I was thinking back the other day to when I graduated college. The president and I had become good friends at the time and it was special for him as well because it would be his last graduation ceremony as the sitting president of the university. It was a December graduation and in the May graduation he would as part of the ceremony introduce the new president of Ouachita Baptist University. He had already accepted a job as president of Samford in Birmingham, AL.
I had a lot of fond memories of visiting with Andy Westmoreland, but it was something more than that going through my head. Andy had been working for the previous year to help me get the job I wanted, working with CJRW in Little Rock. It all broke down shortly after graduation but for that moment when I shook Andy’s hand and accepted my college degree I had a very special feeling that I’ve rarely felt since that moment.
Wonder about the opportunities that lay before me.
Wonder about the path that my life would take from that pivotal point.
Wonder about the great things that I could accomplish if I set my mind to it.
A few weeks later the job I had at the time was acquired by another company and moved to Florida, the last hope of going on with CJRW fell apart, and I became faced with the reality that the wedding I had planned for the summer would have to be put on hold because neither of us had a job.
Suddenly the wonder disappeared.
Over the next almost 5 years I’ve found that life has a way of sucking the wonder out of you. You stop dreaming and start struggling through tough decisions and let downs.
Then the other day it hit me out of nowhere. The struggles were reaching an all time high with work, grad school and everyday life.
For no apparent reason I stood in awe of the world before me and realized that I still have the opportunity to do something remarkable. I don’t have to struggle; I’ve got a chance to be more than what I am today. I can take the skills I’ve learned in the past 5 years, much like the ones I learned in the 4 years of college, and apply them to do amazing work.
One closed door cannot stop me, neither can 100. I have the chance to prove myself and make things happen, not wait for them to.
I started thinking about my jobs and businesses I’ve worked for and with. How sometimes we lose our sense of wonder. We get lost in the day today business of just getting to the next and we fail to imagine the things we can do if we just try.
Maybe when companies stop dreaming and get caught up in today things go wrong. They start producing more of the same products until someone from China does it cheaper. They start thinking about producing cars cheaper instead of better. They start spending more on drilling additional wells and spending less on safety. They want to make as much money as they can while things are going well, and when they are not it will be someone else’s mess.
Maybe that is what has gone wrong.
Just a thought