I Was a Weird Kid

“The best do the basics better” — Eric Frohardt

It was third grade when a teacher at a new school figured out that I might need glasses. On the way home from getting my first pair of glasses I read a billboard out loud from the back of the car. My two younger brothers (who couldn’t read yet) got very excited. We got ice-cream, they liked me, but the glasses where just another reason I was different.

Up to that point I had mostly kept to myself, in retrospect probably because I couldn’t see out past the length of my elbow. Now I could connect with the world, but ironically still socially isolated. Now I knew.

Awkward, geeky, lonely, I got lost in books and building plastic models. Then I joined a cadet corps, learned to march and shoot, earned my pilot’s license, forged my mother’s signature on a permission form and took her car for a weekend of parachuting. I spent a summer back-packing in Europe, went to school and learned to program. I built a meaningful career building things that mattered, raised a family, grew up, and fell in love again. It got better and kept getting better.

Always learning, always sharing

I’ve learned a lot over the last 35 years of being an adult, and I like sharing what I know. It’s why I’ve been a business coach the last nine years. It’s been amazing.  It’s a really cool virtuous circle. I learn from every client and apply many of those learnings to my life, then often share them with the next client.

And I’ve wanted to write a book since I was that geeky kid, but not just any book that anyone else could write. So when I heard “the best do the basics better“, it hit me: that’s the book! The speaker was talking about physical training and firearms instruction, but the same principle applies to many different things. You know, like being able to see the blackboard…that’s a basic requirement for learning. Or being able to see facial expressions and body language when making friends.

What are the “basics” of a successful and meaningful life? What are the simple things outstanding people do well in leadership? I started writing topics headings, and by the time I finished I had three books worth. And that was just from a work/business/entrepreneur perspective.

So here’s my ask:

What are the process, tools, tricks, routines, or habits do you rely on to make your life meaningful? Reduce friction in the daily grind? Be more effective? Do better? What works for you at the personal, leadership, or company level? What are the simple things that you’ve tried that didn’t work?

Let me know either in the comments, or by email, or however you like. I look hearing from you all…and thank-you.

3 thoughts on “I Was a Weird Kid

  1. Making life meaningful …. ritual. Ritual for beginnings, endings, achievements, milestones. Ritual can come in strange form. Recently, my parents sold their home of 45 years and moved into a condo. They’re both ill, so I was responsible for getting the last of the stuff out before the new owners took possession. I could have called ‘Got Junk’. I went for a more lengthy but cathartic process, advertising everything for free on fb, kijiji, and in the local supermarket. I got to meet some weird and wacky people. Some known, most unknown. Some friendly, some rude. All had interesting stories around what they had planned for my parents’ leftovers. The most poignant comment came from a young Chinese immigrant who took half of my dad’s tools. Before he left, he turned to me and said, in broken English, “You tell your father, one carpenter life end, another carpenter life begin!” When I went around to touch each wall of the house for a final goodbye, I realized that my formal ritual of ‘ending’ had started three weeks prior, and the main ‘meat’ of it was those interactions with people as they helped me empty the property.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s