The lessons I teach my children and the legacy I leave are of utmost priority to me. Having success as a family and in business is an extension of focusing on goals, addressing change, and not waiting for others to push you forward. I’ve offered this advice a myriad of ways but found a deeply personal approach that I shared with my three daughters in poetic form:
Life is like a river
It runs fast and slow
Wide and narrow …
Meander down the river with your goals
Remember … Goals will evolve, they are just part of the whole …
Be flexible while you stand tall
Be willing to duck to weather the storm
Sometimes the wind doesn’t even blow …
You must get up and push forth
To see what the future holds
Armor yourself when you open your arms
To moments of happiness and others of grief
cushion life’s tidal waves
By Wearing your heart, sometimes, within your sleeves
Aim to improve, Think Big, and Get in the driver’s seat.
It speaks to the grand uncertainty of life and the need for us to look forward and work hard. I often allude to life as the cultivation of land. Each of us is given a plot of land—life—to garden, grow on, and cultivate as we will. We may leave it dry or overwater it, but we ought to plant multiple seeds that we wish to grow in it, and work to care for those seedlings so that they can mature into productive plants. Trees and vegetation, like goals, grow in different environments and at different paces. Ideally, we give each what it needs. I look at my plot of land as a starting point that could be made into anything. I learn as I go, and as I plant more seeds, I may find that I’m better at growing some things than others, that other plants grow better here or there, and in this learning, I evolve and grow, as well.
Ultimately it is up to us to reap what we sow – to create and take the opportunities before us in an effort to grow something that wasn’t there before. We have the power to create the life we want by working hard, discovering new possibilities, and navigating the unexpected.