Sunday, December 3, 2017

20 to 40 - That's Where It Happens

You know those moments in life when you realize how right somebody was? I still get them, but at a much slower pace. The tide has turned. Although, there is one which repeats. The class was “Sales Psychology.” The professor was Dr. Cangemi.
Easily the most desired course on campus, to earn a seat you had to work hard. I’m talking all the overtime and long hours your grades could withstand. It was the only legal way to earn enough money to bribe registration. Everyone wanted in.
Why was there such demand? Dr. Cangemi was one of the last educators who spoke, open and honest, about the real world and business. There were no hyperboles or over the top Tony Robins moments. The BS remained in the hall with those sharing an affinity for warm breezes of sunshine up the rear. He couldn’t help it. He had experience.
Looking back, I still marvel at the success of the class. Rational at heart, yet dominating the psychology department, its existence triggered cognitive dissonance in students who heard about “Sales Psychology” then learned where to find it. Despite its title, that specific department was the last place anyone looked for lectures on winning.
Claiming my seat in what rumor said to be the largest class on campus, I wondered how disappointing it would be. Awaiting the professor’s arrival, I scanned the room hoping otherwise. My favorite philosopher once said, “A person is smart. People are stupid.” My version is more rule of thumb, “Whenever the group is sure of something, the safe bet is they are wrong.” Having learned this early in life, the crowd leaned into my mind. Then the door swung open and in walked “Cangemi.” Everything before was forgotten.
My crapshoot had come through. Instantly obvious was the value of the class. More importantly, there was that single Cangemi nugget I still remember today, “Life is arranged for success in your 40s. What you have there is your peak.”
Alarmingly finite for infinite minds, few accepted the depth of the wisdom. Students who believed anything was possible, and life never ends, laughed it off. Some, sensing more, sat still for impending clarity. “What you do in your twenties and thirties will determine your success. Work hard. These critical decades of your life will determine who you become.” He was right.

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