There are moments in our lives that may seem unimportant at the time but their significance is realized later. Sometimes we have an intuitive understanding even at that moment but the “gravity” of it still needs to creep in over time. I am a little hesitant to share this particular story because it may seem unimportant and shallow at first but it was a moment of deep meaning and change for me. I am about to expose myself in a way that makes me feel just a bit uncomfortable but this at the same time makes it seem more important that I do.
After my father died I was left with the responsibility of bringing his work to the world. I did not feel there was anyone else that could or would accomplish this. The family as a whole has been behind me all the way and in my absence I am sure one of them would have taken up this mantle, but at the time it did seem that if this was going to happen, it would have to be me. I took the responsibility very seriously.
At the same time, I was trying to find an appropriate business in which I could invest so that we could make a living and support our family. My wife does not work outside the home and with little recent business experience it is difficult for her to find work that is not mundane, or earn a wage that makes the sacrifices we would have to endure worthwhile. There was some money from his estate and we were trying to find the best way to use this to change our circumstances. It was difficult for other reasons as well. We don’t drink, and have not for 9 years now, so buying a bar would not work even though I would like to have an outlet like that for my music. We don’t believe in eating meat so there was no sandwich shop, etc. I have left behind so much of the common interests of people that we struggled to find something we could do that would be popular enough to make money, but that we could believe in and not feel we were pedaling poison.
One day I was driving down the road listening to a motivational speaker named Jeffery Combs. We had met at a seminar and shared some conversation. I had given him a copy of Book I in my father’s trilogy and he had given me this CD. He was talking about wealth and success and those sorts of things and he said that sometimes we come across a situation where there is little or no risk, little or no “down side” and everything possible on the “up side”. It’s very rare but when you come across that you have got to go “all in”.
I realized that what my father had left behind really represented the “work” I needed to do, whether it ever made a dime to support my family or not. I would not be pushing sugar or some other addiction. I would not be compromising any principal in order to make a dollar. It was something I had set myself to and intended to do. Part of the issue with starting a business was that it would be an all consuming pursuit, especially at the outset and I did not want to be a prisoner to it because I had all of this other work to do.
I began to cry, and remember saying “OK dad, I’m in”. In with both feet, no matter what the results might be. I was using his money to complete his work, and it has become mine. It has cost a fortune but it was not a mistake. The work itself and the commitment have had a profound effect on my life. I have had moments of pain when I felt I had made a mistake in committing the resources, because I have not really gotten these books to the world… yet. It was just impatience.
I realize that if it takes the rest of my life, I can’t stop anyway, so how was starting a mistake? I do not compromise my ethics for money. I will not change my work for the lack of it. It was a profound lesson in detachment. Dad told me once that the sun doesn’t whine or complain when clouds get in the way and its rays are not enjoyed by anyone. It simply shines because that is its nature. He also said if these books were perchance never read that represented a mechanism for him to work on himself and had thus served a purpose anyway. They, along with the rest of the teachings to which I have now exposed myself, have changed my life in ways I could never have anticipated including its overall direction.
Sometimes when we take that leap of faith we think we know where it will lead and just hope we succeed in getting there. Sometimes success comes in the form of course corrections we can’t foresee.