Today concludes my 45th year on earth, so it seems a natural time for reflection.
My life has a few distinct categories: Domestic Bliss, Professional Advancement, Art and Coaching. I'm an extremely privileged human being. Likely passed middle age, let's explore that which desires focus in years to come.....
The Intention of Sport
I have the joy of coaching boys and girls under the age of 12. The kids are great, their parents often mislead. Sports are to be participated in as a means for conveying life lessons to improve motivation. Unfortunately, many parents have an inability to control their emotions when their offspring are at play. Often, Moms and Dads compete with one another, their children vessels for status claiming. I am as guilty as any of being over-competitive at the expense of development. Over time, the edges get softer. In the long run, wins and losses are insignificant. The joy of sport is created when the least-likely to succeed make a big play at a time when the team most needs it.
The Social Media Myth
At the onset of this Catholic Lenten Season, I stopped participating in Facebook. It was a very beneficial way to ease my mind and save on self-imposed grief. The one thing we don't get back is time. As we age, time becomes ultimately more valuable. Yet, we tend to waste our time in the Great American practice of arguing with cyberspace. Arguments in the social space have ended friendships. Opinions are now validated by less-than-credible resources. We've replaced our need to be part of a fellowship with the need for individual validation through proving our point. Collectivism has been destroyed by the individual need to improve clout in a made up world of influence.
The highlight of the past year was witnessing the film Free Solo. Alex Honnold's solo climb of El Capitan without a rope is the greatest athletic achievement ever performed. The fringe observer would think a man who climbed a 3,200ft rock slab to be a mad man, watching the film reveals another story. It turns out that Alex methodically mapped his climbing strategy for 8 years, exploring every inch of the climb down to thumb and toe placement. His extraordinary commitment turned a death wish into a perfectly predictable process.
What a revelation.
I've been a sales professional for 20 years. Early in my career I thought my "gift of gab" would get me by (and it did). But advancing to the top of any trade requires mastery. Mastery is an affect of perfect preparation, laser-focused commitment and hard work.
Think about how simple life would be if you devoted perfect preparation to everything you did. It's called success and it is ever-evasive because perfect preparation requires more effort than most are willing to put forward.
I have been a member of the Phi Delta Theta Education Committee for 10 years. We build comprehensive programming and conduct training for college men that ranges from leadership development to the importance of by-stander intervention.
My colleagues and I have formulated a multi-phased educational track that takes our membership from their first day of pledgeship through their entrance into the chapter grand.
The culmination of the undergraduate experience is: Self-Awareness.
In anything we do we contribute to learning our trade by sharing what we know with our peers then utilize the experience for the long term impact it has on our human process.
The Most-Important Test
In my 46 years on earth I have come to understand a divine truth:
How a person treats "the help" is the most important revelation of their character.
I recall a time when the company President visited an office I was working in. Several members of our staff folded their hands in their lap and conveyed their pleasantries. What a bunch of phonies.
On a daily basis I see people treat restaurant servers, baristas and laborers as if they are non-existent. This involuntary flaw that individuals possess will remain unchanged and forever categorize them as less-than. Those who seek to categorize will forever be categorized.
I've been writing my silly life stories on these pages for 10 years. I want to thank all 177,484 people who have taken time out of their day to read my thoughts. I hope I might have helped you in some way.
Don't Forget to Remember!