It’s a nice thought, this idea of putting things in perspective. People talk about it all the time, usually while trying to give you some advice. But I recently found out a little trick to really help you put things in perspective. Just have your doctor tell you,
Perspective: It’s All About The Why
**UPDATE: Scott’s daughter posted to Facebook around 6 p.m. Tuesday that the surgery was complete and Scott was recovering in intensive care. We will continue to update as we hear news about the procedure.
That is what mine told me a few weeks ago and if you happen to be reading this the morning of March 17 (or the early afternoon), I’m actually over at the UNC Medical School having that tumor removed. I’m in very good hands and am certain things will all work out, but I also thought it would be a good time to maybe share some thoughts—just given that very small chance that I might not be able to in the future. Honestly, I simply did not want to regret not saying some things while I had the chance. So, the good folks here at ExitEvent have agreed to publish this little share about my own life and entrepreneurial journey, and maybe it will help others along the way.
Although I now know that my tumor is not in the brain, but just pushing against it, and that the risks right now are more from the side effects of the operation than the tumor itself, it can still all be a somewhat disquieting, and yet introspective, experience. On the other hand, even before knowing all the details and better understanding the risks, it was not something that really bothered me. I can honestly say I was never afraid or even anxious.
The fact is that I have led a very blessed life, very. Loving parents, a wife (of 35 years this May) who is truly my soul mate, three daughters that I completely adore and even a career in which I feel that I left something behind. Each and every one of those gifts, I know were a gift of God and for which, no matter what happens today, or as a result of today, I am just so very blessed, so very thankful.
So maybe here’s a little secret, this idea of putting things in perspective—
It’s all about the why.
I know my personal why—it’s grounded in my knowledge that all the blessings I have had in life are only possible through the grace and love of our Lord. Of course, I know I have not always been as thankful as I should have been, or gracious, or thoughtful. And the Lord certainly knows that I have never been patient (as does anyone ever in line in front of me at a Starbucks!). But until that funeral somewhere in the western part of Virginia, I did not realize it was not about me.
OK, so maybe your “why” is different. But for whatever your personal why is, you need to know this:
It’s not about you.
And so what does all this have to do with being an entrepreneur, you might ask? In my thinking, it all starts with the “why.” And if you don’t get that right, at least at some point, I doubt you’ll get the rest right. Of course, one can easily argue that is not true—plenty of folks that really did not care about the why, beyond themselves, have done quite well.
That may be true. But when that doctor tells them they have a brain tumor, I wonder if they feel it was all worth it, I wonder if they really feel they made a true difference in the world. And to me, whenever that end comes, that is far more important.
One more share, that even for the most cynical or selfish of us, just go spend some time in the cancer wing of UNC, or any hospital. There you see these little children running around, their parents seemingly all stressed since their kids are causing such a raucous. If you’re a parent you know what I am talking about—you know that feeling. And then you realize that their child is bald, bald from the chemo treatments and that the parents are living a stress that you will never contemplate.
In closing, let me offer this. For me, whatever happens today, I’ve always liked this quote from that great biblical scholar, Dr. Seuss:
Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.
Thank you Lord.
————– And now, a couple of PSs…
PS: This whole post might all be embarrassing in a few days, Moody being his typically melodramatic self. Honestly, I hope I am embarrassed. ☺
PSS: Two of my daughters are raising funds for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of western NC, helping children with serious medical conditions, in some of the poorest sections of our State, make a wish come true. If you’d like, you can contribute here. Please note that the girls started this before finding out about my little situation and do not know I am posting this link, but I thought it was a good time to show them support.