Owner's Corner: 3rd Quarter
“Mom, can I ask you a question?”
“Who are the two people in the world that you want to make most proud?”
“Just two? There are SO many”
“Ummmm”… Moments of thought and deliberation… “my mom and dad???”
“Wrong. Your 8-year-old self and your 80-year-old self. You want the 8-year-old self to think you had a really cool life and your 80-year-old self to think you had a worthy life.”
I go quiet. Humbled by the unbelievable wisdom spewing from my 12-year-old and wondering where the heck he came up with this? Tik Tok??
Waking me out of my daze he pushes on, “So what would they think of you?”
Taking a deep, thoughtful breath, “Well. I think my 8-year-old self would be proud of the cool adventures I’ve been on and places I have seen?”
“What about your 80-year-old self?”
“Whew. That’s a much harder one. I really don’t know.”
“Well, you have another 40 years to figure it out.”
Spot on and a little jolting.
So I’ll be open with it for those that didn’t catch the subtle math above. I turned 40 this year. I dreaded it. I don’t know what I thought might happen as the numbers rolled over into a new decade, but I don’t feel too much different - physically. Mentally - that’s a different story. But, a good one. There’s a lot of confidence gained with age and a lot of lessons learned that turn you into a better person.
To some reading this you may be chuckling at me for pontificating on only 40 years lived. Others may be right in the game with me and feeling the same feels. No matter on which side of the fence you lie, I thought I’d share five of my favorite sentiments I’ve learned along the road of life thus far. They are hard to ALWAYS fulfill 100% of the time, but if I do, I think it will keep me moving towards impressing that 80-year-old self of mine.
- “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work” – There’s not much in life that comes easy. And if it does? Be wary. Work is a non-negotiable in anything worth having.
- “Do What Scares You Until it Doesn’t” – I wrote a whole blog about this awhile back. There are a lot of things in life that have been attempted and successfully completed by other people. If they can do it, what’s stopping you? It will be scary and you might fail a few times, but a switch will eventually flip . That thing that seemed terrifying? All of a sudden it’s no big thing.
- “Be the Buffalo” – Have you heard this one? It’s fascinating. Cows and buffalos. They handle approaching danger in TOTALLY different ways. A cow will run away from a storm and a buffalo charges towards Instead of outrunning the storm, the cows end up running right along with it. Maximizing the pain and frustration they have to endure. Lesson? Face your problems head on. Running only prolongs your suffering.
- “It takes twice as long to build bridges you’ve burnt” – It was Christmas day in 1988. My sister and I got into a brutal fight that didn’t end well. As punishment, my mom made me write 100 times, “Do unto others as you would have them to unto you” – The Golden Rule. I’ve witnessed people burn bridges and I know I’ve done it myself. It’s a horrible feeling and I find myself reliving those moments over and over wishing I handled things differently. Deal with hard things with transparency, empathy, and honesty. Keep the Golden Rule front and center – weight will be lifted from your shoulders and peace settled on your mind.
- “No one wears the jersey of a Monday Morning Quarterback” – I recently discovered Theodore Roosevelt’s “The Man in the Arena”. Have you read this genius or learned the history behind it? Critics are a dime a dozen. But, how many have actually walked the path of those they criticize? Unless you’ve worn someone’s exact same pair of shoes – size, model, color, wear and tear – don’t dare think critically on their words and actions. There will be a thousand things you can’t possibly understand. And after all, the hero is the one inventing, trying, failing, and getting up to do it again amidst the voices of those “Monday Morning Quarterbacks”. Which one do you want to be?
It’s always been in the places I least expect it that I hear or read a few impactful words that help me in moments I need it most. This article? Just my measly attempt to pay it forward. But, if it helps one person, I’ll call it a success.
What about you? What helps you move towards impressing that 80-year-old self of yours? I’d love to hear all about it.