At a recent lunch I got to hear a great life story. As we talked about a wide range of topics he gradually unfolded pages of his life.
His early family situation as he grew up; early business ventures; the history of his very strong business of around three decades. I heard about some fascinating jobs, learned that his family is close knit and that he spends as much time as possible with his grand kids. His primary personal extravagance is going to football games for his favorite team, including a couple Super Bowls. He got married a little past high school and they are still together enjoying life. I heard some fun memories he has of his own kids as they grew in to adults.
Longevity. Family. Business. Longevity.
So I asked him. How? What? I meet with lots of people and I hear lots of stories. One with this much longevity in both business and family is rare. So I told him. And I asked for just one of what had to be many contributing factors.
“Being a workaholic.” After a little laughter he added, “and being blessed. Seriously, I’ve worked very hard in my life and I’ve been incredibly blessed. That’s it, really.”
Hard work and blessings. It seems to me that the one you have to do; the other you have to be.
You have to do the work. You have to be blessed. Sometimes I wonder if we would be more blessed if we recognized how blessed we are. It’s a bit circular, I know. As he discussed some really hard things from the pages of his life the blessings weren’t obvious until you piece it together over lunch. I’m sure he didn’t always feel blessed, but he was. I’m sure he didn’t always want to do the hard work, but he did.
Do the work. Be blessed. Because you need to, and because you are.
Stories like this go best with fish and chips. In case you’re wondering.