For years, I have heard others talk about their life journey, or they will ask, “What is your story?” I have never felt like I had an answer, and to this day I feel like my story is evolving. In 2016, my wife, Danielle, and I were able to attend a weekend couples retreat in Colorado called “A Weekend to Remember” with facilitators Dan & Julie Brenton.
The Brenton’s teachings resonated deeply within me. Dan spoke about our past experiences and how they “mark us.” I think about that comment a lot — how do past experiences mark me? Past experiences then shape my future perspective.
Now, as I engage with others, I see how experiences can and DO shape our lives. The problem is, not every experience is one that we want to share our lives. We all have had horrible experiences that we never wish to share publicly. How many people have stories that we can’t, or wouldn’t want to imagine?
Unfortunately, too many!
It took awhile after heart surgery for me to be able to tell everyone about what I had just experienced. Not because I was ashamed that it happened to me but that I couldn’t believe that a 32-year-old could be having open heart surgery. It took TIME to process the event, TIME to get through the pain and rehab issues, and TIME to then realize how truly thankful and blessed I was to have been able to “fix” the problem after having four strokes.
The three P’s I reference are People, Purpose, and Perspective. This first post is related to People and the value of a relationship. In this section, I discuss family, friends, and mentors.
What do you think about in a hospital room when you are all alone right before a major surgery? Many things, but my most vivid memory was NEVER taking my family for granted again. As time passes, I still tend to catch myself “being hardest on the ones I love most”.
This April I was given the opportunity to go back to Colorado to my FFA chapter as their guest speaker for the annual FFA Banquet. What memories it brought back as I both prepared for the talk and then as the opening ceremonies began. I heard a young lady recite the Creed with such passion! To hear the members’ talk of preparing to go to the state competitions reminded me of the hard work these students are going through and the “life lessons” they are about to encounter.
Because this invitation to speak was literally so close to “home”, I decided I would take the time to write a series of blog posts as an alumnus, who now has a little different perspective on the value of FFA in my life. When I attended that exact same banquet in 1993, I thought about trophies, awards, and elected offices.
20 years later I now see how developing soft skills such as public speaking, making critical decisions and trying new things out of my comfort zone were so beneficial! These life lessons are what I am so thankful for today even though it has taken so many years to fully appreciate.
Sometimes I want to wait for something to be perfect before I ship it. It seems that sometimes in life we have to go with “it is good enough for now” mentality. Don’t get me wrong; I dislike low-quality work, but sometimes getting the project released and then iterating or improving is better in the long run.
Below is a playhouse that our family has continued to improve on since 2009. There are always enhancements both the kids and I want to do to it. However, I would have hated to miss out on all those memories from starting in 2009 because it “wasn’t good enough.”
Our men’s group has been studying the book by Dayton Moore, “More than a season.” I thoroughly enjoyed the book and found there to be many life lessons that are applicable at home at work and in my daily journey. This past week we were lucky enough to have Dayton Moore speak to our men’s group. It was a surreal experience as he shared who he is, experiences that shaped him and his vision for life and the Kansas City Royals.
Dayton’s talk ended up being a super inspirational conversation that I thought was worthy of compiling a few thoughts and sharing. As the father of 3 girls who grew up in small-town Colorado w/o the Rockies Baseball until I was in high school, I don’t consider myself much of a baseball fanatic. Like most people in Kansas City who could NOT catch Royals fever over the last three years! I think I got a glimpse into why this ball club is having success. Listening to Dayton share experiences by the time he finished I was ready to check into spring training. Here are some of my key takeaways and life teachings that I took from his discussion