Can you remember a time in your life, most likely during your formative years in high school or college, when everything seemed crystal clear? There were no shades of gray. You believed with certainty in what you were doing. As Will Smith said in his 1999 hit, I’m Coming, “There’s no plan B; it distracts from plan A.” Life had a laser-focused singularity of purpose where you’d wear a tee-shirt with “Expect to Win” emblazoned on the front and it wasn’t cocky. It was just…true.
You’ve heard the saying, “If you want to take the island, burn the boats.” There’s lots more to the actual story of Cortez’s conquering Yucatan, but that quote illustrates the single-minded commitment that was necessary for his success. Over the years, life beats that self-assured all-or-nothing mindset out of us. We realize the pragmatism of concepts like “balance” and “compromise.” We learn that sometimes “winning” really means “losing” and vice-versa. And while much of what we learn is critical for self-preservation, it’s also kind of…well…depressing.
I miss that 16 year old kid who believed he could change the world. Sometimes I wonder if any remnant of his spark remains. And then I usually stop thinking about it altogether because life gets in the way again. But if I really focus, I can still feel the heat of that smoldering ember from long ago. Who knows? Maybe it will light a spark that can still burn a boat or two…
Until next time, laugh a lot. Love even more. And have a most excellent edventure.