To paraphrase a long time professor at NC State,
“When all things are failing, go back to the last place you were successful and start again.”
This seems simplistic, but how often do we follow it. We allow the failures and successes to become blinders for our future. So how do we objectively define where our last place of success was? What defines the value of that success? It is our greatest accomplishments such as completing college, or landing that job we were striving for, buy the home we dreamed of, or our children and their achievements? Maybe they all have a part in defining our success.
This idea has been rolling around in my head for almost 6 months. Why can’t I just go straight back to that point and begin a “Do Over”? Or not just re-examine my choices, change my answers, and tweak my life’s direction. I have had plenty of failures and successes. But no matter how hard I pondered, I could not put my finger on the one spot as my “last place of success”. What am I looking for? I tried making a list of good choice on one side and bad on the other, thinking that would clear things up. Not really.
As I watched a movie recently, a light bulb came on. This movie, the Bucket list, which I’m sure, many of you have seen, simplified the process for me. Morgan Freeman asks Jack Nicholson two question.
Do you have Joy in your life?
Do you bring Joy to others?
I think this search is not about a place in time or a major event that happens to us; rather it’s about the quality of life. We all need joy in our lives. Not matter if it is as basic as the laughter we enjoyed as teenagers, or the simple happy feeling that comes when you taste grandma’s fried apple pies, or that smile from a loved one that let’s you know how much you are loved. My mission on this island and when I come to return. That is to find joy.
To quote the great Jimmy Valvano:
If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that's a full day. That's a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you're going to have something special.