I relate to Cincinnatus and his journey of becoming. As Chet said, he went from farmer to dictator back to farmer. Don’t miss this, what job he did was not the point of it all. Who he was… that is the good sh!t.
I was barely a teenager when I watched “Dead Poets Society”. The movie awoken my soul and from that moment on, I knew I wanted to be “that” type of teacher. Someone who cared more about the inspiration to pursue knowledge rather than the mere attainment of it. So I got my degree and off I went.
Instead of having students rip pages out of their text book, I had them watching “The Wonder Years” and writing how they related to it. No joke. We had some amazing discussions and I could see the kids expanding their perspective. However, I was reminded by the administration that I was there to teach junior high kids a specific curriculum and this was not it. So after 3 years of teaching, I called it quits.
I joined my family’s small online shoe business in the late 90’s. The Internet was the wild west back then. No rules, no best practices, no expertise – the most nimble and creative won. We were wildly successful and had a blast along the way. New Balance acquired us in 2008 and asked us to teach them how to fish in this digital pond. Somewhere along the way, being nimble and creative was replaced with being reliable and predictable. In their mind, at the size we were, there was too much to risk.
Much like Cincinnatus after victory for Rome, I too knew my job was done. I knew that if I stayed in this world of commerce, I’d be miserable. But I couldn’t go back to curriculum either. So I looked at my CORE, back to the guy who wanted to be “that” type of teacher and realized he was actually a Builder. And to the fields I returned via Built to Lead.
Let me remind you again, who you are when everything of this world has been stripped away, is the good sh!t. Go sit quietly in reflection or meditation until you discover it. It’s there, somewhere between your heart and soul. Build it, hone it, master it and you’ll find your purpose. You were created to be extraordinary.
Carpe diem, seize the day…