A Note From the CEO of Stifel
“The energy was incredible, but the positiveness of it all... I wish we could play in front of crowds like this every single week because this is a true pleasure.”
Tiger Woods, on the crowds at the 2018 PGA Championship in St. Louis
As I write this letter, St. Louis is basking in the glow of the highly successful 100th PGA Championship at Bellerive Country Club. The quote above from Tiger Woods says it all.
Our community came out in full force to back the event, which garnered rave reviews from the golfers and media professionals alike. The PGA event provided a positive boost to St. Louis’ national image and a much-needed shot in the arm for our collective civic pride. An estimated worldwide television audience of 550 million viewers witnessed some of the best of what St. Louis has to offer.
As Tiger said, the atmosphere at Bellerive was electric, and the players seemed to feed off the fans’ energy. Particularly impressive was Brooks Koepka’s resolute focus amid Tiger’s incredible late surge. And not only did Brooks, Tiger, and the rest of the field show a great deal of competitiveness and drive, they appeared to be having a lot of fun as well.
Hard work and having fun? An oxymoron? Hardly. Having fun and getting things done simply requires the proper attitude. My favorite formulation of this idea comes from Charles Swindoll, who wrote that “the remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day ... life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it.” (Full text below)
And so it is with St. Louis. Let us not fret about the issues we face, but instead seize upon our opportunities. While no sporting event will solve our issues, it does provide insight into what we can accomplish as a community when we put our minds to it. The event was the result of months of hard work by countless individuals, many of whom worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make it a success. It’s a testament to the kind of impact we can have when our region rallies behind a common cause, and a valuable lesson to anyone concerned with making St. Louis a better place. With the right attitude, we can do incredible things for our region.
Which brings me to the upcoming annual edition of the Sophisticated Living Charity Register: Sophisticated Giving. What better way to display the right attitude and seize an opportunity than to give a little back to our community though a charity of your choice. Sophisticated Giving is a great source of information on many of our area’s outstanding charities, all of which are doing their part to improve the region in unique and important ways. I am certain that in Sophisticated Giving you’ll find at least one organization whose mission is aligned with your personal interests.
St. Louisans have a long history of generosity. In fact, St. Louis is frequently recognized as one of the most charitable cities in the country. From our cultural institutions to our many fine universities to the numerous charities working to improve the lives of our fellow citizens, St. Louisans’ generosity is evident all over town. How we build upon that tradition depends on our attitude right now, because the opportunities to accomplish great things for our city are all around us.
An investment in our community is one that pays dividends to so many. Not only will giving back make you feel good, but you’ll be doing a world of good as well.
“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company...a church...a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past...we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you.”
-Charles R. Swindoll