“Did you hear about……”
Growing up in a small east Texas town, those were the words that got your attention. You knew that whatever followed would be important. Maybe good news about the kid successfully jumping the creek on his bicycle or the high school football team winning a big game or talk of friends successfully executing a hilarious prank. The bad news could be as light as a prank gone haywire or more serious things like a family divorce, a tragic traffic accident, friends who lost their parents, or other violent things that kids shouldn’t think about. The nice thing about a small town is that everyone knows everybody, but that’s also bad, because everyone knows everyone’s business. I thought keeping a good reputation in that small town was important, but then it happened. In the ninth grade, after spending the weekend with my friends, my mom was driving me home and announced that she and my dad were going to separate and possibly get a divorce. I can remember that sinking feeling, like my chest was being crushed, but even worse, I was embarrassed to tell my friends and felt I was somewhat to blame. I’ve learned a lot since those small town east Texas days, and that experience gave me the ground work for my thoughts on my own life philosophy.
The reality of living life is that somewhere along the way we get different kinds of news that can define us, break us, or make us. My parents divorce was my first harsh dose of reality. Usually the town gossip was about someone else’s family, but this time the bad news was about my family. It was the first of many defining moments in my life. Even as a child, I wanted to check out for a while, but I soon realized that life keeps going and it demands we actively participate, show up, and make decisions.
I’ve always had a healthy curiosity for life and people. I remember being very curious as to why some families had more money than others, and why other families were poor. That same curiosity led me to why there were numerous local churches and what made them different from each other. I wondered why some parents were more involved with their kids than others, and I recall being able to quickly assess a healthy household environment from a stressful one. I learned a lot about life through my parents, grand-parents, teachers and coaches. I also enjoy getting to know my clients and their stories as well.
We all, eventually, get to experience the difference between joy and heartache. There is no particular order of when or how life events will happen, it’s just life. How we experience joy or bounce back from heartbreak has everything to do with the story we believe about ourselves. For this reason, it’s my opinion that a strong life philosophy is the foundation for living a life of significance. We have to take personal responsibility for our destiny. Knowing our identity, ie: who we are and what we stand for is a great place to start.
Over the next several blog posts I will share the key ingredients to developing a vast life philosophy. Between now and then, start thinking about some of the defining moments in your life.
Plan, Invest, Live™