Descended

There’s still part of me that loves being a bachelor-esque guy. I admit it. This Saturday, I stayed in and watched an assortment of testosterone-inducing content, including: Death Race 2, UFC Best Fights of 2011, and Spartacus: Vengeance. I also threw back an entire pizza and avoided anything resembling work or due projects. It was time for a necessary break.

Watching UFC’s best fights from 2011, it never ceased to impress me how many punches, kicks, elbows, knees, and hammer fists to the face these fighters were capable of taking. Several of the fights were a marvel because both fighters lasted all five rounds, taking blow after heavy blow. The average human being is not capable of taking one or two of these hits without being knocked out cold. It’s common for most of us to shriek when we get a papercut.

Food for thought.

This afternoon, I got a call from a close business partner, mentor, and friend. He’s fought a very difficult fight over the past ten years that would make most people throw in the towel. Hearing him speak, I was reminded not all five-round fights happen in an octagon. He asked me a particular question:

“Aaron, you and I both enjoy doing things with our lives that have some social benefit or value to others. With what I’m doing now, I feel as if I’ve lost that and am now out of touch with that desire. What do you think?”

First, it is truly an honor to hear a question of that caliber from somebody I hold in the utmost of esteem. This was my response (as best as I remember):

There are people who are passionate about what you do. It may not be the all-encompassing element of their life, but when they spend time in that area of their life, there’s a passion that sparks and provides fuel for other elements of their life. I love cars with a passion, and I know that I will never drive a Lamborghini until I become very, very successful. It’s this love for excellent cars that contributes to my drive for success. The one element of your business may not have direct societal impact, but it can inspire and impact other parts of lives that do.

It’s similar to an Olympic runner. In and of itself, there is no societal benefit to somebody who runs fast. But when the Olympics are on TV and a whole nation watches this runner perform perfectly, entire nations get inspired to do better and live with a higher quality to their lives.

I’m reading a book titled “The 10 Day MBA” which uncovers core topics of an MBA program. One of the chapters is titled “Ethics” and explores the idea of corporate responsibility and ethics. It’s not an idea I’m unfamiliar with, but I see it in a different light than I used to.

Who we are and what we do often goes beyond the surface level of our lives. Our impact, reach, and positive/negative feedback on those we come in contact with often goes much further than we could ever imagine.

I believe excellence is similar to the finger running the circumference of a wet wine glass. The motion is repetitive and circular, though the finesse and rhythm improves, over time, until one is playing a sweet tune of life.

 

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