Through the Woods (of Life)
Took a ride through the Adirondacks this week; took a hundred year old wooden boat we’ve had forever to be restored. That’s what old boats need because wood rots, seams split and paint corrodes. The key (to this and most other things in life) is to find someone who knows what they’re doing, someone who’s experienced and reliable. Found just the craftsman in the little town of Saranac Lake, and boy did I find out a lot about what I don’t know.
That’s the thing about life: no matter how much we know there’s always a lot more we don’t. Remember all the things from school you thought were unimportant: how many of those have you subsequently discovered really are important? Think about people you know who are doing things that you don’t know enough about: we often gloss over things like that because we don’t want to admit we don’t know. And then there’s all the cool things you’ve thought about doing, but haven’t: it’s not that you couldn’t find out reams of information on the internet, we often get distracted and don’t follow through.
I’ve thought about taking care of this boat for a long time, but something else always came up. I’ve wondered about how to fix it myself – even tried a few things that were less than successful. And finally the old boat started to worry me – I didn’t want to just let it deteriorate completely: so I looked up information and resources on the trusty old Internet and that led me to Saranac Lake.
This boat restoration guy was one of those smiling, aw-shucks kinds of people that impress you and make you want to know more. As he spoke, he knowingly rubbed and poked the wood, taking the time to get to know it and us. He had a sparkle in his eye that came through in his voice – a guy who loves what he does and wouldn’t want to be doing anything else, anywhere else. They’re everywhere: simple people with passion for what they do, and happy where they are. People we can learn from.
Admittedly, I don’t know enough about wooden boats. But it’s not that I wasn’t interested or couldn’t have learned: I could and should have, but didn’t get around to it. So maybe not knowing is less about the information than it is about following your curiosity and making the time to find out. First you have to admit what you don’t know, then commit to learning what you want to know, and finally following through with what you’ve learned. In this case, it will restore the boat, and maybe rejuvenate me. Now that’s a journey worth taking.
My message this week is about fueling your passion for living:
“It’s faith in something and enthusiasm for something that makes a life worth living.” Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.
What makes your life worth living? All kinds of answers to this question: family, love, friends, work, dreams, hobbies, goals, and maybe countless others. For any of those to motivate you to want and do more you must have faith in it: that means you believe with all of your body, heart and soul in what it is, why it is, how it is, and the promises it holds. And it must make you get up every day wanting to enthusiastically go back to it: with focus, excitement, freshness, creativity, and a burning desire to apply your best efforts. You must never get bored, take anything for granted, or allow your commitment to falter: being in the moment, never giving up, and maintaining a positive attitude are the hallmarks of passion and success. Find whatever it is that excites you and let it fuel your passion for living today!