Selected Life Lesson
Pick up my mom, or else my mom will yell at me!
-Austin C’s Life Lesson from Olathe, Kansas
It may sound simple, but Austin’s lesson is vital, not only for children but adults! For me, Austin’s lesson is all about respect and responsibility.
And it is not just about you in relation to others, it is about you and your own life. You have to be responsible to yourself before you can be of service to others. It sounds weird, but that is precisely why you put on your air mask on an airplane before helping anyone else!
On July 8, 2012, the Scot Andy Murray did something that no man had done in 74 years: Play in a Gentleman’s Singles Final at SW19, better know as Wimbledon. After four straight years in the semi-finals, he finally made it through, but waiting for him on the other side was probably the best player in the history of the men’s game: Roger Federer.
I must confess before I write any more: I have long been an Andy Murray fan, even writing a blistering letter to him at BackSeatFan.com.
I have defended him through his three grand slam final defeats where his set count was 0-9. Why my fellow tennis fans always asked me.
And my answer never seemed to be enough, but it has always been simple: The guy can flat out play. When he wants to, his forehand can be one of the best in the game. And hands down, his backhand can be lethal. But for the past four years, he hasn’t played offensive tennis. He’s the fittest player on tour and can play as long as anyone, but something wouldn’t let him be offensive.
Enter great Ivan Lendl and he has finally started to play like the man I’ve known he could be. He man has all the shorts in the game and one of the biggest hearts. That mentality is what endeared me to Rafael Nadal so many years ago. It’s who I am and who I would be if I were that good of a tennis player. It’s why I felt tears as I crossed the finish line of my marathon this past June.
Sadly, on July 8, I had to watch as Murray won the first set, squandered the second and watched in horror – but not surprise – as Federer took control and claimed his 17th Grand Slam title.
But here is where the story changes. I was gutted. I thought he had it. I thought the curse of Fred Perry had ended. But when Murray took the microphone and cried through his speech, he won over the hearts of every British tennis fan who had held back for so many years. My best friend’s brother even texted me, “I am a Murray fan now.”
So, why the sudden shift? Heart. Plain and simple. A man stood there in his Wimbledon whites with nearly the entire crowd and a heart-broken Kingdom cheering him on, and cried. He wanted to win as much for himself as them. And so another year goes by and the Kingdom must wait and wonder how long they must wait.
But here’s the thing: They have a champion in Murray. And for that, they and I am proud. It’s about the heart. Watch the video of his speech and judge for yourself.
Selected Life Lesson
If you’re not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.
-Peggy S’ Life Lesson from the Des Moines, Iowa
Peggy is definitely sharing a true life lesson this week, and it can be true for work and life. I wish I had some profound addition to the lesson, but all I can say it this: Be an asset.
Have you ever sat in a meeting with no direction or end in sight? Waste of time, right?
Or feel like you or your company was not doing enough to be amazing? Waste of energy and resources, right?
That ends now for your life. It’s time to be willing to go after your goals and dreams and be a part of your own solution. What do you want? Tell me.
There are tough jobs out there and jobs and goals we sometimes – maybe oftentimes – think impossible. But then you say yes to a challenge, and you find that your capacity to meet that challenge was always there.
Fictional president Jed Bartlet said it best in The West Wing, “[...] but every time we think we have measured our capacity to meet a challenge, we look up and we’re reminded that that capacity may well be limitless.”
Any challenge is not without the mini-challenges. It can become frustration, discouragement and failures. But then you do it, and it goes well. My friend wrote and said, “I was willing, did it, and received much support and realized I was supposed to take on this.”
Isn’t it amazing how our life challenges always seem to happen and appear at the right moment? The key question is: are you listening?
Selected Life Lesson
It’s not that you’re incapable … just unwilling.
-Courtney H’s Life Lesson from the Olathe, Kansas
While Courtney’s lesson is a harsh one, it is true from start to finish. I went to upstate New York last weekend with some friends for some much needed rest-and-relaxation and on the way back, we got into a conversation about generational differences.
One of the things I said was that the last two generations have the appearance of expecting results. Where that comes from, I’m not quite sure. I actually pitched a business idea about a year ago and was rejected saying, “This reeks of millennialism.” But what the idea really did in my opinion was push the company forward. In the end, both parties parted happy.
I took my idea elsewhere and they continued down the same path.
That’s my point. I’m currently pushing myself to be capable of going after my dreams, rather than waiting for the results to come into existence. It is time to be willing to pay the price, bear the burden and take the fall for what you want. Be willing.
Where is that place where you most come alive? What are the senses that make you feel at peace? Who are you with when you laugh so hard it hurts?
My friend Emily recently posted a photo of her answer and it got me thinking about my perfect place.
I talk a lot to my friends and family about where I am the happiest. I make no secret that I love my adoptive state of Iowa. I also make no secret that anytime I go to Colorado, I feel like a weight is lifted off my shoulders each and every time. But that happens any time I go to the mountains or the beach. In fact, as I write this, I am headed for a weekend up in the Adirondack mountains for some much needed rest and relaxation.
But Emily’s perfect day, her perfect moment, is dinner with a group of her best friends.
And it struck me how simple that is. I absolutely adore my friends and what they bring to my life. They push me. They challenge me. They tell me the truth when no one else will. And when needed, they give me the ass-kicking I need (see my friend Kade for an ass-kicking if you’re in need).
I can find happiness and peace in a lot of places. No matter if it is Iowa, or Colorado, or the beach or a quaint coffee-house, so long as I am with someone I love and care about, happiness follows.