Barney's Open Road

  • INTERVIEWED BY:

    Team Poor, Lazy Overachievers

BARNEY FRANK

Massachusetts Congressman

“Learn what your traits are. The places where your traits are weaknesses? Stay away from them. And where they are strengths? Go there.”

INTERESTS:

Government Politics

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Choices Negativity Desire Hard Work Success Acceptance Honesty Chance Opportunity Planning

FOUNDATION:

Accomplishing Goals

BIOGRAPHY:

  • Politics interested him since he was in high school, but being gay and Jewish, he didn't think he'd have a shot.
  • Involved in the 1964 Mississippi Freedom Summer, a movement where white college students went to the South, registered black voters.
  • Thought he wanted to be a professor but realized he had a very short attention span, not ideal for writing theses.
  • Moved into politics, where he could use his short attention span as an asset, switch gears quickly, work on multiple projects at once.
  • His advice for aspiring politicians: "Don't count on winning. Have a job you like doing while you're not winning and meet as many people as you can."
  • After 42 years in politics, he sometimes feels tired of the profession, but stays as an obligation to his constituents.
  • Stresses that too much importance is put on the career decisions you make right out of college.
  • Says by 35, most people have made two or three major career changes; early decisions won't define your path for the next 75 years.

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