The lessons I’ve learned over the past decade are too many to count.
Ten years ago I found my way to a small regional university that overlooks a tapestry of legacy, heritage, tradition, progress, and possibility formally known as Claremore, Oklahoma. It was my third and final attempt to complete my college degree.

Now, a decade later, I’ve returned Rogers State University as a staff member. Of the many lessons I’ve weathered during this season, one truth has settled into my bones.

There are two ways of winning.

  1. Some only win when others lose.
  2. Others seek to win by helping others succeed.
The most rewarding opportunities in my life have developed through answering the question, “What can I contribute?” as opposed to, “What can I achieve?”
History demonstrates two ways to change the world: with the pen (the use of ideas) or with the sword (the use of power).
Trust me, it feels great to take off your armor.
…and when you do, I’ve discovered that those waiting to welcome you are fresh and funky. They lead through vision backed by action and have a grand time changing their world for the benefit of others and to the enjoyment of their own pleasure.
The great takeaway they’ve taught me: “Just go and make yourself useful.”
-by Brandon Irby