Discipline and finding your purpose are the keys to success.
This is the advice Griffith University alumnus and founding partner of GRT Lawyers Glenn Vassalo gave to graduating Arts, Education and Law students at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre today.
“What does success mean to you?,’’ Glenn addressed the students.
“The starting point is that we’re all unique, everyone is different and we all walk our own unique journey to personal success.
He said a number of virtues were common among successful people.
“The main two are discipline and purpose.
“Discipline is important but you’re already halfway there as you’ve used your discipline to graduate. Purpose is really about what you should do with your lives to be the most successful you.”
Glenn admits his was a circuitous route to learning what success ultimately meant for him.
While studying law, Glenn was also considering a career as a professional rugby player.
“When I graduated I thought success meant being an elite sportsperson,’’ he said.
“I was chasing superficial things, fame and money, but I remember walking out of the stadium after playing for the Queensland Reds, feeling very empty and flat even though we won the game.”
That was the only game Glenn played for the Reds, so with sport out of the question, Glenn thought his purpose was making money.
“At the time, I didn’t ask myself questions about what I was passionate about and what I wanted to do with my life, so I thought maybe it was to make money.”
So Glenn duly found a position with a law firm, worked very hard and the money began to follow.
“But even though I could essentially buy whatever I wanted something was missing,’’ he recalls.
It would be another six years before he discovered his real purpose.
From the outside Glenn had everything he could possibly want, but on the inside he was empty.
Meanwhile Glenn’s wife Eliza, also a Griffith alumnus, was helping bereaved children cope with the loss of a parent or parents in her work as child psychologist.
“She was running a Father’s Day session to make kids without Dads feel special on Father’s Day, and I saw the difference she was making to the children’s lives.
“Something clicked that day and I knew I had to help those kids,” Glenn said.
And that’s how GRT Lawyers and the GRT Foundation came to be.
In 2011, Glenn set up GRT Lawyers, with eight per cent of all profits going directly to the GRT Foundation which support the needs of children, young people and their families in the community.
In the past 12 months, Child’s Play and the GRT Foundation has helped more than 70 children. Eliza donates her time to the foundation with the help of two paid psychologists on staff.
“This is my life purpose now,’’ Glenn says.
“So that’s what I say to today’s graduating students – be disciplined and keep asking yourself what is it that you love to do – by doing this you will discover your purpose and arrive at your personal destination of real success.”