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My Jerry McGuire-esque Manifesto - Not the WHOLE thing

Dec 24, 2022

First off, no I’m not going to publish my Jeremy McGuire-esque Manifesto – for the obvious reasons that my options could narrow rapidly.


In short, life is very messy right now.


And I wouldn’t trade my life for anyone’s.


There are a lot of ideas out there – “content” which is being created by these people who call themselves “content creators” around personal development and business growth.


For the last several years since entering this content creator and personal growth space myself, I had downplayed for myself the value of working on mindset, motivation etc. in favor of mastery of “The business of the business.”


But what I’m realizing now is that underneath, all we really need to do is figure out how to get ourselves out of our own way so we can begin to experience the infinite possibilities which have always existed for everyone.


There are certainly factors beyond our control no question. I personally benefit from a great deal of privilege growing up in a white middle class neighborhood inside the Washington DC beltway just off of Rt’ 50 in Jefferson Village. Two parents who loved me and cared for me. Both of whom are on the right side of the bell curve from the standpoint of education and intelligence. To my left growing up was Mr. Mountjoy an extremely successful contractor. Across the street was Paul Weber the athletic director of Falls Church High School. To the right, they were all alcoholics but one more door down were the Gurris, Graciela was a mathematician for Honeywell. I don’t remember what Mr. Gurri did - they were from Cuba. I'm still friends with Gloria, she was my best buddy during my early years.


Wonderful teachers and coaches like Mr. Stegner – we didn’t care much for one another back then but I’ve grown to appreciate him over time. I’ve been  meaning to get in touch with him to find out more about what he meant when he told me I was the most difficult student he had ever worked with in several decades of being a band director. Full transparency, a spark of pride lifted up in me hearing this. Mr. Stegner I can only hope I somehow helped you become a better more patient teacher.


And so I’m aware how the playing field is not level. And I’m grateful for the cards I’ve been dealt both good and bad.


It broke my heard and I’m also grateful my Dad left us when I was 5.


I think everyone is broken hearted in their own way whether they realize it or not. Being aware of my brokenness has never been a problem for me.


Which means I have a gift for seeing my blindspots so they’re not longer blindspots.


This can be overwhelming at times seeing all this, sometimes what seems like too much at one time. Being able to see all these unrealized possibilities.


Wasted opportunities have always bugged the crap out of me somehow. So the one time I tried to pay small for a couple of years, retreating back to doing everything myself, didn’t last fortunately.


We CAN figure this out. I AM figuring this out.


Grinding away in my business for so many years I was able to create a very nice business for myself, my family, and some great opportunities for our small team, while also having the backs of our customers who otherwise might get taken advantage of or not served nearly as well had we not been there for them. Had they ended up  doing business with who knows who “joe-bag-of-doughnuts” competitor down the street who probably wouldn’t’ be a helpful, or conscientious, or careful or accountable. 


Being so focused on taking care of the day to day, surviving one day, week, month, year after another, personal growth got put on hold – to the extent I had pretty much forgotten about any dreams I had  beyond making “enough” money. And I had become burnt out to the point where wearing all the hats doing everything myself was just not going to be sustainable.


And it’s gotten much, MUCH better now that I have a team in place.         


So here’s the thing,


Even in the midst of all these awarenesses, improvements and breakthroughs – life is still very messy.


This is where the part starts I’m leaving out the specific ways my life is so messy right now.


Instead I’m focused more on how I wouldn’t trade my life with anyone right now.


Not any of my heroes, dead or alive.

Not Kobe Bryant or Michael Jordon.

Not Jim Thorpe or Tom Brady.

Not Carroll Shelby, Toto Woolf or Christian Horner.

Not Zig Ziglar, Tony Robbins, Todd Herman, Don Miller, John Maxwell or Dave Ramsey.

Not Steve Jobs or Elon Musk.

Not Abraham Lincoln, or (I can’t think of a current political leader alive today I would consider a hero.)


You’ve heard of 9 lives? In my case it would have to be more like 99 or 999, I actually have no idea how many times I should have literally died were it not for my Mother’s prayers.

Just two weeks ago I was driving at Virginia International Raceway around a high speed turn when I panicked and almost spun out – which easily could have resulted in totaling the car backing into the tire wall after turn 10. BUT somehow I managed to get the car straightened back out without leaving the track. A week earlier – same track – I had a similar experience in the uphill S’s just before turn 10 coming in offline and too hot. The back end got a little loose at about 100mph.


Between my Mother’s prayers and her letting me drive the wheels off of her ’75 Chevy Vega drifting around Northern Virginia rat racing with my friends – I pulled it out again keeping the nose of the car in front and staying on the track. Part of that teenage experience was intentionally forcing the Vega into oversteering at any opportunity in all types of conditions, dry, wet, and snow. So there was some muscle memory there where I was able to react effectively without thinking.


This muscle memory thing – I’m realizing works in both directions. We also have these automatic programs in our brains that are very painful and destructive. When something happens we don’t like, we play back the same programs over and over again -  like my wife telling me at 7am this morning she doesn’t want me getting in her way making coffee while she’s doing the dishes. And my brain explodes with all this meaning and these ridiculous stories and I’m asking myself if I can stand it one more minute or if I should go move into our trailer. Then I realize it’s just my own pain that just got uncovered, this intense pain of mine was only triggered by Cara’s request. 

So I regulated myself and went upstairs and apologized. And now we're having a wonderful day. 


Now I’m getting into some of the stuff I told myself I wasn’t going to publish – so I’ll leave that right there.


I met and got to better know a lot of great people in 2022.


And 2023 is going to be even greater. What I want more than anything in the world is to nurture a few closer friendships.


So many possibilities.