Sadly, he passed away in 2001 on Father’s Day. He was always one to be a bit dramatic!
His death was sudden and a surprise to my family and myself. I continue to miss him, and with Father’s Day weekend upon us, I always seem to reflect back on my Dad and our time together in this life form.
His job at General Motors was not always fulfilling. I can remember many a night when he’d arrive home frustrated and upset with what transpired in his day. Back then it wasn’t the norm to jump from job to job, so he fought the good fight and headed back to his job each morning. He had a family to support and my Mom would ever so gently remind him of this. There were many frustrations for him, but he was at least driven by the promise of a comfortable retirement.
But that didn’t happen. A few years before his retirement date, the pension package was changed such that he received not nearly what he’d planned on. My father was disappointed in the way things turned out.
In his later years, he often told my brothers and me that we should design our lives around doing something we loved, something with a compelling purpose. He helped us realize that the focus of our lives shouldn’t be making it to retirement age; what counted were the experiences along the way, the fulfillment found in the journey itself.
“At the end of your life, you want to look back and say, ‘That was a great ride,’ rather than, ‘I wish I’d done something else,'” he’d tell us.
I’m sure it wasn’t easy for Dad to admit that he was somewhat disappointed in the way his life turned out, but I admire and appreciate that he wanted something better for his sons.
Dad didn’t want us to make the same mistake he made. He was deeply proud of being a great provider, and boy was he an inspiring father to his three sons, perhaps without even knowing it. He instilled in us a hunger to live a fulfilling and meaningful life.
My Dad worked in the human resources department, and I guess when I really think about it, the apple didn’t fall far from the tree. I love working with individuals, groups, and organizations, big and small, to help them realize their true potential.
Thank you, Dad. The work I do in the world is because of you. Your life lesson has stayed with me, and has become my own compelling purpose.
More to come!
I believe that the universe has a way of pointing us toward people, things and places that we should experience.
I’ve been to Sydney, Australia about a dozen times, and each time I visit I instantly feel at home, completely at peace. I’m not sure why, but I just “go with it” and love every minute of every day that I am there.
Another such instance happened two summers ago at Lake George, NY. Chuck and I attended what was supposed to be a music festival in our small town park on the lake. The event was cancelled at the last minute because of the weather. As we turned around to head home, we literally ran into Ronen and Elizabeth Yaari, who were vacationing at the lake.
We struck up a conversation (have you ever known me not to do that!), and long story short, the next night we were having dinner with them, Ronen’s brother, and their families.
What fun we had! As they were telling us about their lives and projects they were working on, Chuck and I looked at each other and instantly knew that we just had to have Ronen and his brother Eyal speak at our then-upcoming Bigger Game Expo.
They agreed and were a smashing hit! I hope you’ll watch the video clip we’ve created about them and their bigger game; they are the perfect example of Bigger Game Players who weren’t necessarily looking to play a bigger game. Heck, they didn’t even know what it meant to play a bigger game. What started out as a “simple” bike ride across Israel, which is an amazing feat unto itself for sure, ended up compelling them to create a documentary, and then to facilitating workshops on diversity.
Like the Yaari Brothers, be open for your bigger game to find you. Don’t try! Be! Let go and trust the process, for the universe is always in play. Dare to know that the universe is always conspiring for your good!