Good morning! I hope your day is off to a nice start.
Forty-five years ago today, I called my mom just to say hi. Anybody who knew me then can tell you I was a bit scatterbrained. That may or may not have been chemically enhanced. Five minutes into the conversation she said, “You’d better tell me happy birthday!” “Um, yeah … that’s why I called!” Doofus!
It’s been 28 years since I was last able to wish my mom a happy birthday, but she’s the one who first encouraged me to write, and I know she’s always the first person to read whatever flows from my keyboard. So, Mom … happy birthday! I sure hope I’ve made you proud.
In yesterday’s post, we talked about this glorious, booming economy. If you believe that, stop here and go read yesterday’s post, because it’s obvious you missed it the first time. I’m sure I didn’t make anybody’s day with that post, but this isn’t one of those times where plugging our nose will make the Brussels sprouts taste any better. No, Mom, that still doesn’t work.
We may not be able to change the direction of the economy, but that doesn’t mean we have to just go along for the ride. When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. It worked for Janis Joplin. I’m sorry. God blessed her with a lot of things, but a singing voice wasn’t on the list.
Some people just know how to make the best of any situation. No matter what life throws their way, they always seem to come out on top. Not just that, they somehow find a way to raise the bar and climb even higher.
One of my earliest business mentors told me that if you were to take all the money in the world and divide it up evenly, in five years it would be right back where it started. As a young sailor with a bank account the size of a politician’s brain, that was depressing as hell. But there’s a certain truth in those words. So, the trick is to become one of them.
And becoming one of “them” is actually easier than it sounds. It all starts with the decision that we will not be defined by something we can’t control. The Wright brothers didn’t whine about gravity – they learned to overcome it. And they did that by applying the laws of physics that say if you put a big enough engine on a washing machine, you can make it fly.
But the airplane was just a by-product of something bigger. It was the end result. They built an airplane for one reason only – they wanted to fly. And nothing else, including jumping off the barn with an umbrella, showed much promise. Mom learned that the hard way. It’s funny now.
The Wright brothers would have built a Sherman tank if they thought it would fly. It was never about the airplane – it was about the freedom of soaring with the birds. Thankfully they never dreamed of pooping on freshly washed cars because that would have been simple once they learned to fly.
The point is, before they ever put a pencil to paper, they had the one thing it takes to succeed – the “why.” They knew why they were putting in all those late hours. They knew why they were spending all their hard-earned money on something that may or may not work. They knew why all those other people were laughing behind their back, and they knew why they didn’t care.
Your “why” needs to be something that excites you. If all you need is money, go make some. Jobs are easy to find. But it’s hard to get motivated if all you’re trying to do is avoid bankruptcy. “Take a look at this! I paid the electric bill. On time! Life is sweet!!!!” Don’t laugh. It happens every day.
Yes, paying the bills is important. And when that becomes a challenge, it also becomes a top priority. Even bigger than a new boat. But the boat needs to be there somewhere. Maslow’s pyramid, remember? All the good stuff is at the top. Unless you’ve got your sights set on something bigger, it’s that much harder to make the climb.
We all have a “why.” There’s something out there we want, material or not, that can drive us to do great things if we just give it a chance. I can’t tell you what that is – you have to decide for yourself. But once you do, Lord help the economy that tries to get in your way.
That’s all for now. I can’t promise a post every day, but I’ll do the best I can. Thanks for sharing this time with me. Have awesome day!