew who I was and, you know, so I got questions all the time. And I couldn’t even go grocery shopping without people saying, You’re that guy, you know, And it, so it became almost consuming to where my identity was everything.

[00:11:49] And about five years. Three, maybe three or four years into my transition. It was exhausting. I felt like I was putting a face out there and the expectation that this is great. I’m getting be it to be able to live my full, authentic self and I’m transitioning and everything’s wonderful, peaches and cream, but internally and inside in my personal life was really broken and was, I was really pained and by the loss of some communities and family members and friends that didn’t agree or support what I was doing.

[00:12:22] And it felt as though everything was wrapped up and consumed in my identity and my identity of a transgender person. And it took a long time to get out of that behavior and out of that to say really, that’s just a characteristic. Yes, it’s an important one. You can’t truly know me unless you know that about me.

[00:12:44] However, it doesn’t define everything I do. It doesn’t define exactly who I am. You can’t put me in a category of transgender people and that represent everything about me. You know, that’s just merely a characteristic. That’s part of a conversation. And to get to know me, you probably should know that about me.

[00:13:04] And so I’m very open about my identity and who I am, but I don’t let it define me because I think that. With life’s failures. Sometimes we go through different things and, and, um, it shouldn’t define who we are and hold us

[00:13:17] Diana White: back. Well said. Well said. You and I have had discussions and, you know, talking about one facet of who you are, being the dominant characteristic that everybody focuses on.

[00:13:31] For me, it’s my melanin, my beautiful, luscious melanin. Right. Um, so everybody sees that first. Yeah. Uh, and then, and then they see that I’m a woman and then they make their decisions from that. I’m not just a black woman.

[00:13:46] Link Duarte: Right.

[00:13:47] Diana White: I’m so much more, you know, so,

[00:13:49] Link Duarte: Or I’m not just a white guy.

[00:13:52] Diana White: Exactly.

[00:13:53] Link Duarte: I could add a lot too that there’s deeper, there’s layers.

[00:13:55] The expectation that the, But yeah, so, so true. It shouldn’t define us.

[00:14:01] Diana White: So true. I love that one.

[00:14:03] Lesson 7:   Be your authentic self because your authenticity is the one thing that no one can take away from you

[00:14:03] Diana White: Lesson number seven, be your authentic self because your authenticity is the one thing that no one can take away from you.

[00:14:13] Link Duarte: That’s right. Talk to me. That’s right. At the end of the day when the world is crumbling around you, and no matter you know, not all of our parents accept our choices.

[00:14:23] Not all of our children accept all our choices and what we do. You know? Um, Living as my authentic self. You know, yes, I am a transgender person, but I chose to take hormones to match my outsides, you know, But being my true, authentic core that you could take away my beard, you could take away my exterior, but being my true self and who I really am, that’s all I have to fall back on.

[00:14:50] So when the world is trying to tear me down, and maybe they, they think things about me, or there’s rumors about me. Sometimes that can be really draining and that could be really hurtful to hear people whisper behind my back and things like that. But at least I have myself to fall back on that. I’m a true, honest, good person, and that’s what I go to sleep with at night and wake up to in the morning.

[00:15:14] That true authenticity, and I think that that radiates. People pick up on that and they know that they can trust somebody that’s being their true, authentic self.

[00:15:24] Diana White: I, I certainly can contest to that, especially with you. And viewers. You will see if you view this on YouTube listeners, if you’re listening to the podcast, um, I got to tell you, Link is sporting, uh, a z z top, definite z z top competition beard right there.

[00:15:41] So for him to say it doesn’t even matter without my beard, I am still me. Uh, that is powerful, That is powerful.

[00:15:49] Link Duarte: It doesn’t even fit in the frame either. It doesn’t even fit in the frame, I’ve had to, you know, redefine my wardrobe because the beard is so long, it falls on my collar. Weird, you know, it’s,

[00:16:01] Lesson 8:   Exercise and learn healthy habits while you’re young because it only gets harder as you get older

[00:16:01] Diana White: Oh, my goodness, or lesson number eight.

[00:16:06] Exercise and learn healthy habits while you’re young, because it only gets harder as you get older. My goodness. I can contest to that Link. Take us there.

[00:16:16] Link Duarte: There’s a lovely elliptical sitting in my living room, that stares at me and speaks to me. It’s, it’s s sprouted, um, a mouth and everything. And so, get on me.

[00:16:26] You need me because you’re fat and you need to work, work it out. And every day I have a good you know; I’m going to do it today. And I don’t because I didn’t enjoy running when I was younger. I didn’t like I, yes, I went to the gym and things like that when I was younger because friends went with me, but I didn’t develop the healthy habits.

[00:16:46] I ate whatever I wanted, and you know, thought I’d stay that way forever. And no, through the stress of it all, I developed bad habits and eating habits. I love food, but I didn’t grow to love exercise in the same way that I do my love for food and, you know, and that catches up to me. It has caught up to me.

[00:17:07] And so I, I would definitely tell my younger self, Go to the gym more, develop some healthy habits, meditate, whatever you got to do.

[00:17:16] Diana White: I wholeheartedly agree with that. And I, I think that it’s holistic health. It’s not just the physical health. It, it’s the mental health, it’s the spiritual health. Um, it’s, it’s brain health.

[00:17:30] Just doing stuff for you. Finding, going back to the earlier lesson, finding your bliss. Finding your bliss is healthy, you know, so

[00:17:39] Link Duarte: Somebody told me a couple days ago actually, That your body has memory, it will learn to like the exercise, even if it doesn’t at first, it will learn to like it. So just get started.

[00:17:50] Diana White: There you go. There you go. Same way my body learned to love ice cream. It could have learned to love exercise.

[00:18:00] Link Duarte: Right? True story.

[00:18:03] Diana White:

[00:18:03] Lesson 9:   If college is your bag, give it all you got- look at that piece of paper as an investment in your future

[00:18:03] Diana White: All right, now lesson number nine. If college is your bag, give it all you’ve got. Look at that piece of paper as an investment in your future. I particularly love this lesson because there’s such a, a conversation going on right now as to whether or not higher education is what it is purported to be anymore.

[00:18:25] Link Duarte: Right.

[00:18:25] Diana White: And why should we go further? Why should, okay, maybe you get your bachelor’s, but do you really need that master’s? And oh, my goodness, do you want to defend a PhD? Uh, so talk to me about your particular experience and how you got there, because I know that this is near and dear to your heart.

[00:18:41] Link Duarte: This one might be a little longer explanation because I think it’s important to know where I came from.

[00:18:46] You know, I grew up in a rural community in a, in a trailer, uh, first generation college student. It was not in the plans. It was not in the books that I would go to college. And so, my family and everybody around me thought I was crazy when I said I wanted to go to college and how was I going to pay for it?

[00:19:03] What was I going to do? And I had no idea. Um, and, but I knew that I needed to go. Side note, there was something happening at the time that I needed an education. and so, I said, I’m going to do this, you know, and as a first-generation college student, I first went for my, uh, bachelor’s. I ended up getting two bachelor’s degrees, and then I got into graduate school because I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do with the bachelor’s degrees.

[00:19:26] Afterwards I was like, Ah, you know, I don’t want to do the jobs that I’m offered, you know, with this, I need to go further. And so, I ended up working on a master’s in law and as I was in graduate school and I was looking at the starting salaries for my job field, I said, God, I made more money without a degree working at Domino’s Pizza, delivering pizza.

[00:19:48] Why am I getting a degree and investing my heart and soul and a hundred thousand dollars and whatever into this education? And I went to my dad, and I said, You know, Dad, why I, I’m thinking about dropping out. I think that this is a waste of time and money, and I could make more money in delivering pizza.

[00:20:06] He gave me this lesson. He said, You know, as a person that, um, started college but never finished. I had a good job that I had a pension plan in whatever, and stayed with the same company 27 years. But those days are not, those days aren’t around anymore. And if I were to lose that job, I wouldn’t have anything else to fall back on.

[00:20:26] He said that piece of paper that you’re earning can sit on a shelf that can collect dust for the next 30 years, but when it comes time, it will be the most valuable asset that you have because it’s something that you can always fall back on even if you lose your job. Wow. In 10 years, you’ll still make the same amount of money delivering pizza, as you know, maybe a little more.

[00:20:48] But in 10 years working on your career with a college degree to show that you have the commitment and you’re taking the time to invest in yourself, and your future potential says a lot to employers, they pay more, they treat you better, you get listened to more. And now looking back as a first-generation college student, now I have the multiple letters after my name and the MBA, and I, you know, graduate from a prestigious university.

[00:21:16] And now doors open for me that I never thought were even possible, just because I do have that piece of paper. And so, it, it, it’s really, I think it’s really important and it’s not for everybody. It’s not to say that it’s more valuable than something else, but if you’re, if it’s your bag and you like school, go for the gusto.

[00:21:35] Do it. Invest all your time and energy in it, you know, and do your very best you can.

[00:21:41] Diana White: I wholeheartedly agree with that. One thing I will say that I’ve had to counsel my mentees on is that the idea of, okay, I went to school for this specific thing and now I don’t even know if I want to do that thing anymore.

[00:22:00] Right? So now my life is turned upside down because no, look at that piece of paper and say, I now have a tool. Yes. How many different ways can I use this? To get me where I need to be.

[00:22:14] Link Duarte: Absolutely. I’ve seen English majors become lawyers. I’ve seen people that in the sciences turn around and be a probation officer.

[00:22:23] You know, you don’t have to just because you got a degree in, you know, whatever you got your degree in. You don’t necessarily have to, I’m not a lawyer even though I have a master’s degree in law, you know, But I have that legal expertise, so it, it’s an extra tool in my tool belt. Absolutely. Hit the nail on the head.

[00:22:41] Lesson 10: In the white room with the red door, be the 3rd type of person

[00:22:41] Diana White: All right, we’re getting down to lesson number 10. Viewers and listeners, I read the lesson, did not understand it, and purposely did not ask for any disclosure because I wanted to get the meaning behind this with you guys because we’re in this together. Lesson number 10 in the white room, with the red door be the third type of person.

[00:23:07] Link. What, what kind of, of, of, I don’t even know what to, to call it.

[00:23:16] Link Duarte: Telling you this and you’ll never, It’s one of those lessons you’ll never forget. Um, this was actually a lesson I taught my daughter when she was about 12 or 13. She was getting into trouble and I said, Okay, we’re going to, we’re going to, And that was thinking hard.

[00:23:29] How can I give her a story that will help her see an imagery and adopt a, a life lesson. So, you’re going to, I’m going to walk you through it. You are in a room with over 200 people, and you see a door and you walk towards the door, and you walk through the door, and it leads you into an all-white room. White walls, white floor, white ceiling, and a white table with a white chair in the middle of it.

[00:23:57] Nothing with any color except for you turn. around You see the door that you came through, and then you see another door, and that door is bright fire engine red, and on that door, it says, Do not enter. What do you do? Do you open the door, or do you not open the door?

[00:24:21] Diana White: I wouldn’t open the door.

[00:24:22] Link Duarte: You wouldn’t open the door?

[00:24:24] Why not?

[00:24:24] Diana White: I’d be too scared.

[00:24:26] Link Duarte: You’d be too scared. Why? What do you think’s behind the door?

[00:24:30] Diana White: Whatever it is. They made that door red for a reason, and they put a big sign on it. Hey, hey Link. Listen, I’m, I’m Black. I’m the one in the horror movies. I’m the one in the horror movies that says maybe we shouldn’t go into that abandoned cabin.

[00:24:47] Link Duarte: Right. Right. And you’re also the smart one in those movies too then, um, you know, it’s always the black person in those movies that knows and says, This is a stupid idea, and we should not be doing this. And nobody ever listens to them. And then that poor guy or gal, they’re the first to go. Those that, But back to this, there are two types of people, majority in the world.

[00:25:08] Those that will not open that door under any circumstance because there’s a risk behind it. You don’t know what’s behind the door. Then the other half of those people are really darn curious, and they want to know what’s behind the door. They’re the risk takers of the group. They said, We will open that door and find out what’s behind it, but there’s a third type of person, and this third type of person says, Wait a minute, I came from a room with over 200 people in it.

[00:25:37] If the odds say that there are two kinds of people in this. There are enough people out there in that room that will open that door and then I can see what’s behind it. So, you make an announcement, and you say, Hey everybody, there’s a red door in here that says, Do not open and guaranteed at least a hundred of those people will say, Well, we want to know what’s behind it, and they’ll open the door for you.

[00:25:58] So don’t be the person that opens the red door, because you want to know what’s behind it. Don’t give up and not look behind the door. It could be, you know, the publisher’s clearing house behind that door, but be the third person that has influence that says, You know what I’m going to find out, get the answers I want, without necessarily having to lead the charge.

[00:26:18] Blow up things on the way, you know? And so, I taught my daughter that to say, you know, you can go about things a little bit smarter instead of being the one that gets into trouble first to test the waters. Got it. And so be the third type of person.

[00:26:33] Diana White: That is, that’s such a valuable life lesson. I’m going to go out on a limb and say I’m probably the fourth kind.

[00:26:40] I’m probably the fourth person that somebody in the room would get a text. Hey, it’s Diana. I’m already home, but I just wouldn’t let you know there was a room with the door.

[00:26:51] Link Duarte: Good luck to you. Let me know how it goes.

[00:26:54] Diana White: If you survive. Can you text me? See you tomorrow?

[00:26:59] Link Duarte: Great.

[00:27:00] Diana White: That was. One of the most powerful lessons to end on on any episode that I feel we’ve ever done. Link that was amazing.

[00:27:11] Oh my goodness. So, listeners and viewers, I, I just want to, I’ll read the lesson again because you feel free to share it with, with your friends and family. Right? In the white room. With the red door, be the third type of person. Be that person that says, I don’t want to try it out for myself, but I really want to know.

[00:27:31] So let me see. Who else is more curious than me? Yeah, I love it. I love it. Link. Your lessons have been amazing.

[00:27:41] I’ve got one more question for you. What have you had to unlearn?

[00:27:47] Link Duarte: I was raised to. I was raised very, very, uh, sheltered and so I learned things about hate and religion and people and what’s, and truths and facts that weren’t actually true, and I’ve had to unlearn some of those things to say, you know, people are people and we’re all made of all different shapes and sizes and colors and types and identities.

[00:28:22] You know, not all of us are going to get along, but it’s possible to unlearn the things, the seeds of hate that were once planted in my life. And I think that that’s something I carry on now, is to teach others to unlearn some of those same things that they learned is what they thought were facts to be truths that they could unlearn those things and redesign their frame of thinking as it relates to other people and love one another. Show Compassion,

[00:28:51] Diana White: Powerful lesson. I, I, I wish that, I wish that we didn’t have to learn it on our own as much, right? I wish it was a lesson that was passed down from generation to generation, but I applaud everyone that takes the journey and learns it on their own.

[00:29:10] Link Duarte: I do want to share one lesson. That we didn’t. Oh, yes,

[00:29:14] Diana White: we’re, we’re getting an 11th lesson. Everyone doing.

[00:29:18] Link Duarte: Absolutely. Change is painful. Change can only happen when the pain of remaining the same outweighs the pain it takes to change. It’s really, really, really hard to change our behaviors, and that’s the greatest lesson I think I’ve learned.

[00:29:41] It’s really hard to change, but is the pain of remaining the same more than what it would take to change? And is the change worth it? Do it. Don’t, Don’t, don’t even, Don’t even, Wait a moment. Jump on it.

[00:29:57] Diana White: My, my precious viewers and listeners, I, I might, I might have to hang up my hosting hat and give it to Link

[00:30:04] Might have to hang it up because this has been a very powerful episode link. You’re amazing and I want to thank you for being on the show. but I need you to tell us, where can we find you? What are you working on right now and what are you reading? Cause we’re, we’re, we want people to download it on Audible for their free trial.

[00:30:22] So let’s start with, I always, where can we, what are you working on and where can we find you? Let’s start with that.

[00:30:29] Link Duarte: Um, you know, I’m actually reading Kirsten’s book. At the moment, I just started it. Don’t, don’t tell her that yet. I couldn’t tell you the name of it. Couldn’t tell you the name of it right.

[00:30:38] This time. So, I’ll tell you that. Little Voices I’m in. The little voices. Yes, I’m in the middle still that I haven’t finished. Um, who not Why is the name of the book? Who, Not? Why? Because, you know, it’s about building a team of who’s, of people around you to help get the work done and, uh, Instead of just a Yeah, yeah, yeah.

[00:31:01] It’s good. And there’s some good jokes in there, you know. Um, I like it. It’s, it’s pretty good book. Um, what was the next question? That was the book, the book I’m

[00:31:10] Diana White: reading you. What are you working on and where

[00:31:11] Link Duarte: can we find you? What am I working on? Um, well, I, I’m a consultant full time. I own my own company, uh, Linking Dreams Consulting.

[00:31:19] You can find me on, Linkingdreams.global. that’s a good way to reach me that in LinkedIn. But use my full name Chris Link Duarte to find me on LinkedIn. And when I’m not perusing online virtually somewhere and working and helping companies and doing all of that, when I get to detach from my computer, um, I am a rural country bumpkin and I have a garden and some chickens, and I try to get away from all internet go rockhounding and do whatever I can to be out in nature.

[00:31:53] Um, because it’s, it’s beautiful and it’s definitely peacemaking. Find me online or find me in the desert, One of the two.

[00:32:00] Diana White: And that’s that desert. Sounds like your bliss right there.

[00:32:05] Link Duarte: Oh yeah. I have a good time. Have a good time carrying rocks and you, You’d be more likely to find, uh, rocks in my pocket when you do my laundry than coins

[00:32:16] Absolutely.

[00:32:18] Diana White: Oh, I, I know your fiancé’s not happy about that one, but that’s okay.

[00:32:21] Link Duarte: Oh, she has more rocks in her pocket than I do. She’s terrible. A poor washing machine. Got it. Oh, that poor washing machine. It’s a poor beating.

[00:32:32] Diana White: Well, I want to thank Link again. I’m going to close out the show you’ve been listening to 10 Lessons Learned. This episode is produced by Robert Hossary, supported as always by the Professional Development Forum. Please tell us, what you think of today’s lessons.

[00:32:48] You can email us at podcast@10lessonslearned.com. That’s podcast at the number ten one zero lessons learn.com. Go ahead and hit that like button. Subscribe and turn on the notification bell so you don’t miss an episode of the only podcast that makes the world wiser, lesson by lesson. Thank you so much, everybody. Be safe.

 This episode is produced by Robert Hossary. Sponsored as always by Professional Development Forum, which office insights, community or discussions, podcasts, parties, anything you want here, but they’re unique and it’s all free online. You can find the www.professionaldevelopmentforum.org you’ve heard from us we’d like to hear from you. Email us it’s podcast@10lessonslearned.com. Remember, this is the podcast the only podcast. That’s makes the world wiser lesson by lesson.

 
Link Duarte

Link Duarte – Don’t let your mistakes ruin what you could be.

Link Duarte discusses why we should "Strive for excellence, not perfection " That we need to "Live your bliss " and explains why you shouldn't "let your mistakes ruin what you could be: . Hosted by Diana White

About Link Duarte

Link,” formally known as Chris Duarte, is committed to inspiring the world to be more inclusive of everyone.  As the chair of the Advocacy group at CTW, Link is committed to lifting the voices of the worker (open talent), to ensure that they not only have a seat at the table, but that they have instrumental influence for positive change in the future of workspace. 

Link is committed to making the world a safer place in his efforts as a pro human advocate, consultant, innovator, program developer, trainer, speaker, and storyteller.  Link, a Veteran of the armed forces, holds 2 BS, and an MA in Sociology, Criminology, Law, and more recently, a Master’s Certificate in Business Analytics (HBAP) from Harvard Business School. Since the start of his career, Link has founded and directed several entities and programs that serve people, educated publicly about rural and minority issues, and volunteers his time to support social justice initiatives. As the Founder and CEO of Linking Dreams, Link provides cultural strategy consulting, training, DEI/EIG evaluation, and program design to help entities enhance their reach of underserved populations. Link also chairs the Advocacy group at the Center for the Transformation of Work where he engages audiences to lift up the voices of workers in the #futureofwork space. Link believes in the power created when people unite to form ecosystems of support and dedicates his time to ensure that the voices of the underserved are valued and included. 

Episode Notes

Lesson 1: Live your bliss and the universe will open doors for you that you thought were only walls 01:52
Lesson 2: Let your past be your guiding post and not your hitching post 04:11
Lesson 3: In 10 years, nobody will remember what you did, but they will always remember the way you made them feel 04:52
Lesson 4: Don’t let your mistakes ruin what you could be- stop giving your mistake so much power 06:49
Lesson 5: Strive for excellence, not perfection 09:08
Lesson 6: Identity shouldn’t define you; it is merely of characteristic that helps guide us and who we are 10:53
Lesson 7: Be your authentic self because your authenticity is the one thing that no one can take away from you 14:03
Lesson 8: Exercise and learn healthy habits while you’re young because it only gets harder as you get older 16:01
Lesson 9: If college is your bag, give it all you got- look at that piece of paper as an investment in your future 18:03
Lesson 10: In the white room with the red door, be the 3rd type of person 22:41

Link Duarte – Don’t let your mistakes ruin what you could be.

[00:00:00] Diana White: Hello and welcome to 10 Lessons Learn Where we will talk to leaders and luminaries from all over the world to dispense wisdom for career, business, and life in order to make the world wiser lesson by lesson.

[00:00:13] My name is Diana White, and I am your host for this episode. Our guest today is Link. Link is committed to making the world a safer place in its efforts as a pro human advocate, consultant, innovator, and speaker. As founder and CEO of Linking Dreams, Link provides cultural strategy consulting, training DE and I E I G, evaluation and program design to help entities enhance their reach of underserved populations.

[00:00:41] Link also chairs the advocacy group at the Center for the Transformation of Work, where he engages audiences to lift up the voices of workers in the future of workspace.

[00:00:55] Welcome link.

[00:00:56] Link Duarte: Thank you. Thank you. Happy to be here.

[00:00:59] Diana White: I am so happy you decided to be on the show. And, uh, I’m going to start right off with what would you tell your 30-year-old.

[00:01:09] Link Duarte: Don’t do it. No, I’m kidding. No. I would say, um, stop and smell the roses and enjoy your life while you’re young. Oh, you know, I enjoy it then. That, that’s, that’s the biggest piece of advice I would give to myself at 30. Cause, you know, as a working horse, a hundred miles an hour.

[00:01:28] Diana White: Weren’t we all at that age though?

[00:01:30] Link Duarte: Oh yeah. Oh yeah. You know, hindsight is 2020. You know, stopping and smelling the roses to enjoy life a little bit more. We have, uh, made my life less stressful.

[00:01:42] Diana White: I love it. All right, we’re going to go right into your lessons and, and viewers and listeners, I’m going to tell you right now, these lessons are awesome.

[00:01:52] Lesson 1: Live your bliss and the universe will open doors for you

[00:01:52] Diana White: Lesson number one, live your bliss and the universe will open doors that you thought were only walls. Talk to us about that Link.

[00:02:03] Link Duarte: Now, I can’t take credit for this on all on my own. It was actually a quote that I found. I was going through a really tough time in my life, and at that time in my life I was complaining a lot and complaining about everything going wrong and wishing that things could go right in this way or that way.

[00:02:22] And I was venting to a friend who was very matter of fact that he said this quote to me, and then he turned around and walked away. And I thought long and hard about it, like what did he really mean? And it took me a while to really own this and adopt this. A way of thinking that, you know, if, if you live life, in a way that you feel like you have to do this and you have to do that, then you’ll end up where you feel like you have to be.

[00:02:46] But living your bliss, you’ll live a happier life. We made these choices and making, carving out free time in your life and carving out the, the creativity aspects of who you are, I think is really important. And, uh, not to dwell, you know, live your bliss and suddenly things start to fall into place.

[00:03:04] You know, uh, live what you live your purpose.

[00:03:08] Diana White: And you know, I, I think Link and I, I see this a lot. I saw it in myself. When someone says, Live your bliss to the average mind, that means well live the life you really want to live. But I can’t do that because I don’t have the money to live blissfully.

[00:03:26] But it’s not about money, is it?

[00:03:28] Link Duarte: It’s not. There’s times in my life where I was born living, living, homeless, and, and, um, but bliss really is something, it’s, it encompasses your whole life and frame of mind of, of making the best about your day, no matter what cards you’re dealt, you know, enjoying those moments and, and living your bliss, living your happiest moments, um, and, and taking it as a life lesson that it’s meant to teach you something, you know?

[00:03:55] And I think that helps a little bit more than saying, God, you know, I’m in this really bad space. Complaining about it, but rather spin it. Look at the good things, and live your bliss through those struggling times.

[00:04:06] Diana White: Live your bliss during those struggling times. I love that.

[00:04:11] Lesson 2:   Let your past be your guiding post and not your hitching post

[00:04:11] Diana White: Lesson number two, Let your past be your guiding post and not your hitching post.

[00:04:18] Oh, my tell, tell me Link. Tell me.

[00:04:24] Link Duarte: Sometimes we get stuck on the mistakes we. made The choices we would’ve made or would’ve, shoulda, coulda, you know? Um, and you know, that that past is supposed to be, to teach us, to guide us. We made those mistakes, but what are we going to do better to make sure we don’t make those mistakes again?

[00:04:42] Um, let it, let those mistakes guide you. Everybody makes mistakes, but don’t get hung up and stuck on, on those mistakes and, and, and let them hold you back.

[00:04:52] Lesson 3: In 10 years, nobody will remember what you did, but they will always remember the way you made them feel

[00:04:52] Diana White: Love it. Number three. In 10 years, nobody will remember what you did, but they will always remember how you made them feel. Now we’ve had this lesson a lot on the show, and it just always seems to resonate.

[00:05:09] Give me your take on this lesson.

[00:05:11] Link Duarte: So, I was working for, a university and I was creating a program, for LGBT students. You know, at the, with all the rainbows and the excitement, it’s easy to get carried away and, and, you know, and, and do a whole bunch because it’s almost, uh, energetic and almost addicting of the energy of the community and how excited people get.

[00:05:33] But there was one year that we did over 165 events. And sometimes two and three a day, whether they be workshops or educational or whatever the program was. But at the end of it, I realized that I didn’t even remember half of what we did. But it was the people that I ran into that they’d say, Oh man, it’s so good to see you.

[00:05:55] And they would remember the time I spoke to their class or told my story and how impactful that was and how they felt afterwards. And I realized that it was the, that that impact and making a, not a good impression, but, uh, leaving a good lasting impression. A positive one that even if they don’t remember how they know you or what they, what they knew you from, or what you said or what you did, they’ll re, they’ll look at your face and go, I remember this person and I liked them.

[00:06:26] And I think that that’s really important. when it comes to change in impacting the world in a positive way.

[00:06:31] Diana White: I believe the same thing I do.

[00:06:34] Number four. Number four shook me to my absolute core. So here we go, viewers and listeners. Bear with me. Uh, I’m going to read this a little slowly so you can get it because this is powerful.

[00:06:49] Lesson 4:   Don’t let your mistakes ruin what you could be

[00:06:49] Diana White: Lesson number four, Don’t let your mistakes ruin what you could be. From that bad situation there might be 10 people who heard. Three people who knew you were involved by name and one person who actually cares. Stop giving your mistakes. So much power. I almost want to stop the show right now. . .

[00:07:14] That is gold.

[00:07:17] Link Duarte: That’s a recent one. Oh, that’s a recent one.

[00:07:19] Diana White: Talk to me about it. Talk to me about it. Link.

[00:07:21] Link Duarte: You know, as an advocate, and, you know, I’ve developed quite a reputation and people know me and my name resonates. And I’ve made some mistakes. I’ve said some things I shouldn’t have and or I’ve done some things I shouldn’t have, or however the case would be.

[00:07:37] Dwelled and anguished on those things, and they are the things that kept me up at night. And six months, you know, there was a situation that happened that six months later nobody remembered, and it was actually somebody else’s situation that six months later, nobody remembered their name. Nobody even knew that they were involved, but they were so concerned that everybody aided them because of this bad situation that happened that really no one cared.

[00:08:02] And I thought about most situations, and I said, God, you know, that’s, that’s quite true. Is that really, the big situations that get blown out of proportion that really kind of hold us back and say, Oh my God, and let define who we are. No one’s going to remember them anyway. Kind of goes back to the, you know, in 10 years no one will remember what you do.

[00:08:21] Diana White: I’m inclined to add, I’m inclined to add that. You know, wait long enough and somebody will do something that

[00:08:30] Link Duarte: equally as dumb equally as dumb, if not more,

[00:08:34] Diana White: then you’re off the hook, right?

[00:08:36] Link Duarte: Yeah. Think about little kids and the kid that wet their pants, you know? And it’s so embarrassing at the time.

[00:08:42] It defines their child entire childhood. As adults. No one remembered that happen. Oh, that was you. And like no one cares.

[00:08:50] Diana White: Exactly. Oh, oh, that was so powerful. Link. Thank you for that lesson. It’s, it’s all, it’s really rare that I tell someone thank you for a particular lesson because it resonated with me so much, but this one did.

[00:09:06] Oh my.

[00:09:07] Link Duarte: Thank you. Thank you.

[00:09:08] Lesson 5:   Strive for excellence, not perfection

[00:09:08] Diana White: Number five, strive for excellence, not perfection. Hey, someone may argue that that’s one and the same, so link. Tell me your perspective on that.

[00:09:19] Link Duarte: Perfection has no end. You can’t define perfect because you could never really reach it because there’s always improvement to be done, but something can be very excellent and serve its purpose and do what it’s supposed to do without being perfect.

[00:09:35] And so if you get stuck on the same task with the same project, trying to perfect it all the time, then everything around it crumbles to the wayside. So, strive for excellence in every situation, and it’s about as perfect as it’s going to be. I mean, that’s, you know, It doesn’t have to be perfect. The only one that notice sees those little mistakes is you.

[00:09:56] Diana White: That is a bumper sticker. Strive for excellence, and it’ll be perfect.

[00:10:02] Link Duarte: I used to tell my daughter that all the time. She used to get mad at me.

[00:10:07] Diana White: But I dare say now she knows that that’s the real deal, right?

[00:10:10] Link Duarte: Probably. I hope so. I hope so.

[00:10:13] Affiliate Break

[00:10:13] Diana White: We’re going to take a little ad break. I’d like to take a short break to thank our affiliate partner Audible.

[00:10:20] Audible is an amazing way to consume 10 Lessons Learned books and other podcasts, allowing you to build a library of knowledge all in one place. You can start your free 30-day trial by going to audibletrial.com/10lessonslerned. With Audible, you can find your favorite lesson while at home or on the go.

[00:10:41] Once again, that’s audible trial.com/one zero. Lessons learned all over case for a free 30-day trial. The link will be in the show notes.

[00:10:53] Lesson 6:   Identity shouldn’t define you; it is merely of characteristic that helps guide us and who we are

[00:10:53] Diana White: Let’s welcome back Link and continue with lesson number six. Lesson number six, identity should not define you. It is merely a characteristic that helps guide us and who we are.

[00:11:05] Talk about that one Link.

[00:11:08] Link Duarte: I’ll drop that bomb now. Diana. You know, my identity throughout my life has kind of defined me, and, and I’ll, I’ll, uh, let everybody in and your listeners, um, know that I was born actually biologically female and I’m a transgender man. You know, I’ve been in transition, uh, taking hormones for about 15 years almost.

[00:11:30] And you know, there was periods of time because I was an advocate, I was out in the community. I had face in the community, and people knew who I was and, you know, so I got questions all the time. And I couldn’t even go grocery shopping without people saying, You’re that guy, you know, And it, so it became almost consuming to where my identity was everything.

[00:11:49] And about five years. Three, maybe three or four years into my transition. It was exhausting. I felt like I was putting a face out there and the expectation that this is great. I’m getting be it to be able to live my full, authentic self and I’m transitioning and everything’s wonderful, peaches and cream, but internally and inside in my personal life was really broken and was, I was really pained and by the loss of some communities and family members and friends that didn’t agree or support what I was doing.

[00:12:22] And it felt as though everything was wrapped up and consumed in my identity and my identity of a transgender person. And it took a long time to get out of that behavior and out of that to say really, that’s just a characteristic. Yes, it’s an important one. You can’t truly know me unless you know that about me.

[00:12:44] However, it doesn’t define everything I do. It doesn’t define exactly who I am. You can’t put me in a category of transgender people and that represent everything about me. You know, that’s just merely a characteristic. That’s part of a conversation. And to get to know me, you probably should know that about me.

[00:13:04] And so I’m very open about my identity and who I am, but I don’t let it define me because I think that. With life’s failures. Sometimes we go through different things and, and, um, it shouldn’t define who we are and hold us

[00:13:17] Diana White: back. Well said. Well said. You and I have had discussions and, you know, talking about one facet of who you are, being the dominant characteristic that everybody focuses on.

[00:13:31] For me, it’s my melanin, my beautiful, luscious melanin. Right. Um, so everybody sees that first. Yeah. Uh, and then, and then they see that I’m a woman and then they make their decisions from that. I’m not just a black woman.

[00:13:46] Link Duarte: Right.

[00:13:47] Diana White: I’m so much more, you know, so,

[00:13:49] Link Duarte: Or I’m not just a white guy.

[00:13:52] Diana White: Exactly.

[00:13:53] Link Duarte: I could add a lot too that there’s deeper, there’s layers.

[00:13:55] The expectation that the, But yeah, so, so true. It shouldn’t define us.

[00:14:01] Diana White: So true. I love that one.

[00:14:03] Lesson 7:   Be your authentic self because your authenticity is the one thing that no one can take away from you

[00:14:03] Diana White: Lesson number seven, be your authentic self because your authenticity is the one thing that no one can take away from you.

[00:14:13] Link Duarte: That’s right. Talk to me. That’s right. At the end of the day when the world is crumbling around you, and no matter you know, not all of our parents accept our choices.

[00:14:23] Not all of our children accept all our choices and what we do. You know? Um, Living as my authentic self. You know, yes, I am a transgender person, but I chose to take hormones to match my outsides, you know, But being my true, authentic core that you could take away my beard, you could take away my exterior, but being my true self and who I really am, that’s all I have to fall back on.

[00:14:50] So when the world is trying to tear me down, and maybe they, they think things about me, or there’s rumors about me. Sometimes that can be really draining and that could be really hurtful to hear people whisper behind my back and things like that. But at least I have myself to fall back on that. I’m a true, honest, good person, and that’s what I go to sleep with at night and wake up to in the morning.

[00:15:14] That true authenticity, and I think that that radiates. People pick up on that and they know that they can trust somebody that’s being their true, authentic self.

[00:15:24] Diana White: I, I certainly can contest to that, especially with you. And viewers. You will see if you view this on YouTube listeners, if you’re listening to the podcast, um, I got to tell you, Link is sporting, uh, a z z top, definite z z top competition beard right there.

[00:15:41] So for him to say it doesn’t even matter without my beard, I am still me. Uh, that is powerful, That is powerful.

[00:15:49] Link Duarte: It doesn’t even fit in the frame either. It doesn’t even fit in the frame, I’ve had to, you know, redefine my wardrobe because the beard is so long, it falls on my collar. Weird, you know, it’s,

[00:16:01] Lesson 8:   Exercise and learn healthy habits while you’re young because it only gets harder as you get older

[00:16:01] Diana White: Oh, my goodness, or lesson number eight.

[00:16:06] Exercise and learn healthy habits while you’re young, because it only gets harder as you get older. My goodness. I can contest to that Link. Take us there.

[00:16:16] Link Duarte: There’s a lovely elliptical sitting in my living room, that stares at me and speaks to me. It’s, it’s s sprouted, um, a mouth and everything. And so, get on me.

[00:16:26] You need me because you’re fat and you need to work, work it out. And every day I have a good you know; I’m going to do it today. And I don’t because I didn’t enjoy running when I was younger. I didn’t like I, yes, I went to the gym and things like that when I was younger because friends went with me, but I didn’t develop the healthy habits.

[00:16:46] I ate whatever I wanted, and you know, thought I’d stay that way forever. And no, through the stress of it all, I developed bad habits and eating habits. I love food, but I didn’t grow to love exercise in the same way that I do my love for food and, you know, and that catches up to me. It has caught up to me.

[00:17:07] And so I, I would definitely tell my younger self, Go to the gym more, develop some healthy habits, meditate, whatever you got to do.

[00:17:16] Diana White: I wholeheartedly agree with that. And I, I think that it’s holistic health. It’s not just the physical health. It, it’s the mental health, it’s the spiritual health. Um, it’s, it’s brain health.

[00:17:30] Just doing stuff for you. Finding, going back to the earlier lesson, finding your bliss. Finding your bliss is healthy, you know, so

[00:17:39] Link Duarte: Somebody told me a couple days ago actually, That your body has memory, it will learn to like the exercise, even if it doesn’t at first, it will learn to like it. So just get started.

[00:17:50] Diana White: There you go. There you go. Same way my body learned to love ice cream. It could have learned to love exercise.

[00:18:00] Link Duarte: Right? True story.

[00:18:03] Diana White:

[00:18:03] Lesson 9:   If college is your bag, give it all you got- look at that piece of paper as an investment in your future

[00:18:03] Diana White: All right, now lesson number nine. If college is your bag, give it all you’ve got. Look at that piece of paper as an investment in your future. I particularly love this lesson because there’s such a, a conversation going on right now as to whether or not higher education is what it is purported to be anymore.

[00:18:25] Link Duarte: Right.

[00:18:25] Diana White: And why should we go further? Why should, okay, maybe you get your bachelor’s, but do you really need that master’s? And oh, my goodness, do you want to defend a PhD? Uh, so talk to me about your particular experience and how you got there, because I know that this is near and dear to your heart.

[00:18:41] Link Duarte: This one might be a little longer explanation because I think it’s important to know where I came from.

[00:18:46] You know, I grew up in a rural community in a, in a trailer, uh, first generation college student. It was not in the plans. It was not in the books that I would go to college. And so, my family and everybody around me thought I was crazy when I said I wanted to go to college and how was I going to pay for it?

[00:19:03] What was I going to do? And I had no idea. Um, and, but I knew that I needed to go. Side note, there was something happening at the time that I needed an education. and so, I said, I’m going to do this, you know, and as a first-generation college student, I first went for my, uh, bachelor’s. I ended up getting two bachelor’s degrees, and then I got into graduate school because I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do with the bachelor’s degrees.

[00:19:26] Afterwards I was like, Ah, you know, I don’t want to do the jobs that I’m offered, you know, with this, I need to go further. And so, I ended up working on a master’s in law and as I was in graduate school and I was looking at the starting salaries for my job field, I said, God, I made more money without a degree working at Domino’s Pizza, delivering pizza.

[00:19:48] Why am I getting a degree and investing my heart and soul and a hundred thousand dollars and whatever into this education? And I went to my dad, and I said, You know, Dad, why I, I’m thinking about dropping out. I think that this is a waste of time and money, and I could make more money in delivering pizza.

[00:20:06] He gave me this lesson. He said, You know, as a person that, um, started college but never finished. I had a good job that I had a pension plan in whatever, and stayed with the same company 27 years. But those days are not, those days aren’t around anymore. And if I were to lose that job, I wouldn’t have anything else to fall back on.

[00:20:26] He said that piece of paper that you’re earning can sit on a shelf that can collect dust for the next 30 years, but when it comes time, it will be the most valuable asset that you have because it’s something that you can always fall back on even if you lose your job. Wow. In 10 years, you’ll still make the same amount of money delivering pizza, as you know, maybe a little more.

[00:20:48] But in 10 years working on your career with a college degree to show that you have the commitment and you’re taking the time to invest in yourself, and your future potential says a lot to employers, they pay more, they treat you better, you get listened to more. And now looking back as a first-generation college student, now I have the multiple letters after my name and the MBA, and I, you know, graduate from a prestigious university.

[00:21:16] And now doors open for me that I never thought were even possible, just because I do have that piece of paper. And so, it, it, it’s really, I think it’s really important and it’s not for everybody. It’s not to say that it’s more valuable than something else, but if you’re, if it’s your bag and you like school, go for the gusto.

[00:21:35] Do it. Invest all your time and energy in it, you know, and do your very best you can.

[00:21:41] Diana White: I wholeheartedly agree with that. One thing I will say that I’ve had to counsel my mentees on is that the idea of, okay, I went to school for this specific thing and now I don’t even know if I want to do that thing anymore.

[00:22:00] Right? So now my life is turned upside down because no, look at that piece of paper and say, I now have a tool. Yes. How many different ways can I use this? To get me where I need to be.

[00:22:14] Link Duarte: Absolutely. I’ve seen English majors become lawyers. I’ve seen people that in the sciences turn around and be a probation officer.

[00:22:23] You know, you don’t have to just because you got a degree in, you know, whatever you got your degree in. You don’t necessarily have to, I’m not a lawyer even though I have a master’s degree in law, you know, But I have that legal expertise, so it, it’s an extra tool in my tool belt. Absolutely. Hit the nail on the head.

[00:22:41] Lesson 10: In the white room with the red door, be the 3rd type of person

[00:22:41] Diana White: All right, we’re getting down to lesson number 10. Viewers and listeners, I read the lesson, did not understand it, and purposely did not ask for any disclosure because I wanted to get the meaning behind this with you guys because we’re in this together. Lesson number 10 in the white room, with the red door be the third type of person.

[00:23:07] Link. What, what kind of, of, of, I don’t even know what to, to call it.

[00:23:16] Link Duarte: Telling you this and you’ll never, It’s one of those lessons you’ll never forget. Um, this was actually a lesson I taught my daughter when she was about 12 or 13. She was getting into trouble and I said, Okay, we’re going to, we’re going to, And that was thinking hard.

[00:23:29] How can I give her a story that will help her see an imagery and adopt a, a life lesson. So, you’re going to, I’m going to walk you through it. You are in a room with over 200 people, and you see a door and you walk towards the door, and you walk through the door, and it leads you into an all-white room. White walls, white floor, white ceiling, and a white table with a white chair in the middle of it.

[00:23:57] Nothing with any color except for you turn. around You see the door that you came through, and then you see another door, and that door is bright fire engine red, and on that door, it says, Do not enter. What do you do? Do you open the door, or do you not open the door?

[00:24:21] Diana White: I wouldn’t open the door.

[00:24:22] Link Duarte: You wouldn’t open the door?

[00:24:24] Why not?

[00:24:24] Diana White: I’d be too scared.

[00:24:26] Link Duarte: You’d be too scared. Why? What do you think’s behind the door?

[00:24:30] Diana White: Whatever it is. They made that door red for a reason, and they put a big sign on it. Hey, hey Link. Listen, I’m, I’m Black. I’m the one in the horror movies. I’m the one in the horror movies that says maybe we shouldn’t go into that abandoned cabin.

[00:24:47] Link Duarte: Right. Right. And you’re also the smart one in those movies too then, um, you know, it’s always the black person in those movies that knows and says, This is a stupid idea, and we should not be doing this. And nobody ever listens to them. And then that poor guy or gal, they’re the first to go. Those that, But back to this, there are two types of people, majority in the world.

[00:25:08] Those that will not open that door under any circumstance because there’s a risk behind it. You don’t know what’s behind the door. Then the other half of those people are really darn curious, and they want to know what’s behind the door. They’re the risk takers of the group. They said, We will open that door and find out what’s behind it, but there’s a third type of person, and this third type of person says, Wait a minute, I came from a room with over 200 people in it.

[00:25:37] If the odds say that there are two kinds of people in this. There are enough people out there in that room that will open that door and then I can see what’s behind it. So, you make an announcement, and you say, Hey everybody, there’s a red door in here that says, Do not open and guaranteed at least a hundred of those people will say, Well, we want to know what’s behind it, and they’ll open the door for you.

[00:25:58] So don’t be the person that opens the red door, because you want to know what’s behind it. Don’t give up and not look behind the door. It could be, you know, the publisher’s clearing house behind that door, but be the third person that has influence that says, You know what I’m going to find out, get the answers I want, without necessarily having to lead the charge.

[00:26:18] Blow up things on the way, you know? And so, I taught my daughter that to say, you know, you can go about things a little bit smarter instead of being the one that gets into trouble first to test the waters. Got it. And so be the third type of person.

[00:26:33] Diana White: That is, that’s such a valuable life lesson. I’m going to go out on a limb and say I’m probably the fourth kind.

[00:26:40] I’m probably the fourth person that somebody in the room would get a text. Hey, it’s Diana. I’m already home, but I just wouldn’t let you know there was a room with the door.

[00:26:51] Link Duarte: Good luck to you. Let me know how it goes.

[00:26:54] Diana White: If you survive. Can you text me? See you tomorrow?

[00:26:59] Link Duarte: Great.

[00:27:00] Diana White: That was. One of the most powerful lessons to end on on any episode that I feel we’ve ever done. Link that was amazing.

[00:27:11] Oh my goodness. So, listeners and viewers, I, I just want to, I’ll read the lesson again because you feel free to share it with, with your friends and family. Right? In the white room. With the red door, be the third type of person. Be that person that says, I don’t want to try it out for myself, but I really want to know.

[00:27:31] So let me see. Who else is more curious than me? Yeah, I love it. I love it. Link. Your lessons have been amazing.

[00:27:41] I’ve got one more question for you. What have you had to unlearn?

[00:27:47] Link Duarte: I was raised to. I was raised very, very, uh, sheltered and so I learned things about hate and religion and people and what’s, and truths and facts that weren’t actually true, and I’ve had to unlearn some of those things to say, you know, people are people and we’re all made of all different shapes and sizes and colors and types and identities.

[00:28:22] You know, not all of us are going to get along, but it’s possible to unlearn the things, the seeds of hate that were once planted in my life. And I think that that’s something I carry on now, is to teach others to unlearn some of those same things that they learned is what they thought were facts to be truths that they could unlearn those things and redesign their frame of thinking as it relates to other people and love one another. Show Compassion,

[00:28:51] Diana White: Powerful lesson. I, I, I wish that, I wish that we didn’t have to learn it on our own as much, right? I wish it was a lesson that was passed down from generation to generation, but I applaud everyone that takes the journey and learns it on their own.

[00:29:10] Link Duarte: I do want to share one lesson. That we didn’t. Oh, yes,

[00:29:14] Diana White: we’re, we’re getting an 11th lesson. Everyone doing.

[00:29:18] Link Duarte: Absolutely. Change is painful. Change can only happen when the pain of remaining the same outweighs the pain it takes to change. It’s really, really, really hard to change our behaviors, and that’s the greatest lesson I think I’ve learned.

[00:29:41] It’s really hard to change, but is the pain of remaining the same more than what it would take to change? And is the change worth it? Do it. Don’t, Don’t, don’t even, Don’t even, Wait a moment. Jump on it.

[00:29:57] Diana White: My, my precious viewers and listeners, I, I might, I might have to hang up my hosting hat and give it to Link

[00:30:04] Might have to hang it up because this has been a very powerful episode link. You’re amazing and I want to thank you for being on the show. but I need you to tell us, where can we find you? What are you working on right now and what are you reading? Cause we’re, we’re, we want people to download it on Audible for their free trial.

[00:30:22] So let’s start with, I always, where can we, what are you working on and where can we find you? Let’s start with that.

[00:30:29] Link Duarte: Um, you know, I’m actually reading Kirsten’s book. At the moment, I just started it. Don’t, don’t tell her that yet. I couldn’t tell you the name of it. Couldn’t tell you the name of it right.

[00:30:38] This time. So, I’ll tell you that. Little Voices I’m in. The little voices. Yes, I’m in the middle still that I haven’t finished. Um, who not Why is the name of the book? Who, Not? Why? Because, you know, it’s about building a team of who’s, of people around you to help get the work done and, uh, Instead of just a Yeah, yeah, yeah.

[00:31:01] It’s good. And there’s some good jokes in there, you know. Um, I like it. It’s, it’s pretty good book. Um, what was the next question? That was the book, the book I’m

[00:31:10] Diana White: reading you. What are you working on and where

[00:31:11] Link Duarte: can we find you? What am I working on? Um, well, I, I’m a consultant full time. I own my own company, uh, Linking Dreams Consulting.

[00:31:19] You can find me on, Linkingdreams.global. that’s a good way to reach me that in LinkedIn. But use my full name Chris Link Duarte to find me on LinkedIn. And when I’m not perusing online virtually somewhere and working and helping companies and doing all of that, when I get to detach from my computer, um, I am a rural country bumpkin and I have a garden and some chickens, and I try to get away from all internet go rockhounding and do whatever I can to be out in nature.

[00:31:53] Um, because it’s, it’s beautiful and it’s definitely peacemaking. Find me online or find me in the desert, One of the two.

[00:32:00] Diana White: And that’s that desert. Sounds like your bliss right there.

[00:32:05] Link Duarte: Oh yeah. I have a good time. Have a good time carrying rocks and you, You’d be more likely to find, uh, rocks in my pocket when you do my laundry than coins

[00:32:16] Absolutely.

[00:32:18] Diana White: Oh, I, I know your fiancé’s not happy about that one, but that’s okay.

[00:32:21] Link Duarte: Oh, she has more rocks in her pocket than I do. She’s terrible. A poor washing machine. Got it. Oh, that poor washing machine. It’s a poor beating.

[00:32:32] Diana White: Well, I want to thank Link again. I’m going to close out the show you’ve been listening to 10 Lessons Learned. This episode is produced by Robert Hossary, supported as always by the Professional Development Forum. Please tell us, what you think of today’s lessons.

[00:32:48] You can email us at podcast@10lessonslearned.com. That’s podcast at the number ten one zero lessons learn.com. Go ahead and hit that like button. Subscribe and turn on the notification bell so you don’t miss an episode of the only podcast that makes the world wiser, lesson by lesson. Thank you so much, everybody. Be safe.

 This episode is produced by Robert Hossary. Sponsored as always by Professional Development Forum, which office insights, community or discussions, podcasts, parties, anything you want here, but they’re unique and it’s all free online. You can find the www.professionaldevelopmentforum.org you’ve heard from us we’d like to hear from you. Email us it’s podcast@10lessonslearned.com. Remember, this is the podcast the only podcast. That’s makes the world wiser lesson by lesson.

 

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