The last full conversation I had with my dad was a joke.
Seriously, it was a joke. It was a groaner and I guess I should have locked it in my memory for posterity and tender memories and all that stuff but I didn’t. That wasn’t my dad.
Six days later he went to be with the Lord. He’d been living with a host of ailments for the last 6 months and contrary to those stories you read about 95 year old’s running their first marathon your body begins to wear about when you are getting ready to turn 88.
His was. Wearing down that is.
He called me on a Saturday evening and said he had a joke to tell me. He’d heard it from my sister. It was unusual for him to call. My mom always made the phone calls and when you’d ask how dad was feeling she’d pull the phone away from her ear and shout:
Tommy, John wants to know how you’re feeling!
Get my drift.
So I was taken by surprise. He told me his joke, we talked about sports for a few minutes and he said That’s all I needed. Talk with you soon.
But we didn’t. three days later my sister Mary called and said those words I didn’t want to hear. You probably need to come up here. I don’t think it’s going to be much longer.
I am not for certain how many years I have left. I hope quite a few, but when you’re almost 66 you start thinking about your end game.
I don’t act 66. I prefer to associate with younger people and I’m not much for sitting around thinking about the old days. There are folks I hold in my heart but I’m always looking ahead not backward.
That’s who I am. That’s who I’ll always be
I had a good teacher.
My dad was one thing, consistent.
You always knew where you stood and he was easy to anticipate. He never changed. Ask him a question and in most case you already knew the answer
He was we are fond of saying comfortable in his own skin.
I thought about him the other day. I was talking with a coaching client and he told me that one day he just wanted to be like…….
My in box is full of people wanting me to be just like them and for a kings ransom they will show me how it’s done.
But really, they can’t.
You see I cant be anyone other than who I am, and who I was meant to be. It’s like our DNA. There may be similarities with other folks but basically you and I are one of kind.
No matter how hard we try to emulate fill in the blank, we never will.
Look, I been there and done that and I can tell you the main reason I was so attracted to someone elses success pattern: It’s a whole lot easier then carving out your own path.
But in the end I was never as successful as the other guy.
We invest a lot of time and resource in running away from ourselves and becoming something we were never intended to be to begin with.
The key to your success is pulling apart your own DNA and seeing what suprises it has in store for you.