Reflection

by Mark Forman on April 16, 2018

A friend of mine I met in church invited me over to his house a few months back. I discussed the need for a contact for a project I was working on. He proceeded to politely throw cold water on my planned project by explaining to me how he like me once put in much time on different opportunities only to realize they were a waste of time. He proceeded to encourage me to slow my roll and wait for the big opportunity. It was discouraging to say the least. He got into my head a little bit. I didn't feel I was being personally attacked but it caused me to doubt myself some. I knew he had a lot of business experience but I also knew he came from money. That fact contributed to his philosophy and his own ability to take his time and wait for the big play. The sad thing to me was that while my friend was truly well-intentioned in his suggestions and comments he was fairly oblivious to a fundamental truth. That being that people and chocolate chip cookies are not the same thing.

The point of my cookie metaphor is people are inherently individualistic. While we all have much in common we are all wired a little differently. Different likes/dislikes, aptitudes and abilities,etc. Unfortunately it is in our nature and partly hubris to assume we are the standard and therefore right. Consequently all other should do as we do or they are wrong. If everyone was a 1%er (not saying my friend has reached that lofty height) who would flip burgers, manage the sewers, make running shoes, teach our children, etc.? So I needed to come back 180° filter and regain a balanced perspective. Friends and life often ignorantly albeit well-intentioned (or not) ask us to throw out the baby with the bath water. I did get some good for thought while avoiding a personal existential crisis.

I encourage everyone to explore not just in professional or economic pursuits but personal interests as well. Find the things you enjoy and the people you enjoy doing them with  and grow together.