I woke up this morning long before the crack of dawn, quickly found myself at the counter with a pile of scrambled egg whites, 2 Jimmy Dean sausages and a cup of reheated day old coffee. As the coffee did its trick and I slowly emerged from the morning haze, thoughts started passing by in rapid succession. It was clear in short time that there were two buckets of thoughts and that I had to make a decision... which bucket would triumph and therefor become the roadmap for the day I would live?
The first bucket was the excitement that I would within hours be fishing The Umpqua River for monster sea-run trout... steelhead. Though my local guide Curtis has for ten years been persistent that I needed to make the hour drive to chase these river monsters for their short 6 week migration window, I've always been able to come up with a great excuse that would push the sojourn to the next year, the year after and so on. The thoughts of this same week and the past six days would point my mind to a second very different bucket. Here I would be thinking of my father's health battle, with me becoming the parent and him the child as I had to help with the most menial of tasks. I did this for a proud and great father, who until now, would never have wanted this kind of help. I did this as my mother looked on with fear of the unknown in her eyes and true love that comes only from 50 years of marriage.
A thing of beauty and sadness living in the same moment and on the same face. In this space I also thought of my high school friend Kevin.... tennis buddy, college roommate and friend of 25 years who lost his valiant battle this week to cancer, leaving behind an amazing wife and two beautiful children. As I pulled on my waders, grabbed my sunglasses and made sure my day-bag was filled with all the necessities for a day on the river, I realized I had a decision to make.... WHICH DAY WAS I GOING TO LIVE? Was I going to let the fear and sadness of this past week be the victor, or would I decide to find the joy and blessing of emerald green mountain snow melt water gently passing under a drift boat, bald eagles flying overhead with a solitude that can only be found for my soul in nature? I went fishing... both physically and spiritually.... I decided to go fishing.
Once this decision was made my thoughts, as they often do, turned to business on my hour long drive. It was very clear that what I went thru in my head this Saturday morning applies to anybody, myself included, who is blessed to wake up each work day, go to a place of business and have a chance to do something... anything.... all jobs and businesses apply. Whether you're driving the trash truck in your small town for the first time, you're asking one of your assistants to get your morning coffee from the Starbucks at the bottom of the building you own or you're packing meals for the needy in any town America, all this applies to you. If I need to hit you over the head, well here it is...which business day will you decide to live TODAY?
While days at work will have variations by the thousands over the years, I know your decision on approach will affect your efforts good or bad, will inspire or deflate those around you, tilt efforts to successes or will have you being a lemming running to a cliff of retirement with the pack. We all need to decide, each and every day, every week, every month and every year we are blessed to have a job of any sort, which day will we live? Are you on this day going to live such that you do your job with fear of getting fired, hoping to not make mistakes and simply run with the pack and hope the pack goes in a direction that's good for you in the end? Will you also on this day be the person with a great thought but be fearful to open your mouth and you let silence be the words you don't speak? Simply put, will you decide to live a day of average, not bad, not great just average?
Now, you know, you gainfully employed able bodied man or woman reading this, that you have another day you can live today, next week, next month and for the rest of your career. THIS other day is one where you choose to try and succeed. You do everything required of your job and of the company, you do it well, get it out of the way as fast as possible then try something more, new, bigger and harder. You listen, think and when a good idea comes to mind you passionately share it with all who will listen. After you've professed your belief in this idea, you implement that idea whether a trove of colleagues follow you or laugh at every step of your laboring toward your goal. When others use a lull in the day to check in on with Facebook, will you make a call to a client, vendor or supplier you've never made before? Will you fail, then fail again knowing eventually you won't? Instead of coming home to either your wife, husband, partner or child asking how was your day and you saying it was "fine, nothing bad happened" blah blah blah, will you instead welcome the question as you walk thru the door because you know you chose on this day to live, be inspired, to fail, to succeed, to rethink all that people accept, admit failure and to stand up loudly and say today I went fishing and it felt GREAT!