I am a firm believer that 1 person can influence us, thus making our lives for the better. One moment in time if done differently could shift everything for better or worse. I was listening to my adopted brother Thomas Jones’s podcast the other day with guest Scott Lowe who I also consider a great friend. Thomas asked Scott what he would do differently in his life if he could. I actually answer the question the exact same as Scott. (paraphrased: “I wouldn’t change one choice as all those experiences have shaped me into the person that I am today!!”)
I was just sitting here watching the movie Love and other drugs. I felt this movie was good and the underlying story was great! However it is not the entire reason I am writing this post now. I was going to tweet out –
“I’m a firm believer that 1 person can influence you to be better thus making you greater”
Surprisingly enough the single most influential person in my life was not a family member or close friend. Officer Killingly of the Pawtucket, RI Police Department was. When I was 16 I was headed in a quasi state of trouble or greatness. Being bored with school I dropped out as I thought it was the cool thing to do. I was stopped one day by Officer Killingly and he said “I can’t take you in or back to school but think of the choices you make out here on the streets as one day I might be bringing you in and then at that moment you will have lost everything. Luigi, think about how great a person you can be by making a good choice and thinking positive. I know these are just words from a random police officer to you and your just thankful to not getting arrested but I want you strongly think of what does your future hold by you walking these streets and not finishing school.” I actually sat there and talked with him for almost two hours!
Later that night I couldn’t sleep, the conversation was going on and on in my head. I started to look at what I was doing and what my “friends” were doing. Honestly, I didn’t like what I saw. Then the feeling of respect Officer Killingly had given me by talking with me in a subtle positive way had started to click.
The next day I moved out of my mom’s house and never returned. No i didn’t run away I chose to put myself out of the bad situation and move in with my grandparents. This move proved to be one of the best things for my relationship with my grandparents. I got to learn many stories of my Poppa growing up. I mean things I would never hear at family gatherings. The very first thing my Poppa said was “If you are going to live in my house then you need to get a job or go back to school.” Being 16 I looked and going back to school was out as I would be to old when I graduated. So I got a job the next day pumping gas. This 1st job was a huge influence on establishing a work ethic for me. I had a girlfriend back in Pawtucket who lived across the street from my Mom’s house. So on the weekends I would ride my bike back and see her. I went on to obtain my GED and then fulfil my childhood dream of helping people and the community by joining the Rhode Island National Guard. Someday I may write about some of my excursions there as it is truly an inspiration to serve in the Military! Thanks to all who serve!!
So at this point my story is just beginning I’m no longer a little punk on the street but a soldier who people look up to. While in the Military I started to attend college classes in Law Enforcement as I wanted to be a Police Officer or join FBI, CIA or Secret Service one day. Then as stated in earlier post I came down with Cancer and I got this Technology bug in me. The only other thing in life besides my kids that gives me such passion is Technology and interacting with others.
We are attending EMC World 2010 held in Boston, I find out that Joe Tucci is actually a New York Yankees fan. Being that both of us live in the heart of Red Sox Nation this was huge news to me. I love talking technology but I love my Yankees too.
Well as many know EMC World 2011 was this past week May 9th-12th out in Las Vegas, NV. I stated on Weds how I would love to get the chance to speak with Mr. Tucci about being a Yankee fan. Now I respect Mr. Tucci as he is one of the biggest CEO names in the industry.
So Wednesday evening I was out to dinner at TAO restaurant and had to rush to bathroom as my nose was starting to bleed. I took a wrong turn and ended up seeing Michael Capellas & Joe Tucci. They were just standing there! That’s when I sucked it up and said “Excuse me Mr Tucci, I am Luigi and just wanted to say Thanks for doing a great job with EMC. I was wondering if I could get the chance to have a small discussion with you not about Technology but about the New York Yankees?” He chuckled and then introduced me to Mr. Capellas. I stood there and got aprx. 10 minutes of two great influencers in the industry. I will forever remember that encounter and the last thing Mr. Tucci said to me “Stay in school kid, just keep at it.” Now I’m sure he may not ever remember me or that encounter ever again as he meets many people. But I will just like Officer Killingly spoke to me 15 years ago. I have to thank Mr. Tucci & Capellas for indulging in conversation with me and for that alone I have respect for them.
I have many influential people in my life. This is not by accident I am choosing to surround myself with great people that compliment me as a person. As great an opportunity is to meet top CEO’s having discussions with people like Stephen Foskett, Kennith Hui, Koset, Christopher Kusek, Sean Thulin, Matt Brender, David Graham, David Chapa, Mark Browne, Stuart Miniman, David Hurst, Gina Minks & Thomas Jones to just name a few are truly some of the greatest moments in my life. Each encounter inspires me to be great at something, some reflection on who I Luigi am as a person. So go out there and be great you may not know just when you are going to be an influence in making someones life great!!
Ps. There are way to many people for me to list but be sure to check my Follow Friday posts.