Will Pearson, co-founder of the magazine Mental Floss and former Simmons Middle School student, spoke to students at a recent all-school assembly. Pearson displayed a picture of one of his magazine covers — a goldfish with a shark fin attached to his head, swimming in a bowl and the headline “Think outside the bowl.”
Those in attendance heard about the opportunities that Pearson had as a result of Mental Floss, which he started with a friend in 2001 — going on the Today show; travelling; serving as an executive producer on Brain Surgery Live, a joint project with the National Geographic Channel; meeting celebrities; and co-authoring books.
Pearson told the students they should throw themselves into their interests.
“Be exceptional. If you do well, you gain so much more,” he said.
Another idea Pearson shared with the students was that he met with many successful people through his work, and those who were the most successful were the ones who had a true respect for the people around them. It didn’t matter a person’s gender, religious choice, residence, race, disability, finances, or age, everyone was treated in a respectful manner. The people who were respectful to all were the ones who went the furthest in life.
Pearson reminded the students that as they look to the future, they should try to do something great. He told them whether they are interested in starting something new or doing something different, their take on it may be more unique than someone else. They just need to think outside the bowl, like the goldfish from his magazine cover, and give it their all.
– Submitted by Simmons Middle School.