In my book, I talk about the journey I had from my days in the classroom to my days in the cage. It wasn’t easy, and it continues to not be easy. Good things don’t come easily. Great things come even less easily. I have gained a few nice superficial perks and have acquired C/D level fame, but the most important asset I’ve gained is peace of mind. There is something to be said for that, and you can’t put a price tag on it.
During my walk this morning, as Josie and I were listening to the Tim Ferris Show, famed actor and guest, Kevin Costner, got my gears turning. He said a lot of things in the hour and a half interview, but I took three extremely profound soundbites and put them down in writing. He said:
- “I somehow figured out that if i didn’t make myself happy, I would never be happy. If I didn’t pursue what was whispering to me, I would absolutely be a failure, I would absolutely be an unhappy person.”
- Me: That doesn’t mean you have to throw caution to the wind. We all have responsibilities and commitments, just take a step in that direction. You’ll be amazed at the things that unfold. I’m the king of making plans and having fallbacks, so you don’t have to be a free will to make it work.
- “When I articulated that I didn’t care anymore what anybody thought about what I did, except me, all the weight of the world came off my shoulders, and everything became possible. It shifted to everybody else that they were now worried, that they were worried, but everything for me, it shifted to a place where I felt free.”
- Me: It’s easy for someone to read/hear this out of context and point fingers, criticize him for being selfish. My opinion, and I’m confident he agrees, is that if you commit yourself to living by a set of core values, it’s OK to be selfish in some respects; each of us owes it to ourselves. If I’m not the most content, happiest Spaniard there can be, then I’m surely not going to be the best husband, father, son and friend.
- “I’ve often asked myself why I’ve tried so hard to be in a place where I can fail so badly in front of so many, and I have gone to bed at night knowing the next day I have to deliver, and if I don’t, everybody else is going to know.”
- Me: “Every man dies. Not every man really lives.” (William Wallace, Braveheart). My “living”, my “why”, is to make my daughter proud to carry the name “Brenneman.” It’s what puts me in situations that others dread, where I can fail in front of everyone. I carry no special gifts or advantages, only that I focus on that “why” every minute of every day.
You win. You lose. Regardless, you always learn.