American Ninja Warrior Hoan Do inspires students with his own dose of realism

In honor of First-Generation Student Month, Southern Utah University had the pleasure of hearing from Hoan Do Nov. 18.

Do has been awarded the Motivator Award by Verizon Wireless, noted as one of the 25 most influential people by Seattle Magazine and was a city finalist for American Ninja Warrior. He is an author, business owner and motivational speaker. Possibly most notable of all, he is the smile on the Lay’s potato chip bags.

His words of advice began with encouraging people to have an honest attitude. This advice included acknowledging how you feel, gaining perspective and deciding what you want so you can take that step forward.

“When you’re going through a challenging time, learn to lean into the discomfort,” Do said.

Once the attitude is truthful, it is then that you can embrace his three steps to succeeding in the real world.

Changing your playlist is Do’s first step. This includes hearing the negative thoughts that wrap themselves around your mind and snapping yourself out of it. Whether this is through listening to your favorite, or Do’s personal favorite, say out loud “That is whack!”

Do’s next step is setting your GPS — and not the one in your car either. Do’s GPS stands for goals, purpose and strategies. He stressed the importance of each of these and their influence on what you choose to do throughout life.

“The past is the past, and you can’t change that, what you can change is everything moving forward,” Do. “Your past does not define your future.”

The final step is to realize that life is a team sport. So many people try to do things alone, worried that asking for help is a sign of weakness, but Do ensured the crowd that asking for help is a sign of courage.

By the end of the presentation, the room had the air of empowerment and inspiration.

More about Hoan Do and his message can be found on his website here or in his book, “Succeeding in the Real World.” 


Article and Photos by: Audrey Gee