When my sons got their driver's licenses, I wasn't worried about the high cost of auto insurance or what car was best for them. I was terrified of what they would experience driving while black. It was time for "The Lesson" on how to survive when stopped by police.
You get out of things what you put into them. When you get to the starting line of a race, you either trained, or you didn't. You can't lie your way through it. If you haven't logged the miles, it's going to show. Such is the way it is in life.
Coming from someone who spent the better part of my 21 years trying to be someone I wasn't, I can without a doubt say that the day I stopped caring was the day that everything began to fall into place. Here are the beautiful things that happen when you stop apologizing for who you are.
Learn from the guy -- from his self-awareness, his willingness to move on, and his ability to make his life better by finding support, creating something, and learning from others. Channel the parts of Van Gogh that work for you and create an even better story for yourself because of it.
In today's society, with our over-scheduled lives and the daily grind of life, it's sometimes difficult to find time to enjoy a quiet moment or to stop and smell the proverbial roses. It's even more challenging force ourselves to be honest with ourselves and ask this tough question: Why?
Times of heartbreak and hardship come and go, and even at your lowest low, there is always a bright side. A little patience and a lot of self-love go a long way. Red wine and dark chocolate don't hurt either.
My grandfather was also a naval officer, Class of 1922, U.S. Naval Academy. I became a fan of naval strategy thanks to him. To paraphrase Mark Twain: I learned how much my grandfather knew long after he taught me many life lessons.
Adapting to a culture means doing so in a way that allows us to be who we are, learning from others while also sharing the best of ourselves. The problem happens when we don't just try to fit into the culture, but we try to fit into a specific mold in a way that is not true to who we are.
I am nothing like the runner I once was. I don't have a coach telling me what to run and how to improve. I have to figure that out for myself, and I have a great time mapping out new routes and reading and researching new gear to try out on my long runs.
We're too busy in our own heads hashing out the details and thinking about things to notice that we're being given the answer. Or, in many cases, we're being presented with images, words, or people that, for a moment, make the answer clear.
I am willing to pay whatever the price might be, for being unabashedly me. There will be no shield, no barrier, no buffer between me and the real world. No one to blame for my failures but myself. And that my friends, is absolutely terrifying.
Jack was fragile. He would require open heart surgery by the time he was 6-months-old. Any of us would have done anything to make him well, but there was nothing we could do. As I recalled our five months together, I realized that there were no regrets. That was the first lesson Jack taught me.
As many people exchange their well-worn student IDs for brand new alumni discount cards, they are being bombarded with information -- from credit card offers, to (hopefully) job offers, to advice from authority figures -- irrespective of their actual authority or right to dispense worldly wisdom.
The journey is what shapes you into the person you need to be. The successes, failures, experiences, connections, lessons, tears, laughter, and everything in between. I wouldn't be who I am today if I hadn't started working to become it.
Everyone needs to reset their physical and mental vantage point every so often for a fresh outlook. It doesn't have to be a full-blown move or change; it can be a small adjustment. If you don't like the picture, reframe it. If things become too burdensome, take time to stop, clear and reset.
Somehow, I've inadvertently embraced two concepts I'd always derided as pie-in-the-sky wishful thinking. Not only have found my "soul mate," but I've also belatedly discovered my "passion in life." Go figure.
As we engage with the activity of life, there is a constant flood of "stuff" to do and people to meet. It's exciting and important, but how do we keep up with everything AND slow down? There isn't one answer that fits for everyone.
As my own children enter the pipeline of high school and beyond, if I could teach them one solid lesson about the fray and frenzy of college and the quest for employment it would be this: Instead of thinking in terms of what you want to do, think about what you want to become.
We all have dreams -- dreams for love, for career, for our bodies, for our finances, for our health, for "fill in the blank." But often our beliefs, theories and thinking get in our way of having full on happiness and living into our dreams.
When I lament that I no longer can hike or climb or throw or even walk, sometimes I am able to look at my grown children and appreciate what I gave them as they grew into their success. I was there for them. My old man would be proud.