[ Matthew Sanchez ]:
A few months ago, really good friend of mine named Jack gave me a call.
It was like, 11:45 at night.
I'm fast asleep, and so I kind of pick up the phone, and I kind of go, "Hello?"
And Jack just starts rambling.
"Matthew, Matthew, I'm freaking out, man. I'm freaking out."
And I say, "Ok, ok. What's going on?"
And he just continues.
"Well, I just bought this brand new suit."
So I think, "Alright, great, good for you."
And then he says, "I got the right shoes. I got this perfect tie —"
And then I start to cut him off a little bit, and I say, "Jack, what's going on, man?"
And he goes, "You know that company I've been dreaming to work for since high school?"
And I said, "Yeah."
He goes, "I got a job interview tomorrow with them."
And so I said, "Alright, cool."
That's — so I'm really happy for Jack, right?
So I decide to try to calm him down a little bit, and in doing so, I said, "Jack, why don't you tell me a little bit about this company?"
And Jack, the first thing that comes out of his mouth is, "Well, it's supposed to be one of the best firms in the world."
Alright, "It's supposed to be."
I think this in the back of my head.
And so I continue talking with him, and he's telling me how he's still freaking out.
And then I say, "Well Jack, how about — do you know anybody who works there?"
And Jack says, "Yeah, I know two people!"
And so I start thinking, still.
So Jack knows that it's supposed to be the best firm in the world.
He knows two people who work in this worldwide firm.
And I start thinking about this a little bit.
I'm like, "Alright. Well, you know what? I'm going to talk Jack down just a little bit, so I can get some sleep."
So, we finally get off the phone.
I go to sleep, I wake up the next morning, thinking about Jack.
And I'm thinking, "You know what? I wish Jack the best of luck." The way we should do, for all of our friends.
And as I'm driving to work that same day, I'm reminiscing about one time when I felt the exact same way, about something that I didn't know too much about, much like Jack.
And it made me think about one of my first dates.
Not that I've had a lot of first dates, I understand, but I've had my fair share.
So one of the two first dates that I've had, I decide to go up to this woman — actually, it was before the first date.
The way I met the woman was, I was at a bar with some friends, and I'm sitting there — I'm not used — I was never one of these people that wants to go up and talk to a stranger.
But for some reason there was this woman standing there, and I thought, "I want to go talk to her."
And so I went up, started talking to her, and we had this great conversation.
We were laughing.
She seemed smart.
She seemed really funny.
And I thought, "I — this is somebody I think, that I want to get to know more."
So we exchanged numbers.
We part ways.
And the very next day, I call her, right?
The next day.
Most people are like, "Don't call her so soon! Don't look so eager!"
But no. I decide to call her the next day.
And so I call her up, and I wanted to ask her out.
And I said, "Hey, what are you doing Saturday? Would you like to go out?"
And she said, "Yeah, that sounds great."
She graciously accepted.
And so I think, "Woohoo, that's fantastic! We're going out Saturday."
We hang up, and then I start — then I realize, it's Thursday.
"Oh, crap. I only have two days to get ready for this."
So then I start thinking, "What am I going to wear? Do I need to get my hair cut? Does this outfit make me look fat?"
Or maybe I should be asking, "Can you see my fat in this outfit?"
And then — so I start thinking about this, and we go out, and we have this great date.
And actually, we went on several dates.
We ended up having a relationship.
But I started thinking, and that morning as I was driving to work, I started thinking, what is it about us, when we don't know much about something, that we really get eager and excited about it?
We want something.
We believe in something that we know very little about.
Turns out, there's this little bundle of nerves on your brainstem about the size of a pencil, called the reticular formation.
And the reticular formation kind of stretches out to different parts of the brain, forming the reticular activating system, or "RAS" for short.
The RAS serves multiple functions; however, one function that I really like about the RAS is that it helps us focus on what we believe.
Now I want to say that one more time.
The RAS helps us focus on what we believe.
Here's an example, maybe, of the RAS at work.
How many of you maybe had a dream car?
You know, you've been thinking, "That's the exact convertible sportscar I want."
Or, "That's the SUV. That's it, right there."
And then all of a sudden, you start seeing them on the road all the time, right?
"Oh, there's another one. Oh, there's another one. Oh, there it is. Oh, it's in blue. Oh, I don't like it in black. Oh, I like the tint on it!"
That's the RAS at work.
It helps us — whatever we believe, it helps us hone in on it.
So in these relationships that we have, what's happening — maybe some of you have heard of the honeymoon phase, right?
And you're in this great time, you're in this great relationship.
And no matter what he or she does, it's perfect, right?
It's just the best thing.
Same thing with work relationships.
No matter what, "Everybody at work's perfect. They're so funny. I love this job."
And then after six months, after 12 months, 18 months, before you know it, you're in a routine.
You wake up, go to work, check an email or two, maybe go out to lunch with a coworker, go home, eat some dinner, wake up, repeat.
And maybe if you found that special someone, found the perfect husband, found the perfect wife, you have some children, it's all great.
You wake up, you feed the kids, you take them to school.
You go to work, do that same routine, go home, feed dinner, everyone gets on their screen.
Go to bed, wake up, and repeat.
This banality, this rut that we seem to get in, we don't even realize that we're in it.
And I think that's ironic to what the RAS has been doing.
All of a sudden, we get in this rut, and we're like, we don't know what to do.
I was looking at a couple of polls that were given in 2019.
One poll looked at employee satisfaction and happiness.
And in that poll, one result was that one-third of the people polled wanted to leave their job within three months.
The other poll I looked at, it was personal satisfaction and personal relationships.
And in that poll, 66 percent of those surveyed were looking for a long-term relationship.
Now a little bit paradoxical, isn't it?
And so what I want to do is, I want to leave you with one last thought.
What if, right now, you decided to invest as much energy — what if you decided to want the perfect haircut?
What if you decided to want the right nails?
What if you decided to believe in the possibilities of your personal, of your professional relationships?
How would those look like tomorrow?
Thank you very much.
My name is Matthew Sanchez.
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