Is It Time For A Course Correction?

Posted on 07. Dec, 2010 by Wendy in Inspiration

I recently read a book called the ‘Twelve Pillars’  followed a week later by a post from a new friend that was a reminder of the principles in the book. Kind of crazy how that works sometimes…similar messages from different sources that drive the point home! They have helped me come to grips with one of the main issues that I’ve been struggling with over the past year, part of which I’m sharing with you today. Time Management.

12/4/10  Sharing My thoughts for the day…with a heart filled with sadness.

Life always gives us clues. Whenever I experience pain, I know it’s an opportunity for a course correction, an opportunity to choose again. To direct my sails in a direction that supports my core values and greater potential. Every moment is an opportunity to realize and embrace our ability to change the course we are on.

 I had a phone call this morning that has caused deep sadness and tears on and off since. It was from the daughter of one of my oldest and dearest friends. Mark was diagnosed with Dementia this past year.  She called to tell me that the disease appears to be progressing very quickly, and that he could no longer live by himself.  He would not be coming back to Michigan.

 I saw a glimpse of what this disease is like the night before Thanksgiving…my husband Scott and I went to visit with Mark & his daughter Amy, they were leaving in the morning for Florida, and I didn’t know when I would see him again. Mark has been a part of our family for over 2 decades and has spent most Thanksgivings with us as his daughters and their families live in Florida. This year, things would forever change.

 Mark and I had spoke on the phone several times over the previous weeks and he always sounded so good, we had great conversations, just like the old days…so it was hard for me to accept that my friend may one day not know me. The night before our visit when we spoke on the phone there were moments that he didn’t make sense but nothing drastic. The night of our visit was the fist time I experienced what his daughters had warned me about…we were sitting on the sofa chatting, everything was fine, and then, for no apparent reason, nothing he was telling me made sense. The reality of the situation that I had tried so hard to avoid believing was driven home and I choked back the tears as I sat next to him on the sofa.

 Deep sorrow, and pain, for his family, and the choices that they will be faced with flood my mind and heart. Along with deep regret for all the moments that I missed out on over the past year…time that could have been spent sharing a cup of coffee, lunch, a glass of wine during happy hour at his favorite place…moments that I’ll never be able to get back.

 The lesson that has been driven home to me repeatedly over the past several months is that life is short.  We can’t get time back…it is one commodity that once it’s spent it’s gone forever.

 The harsh reality for me is that I need a course correction…things that matter most must not be allowed to be pushed aside…hoping that there will be more time for them on another day when my schedule isn’t so full and life isn’t so busy.

 I hope you’ll indulge me as I share part of the last chapter of a book that I recently finished called “Twelve Pillars”by Jim Rohn and Chris Widener

Perhaps like me, after reading the following story, you too, will see the need to make a course correction

Dear Michael,

 If you’re reading this, then it means that I am no longer here.  I wanted to share the final Pillar of Success with you personally, over coffee in the workshop, just like old times.  But the very fact that I am not here makes the case for how important the last Pillar is.

 One thing I realized this past year is how short life is.  It seemed like yesterday that I was a schoolboy, playing with my friends.  It seems such a short time ago that I fell in love with Sandra and we began our family.  By the way, you finally met Sandra, I’m sure.  She is a beautiful and incredible woman, Michael.  I was so blessed to have shared this life with her.

 Such a short time ago I was building my businesses and selling them, building my fortune.  And even when I finally retired fifteen years ago it felt like I had so much time left.

 The brevity of life is its biggest surprise.

 So what to make of all the Pillars I have taught you so far – the very Pillars of Success that have guided my life so well?  They all wrap up nicely and are perfected by the final Pillar.

 Leave a Legacy.

 We are all but breezes of the wind that blow through this world.  Here one day and gone the next.  No one knows how long they will live.

 You cannot choose how long you will live, Michael, but you can choose how well you live.

 I believe that how well you live is bound inherently with how much you leave for others who come behind you and follow your path.

 I never was a self-made man, Michael.  I do not believe that there is such a thing.  I believe that each one of us walks along a path that has been prepared by others who have gone before us.

 My goal in life has been to live in such a way that it would serve those who have come after me, to blaze a trail that would allow others to move forward in their lives faster than if they had to blaze the trail themselves.

 It has been my job to leave a legacy by teaching others the Pillars of Success – and not just to teach them, but to live them.  My actions are the proof that my words are true.  Michael, we must live out the philosophies we passionately believe in and have been sharing with others.  In doing so, we give each of them the credence they need to be effective.

 So many people waste their short lives here and then spend their final days weighted down by regret.  There is no more time to go back and redo their lives.  There is nothing left but a wish for more time – a wish that will never be fulfilled.

 Michael, we all have two choices as we live: We can make a living or we can design a life.  There are many who spend their lives making a living.  They go off to work each day with no vision for what their life could become.  And before they know it, their lives are over.  And some are so fearful that the dreams they do have will forever go unfulfilled because they never have the courage to take a risk that would enable them to reach their goals and live their dreams.

 You can be different though.  You can design your life.  Yes, it would be better if you had started earlier – the earlier the better – but at forty years old you have a good forty years left.  You can accomplish tremendous things in your remaining years if you will design them before you live them.  What will make them powerful will be if you design a life based on the Pillars of Success, with the goal of leaving a legacy for others to follow.

 Live a life that will help others spiritually, intellectually, physically, financially, and relationally.  Live a life that serves as an example of what an exceptional life can look like.

 Let others lead small lives, Michael, but not you.  Let others argue over small things, but not you.  Let others cry over small hurts, but not you.  Let others leave their future in someone else’s hands, but not you.

 You have your entire life ahead of you Michael, live it to the fullest potential that you have.

 My legacy is fulfilled in part by teaching you how to live your best life.  Your legacy will be to do the same for others. Give yourself.  Sacrifice for the good of others.  Take the time to help others and to teach them.  Be patient, loving and loyal.

 This is my good-bye, my friend.  I am glad to have met you.  You are a wonderful young man with a kind and generous heart.  You have touched my heart, and hopefully, I have touched yours with an indelible impression that will help you create your own lasting ripple.

 Your Friend,

 Mr. Charlie Davis


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2 Responses to “Is It Time For A Course Correction?”

  1. Val Wilcox

    10. Dec, 2010

    What a moving letter that states our life journey will leave a legacy for those who follow when we follow our hearts. Adjusting your course as you travel through life is key to achieving this goal.

    Thanks for sharing these thoughts on leaving a legacy.
    Val ;)


    Wendy Reply:

    Hi Val,
    Thanks so much for your feedback!


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