Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A New Friend

I made a new friend today.

So what, you say, we all make new friends all the time.

Well this friend was special in a couple of ways.

For starters, he is a strong possibility thinker, the kind of person who is making the world a better place.  I know we will be collaborating on a number of projects, personally and professionally moving forward.

Secondly, one of his vocations is at an educational institution whose halls I haven't walked since I first went there over 25 years ago.  After he and I had finished chatting, I thought I would walk through these walls again, from the perspective of a 42-year old but reliving the experiences of a 17-year old.

As I walked through the halls, observing the familiar layout of the building, I couldn't help but think of what has transpired in my life, the gifts that I have been given, the things I have learned and how my purpose has changed in those intervening years.

As I explored the place that was my initial foray into the adult world of career, responsibility, et al., I found that I was observing myself as a 17 year old student, a young person who:

  1. was afraid of the future or the unknown aspects of it
  2. was preparing to live the world's expectation - get an education, get a job, marry and have kids and work a 9-5 grind until you retire too broken to enjoy anything else
  3. didn't realize that I was not equipped to architect a future of purpose - purpose back then was something that a sibling did to you - "You did that on purpose" - "Did not" - "Did too".  There was no such thing as manifesting your purpose.
  4. was too shy to assert himself with anything and dreaded speaking to almost anyone
  5. lived for the moment, not recognizing the importance of enjoying the moment while still planning for the future.
  6. didn't understand the importance of God in his life.

Then I thought of the life that I have lived to date.

I have been blessed with:

  1. Three incredible children
  2. An amazing life partner
  3. Incredibly supportive friends
  4. An amazing business network that includes some of today's globally recognized leadership mentors and authors
  5. The opportunity to see any part of the world that I choose to see
  6. The opportunity to witness the worst and the best of people, including events like 9/11, where I personally experienced sadness through the loss of friends but witnessed the strength of people who rise to the occasion to assert themselves as compassionate human beings
  7. Opportunities to speak publicly regarding business strategy, technology and personal purpose
  8. The chance to consult with some of the most powerful people in the world as they ask for MY advice on how to do something
  9. A sequence of life events that to me seem normal yet seem phenomenal to others
  10. Recognition of our inter-connectedness and how everyone on this planet needs everyone else
  11. A renewed faith that through perseverance, courage, strength, action and a belief in a Higher Power, that anything can be overcome.

The list is endless.  However, I couldn't help but smile when I thought - If someone had told me when I was 17 that I would experienced all of this and more in my lifetime, I would have shrugged it off as totally impossible - I did not have it in me to accomplish.  Yet I did anyway.

It made me think.  When life gets tough, it is sometimes useful to look back on what each of us has overcome and we realize - "Wow - I've come a long way.  If I can come all this way, then surely I can overcome this too".

Are  you facing some tough challenges?  You have come a LONG way and overcome much.  Given the Path you have traveled to this point, you know you will overcome this challenge also and by doing so, you will renew your faith in your ability (and in God's, if that is your inclination) to overcome anything as you make your way through this glorious experience we call life.

To your success, I remain your servant.


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