As I reflected Sunday on my 50th birthday about how the first 50 years of my life have gone, I thought about a book I read several years ago called Halftime, authored by Bob Buford. In his book, Buford shares how we can look at our lives in two parts. The first part is our striving for success and being all about ourselves, and the second part is about living a life of significance. It’s an eye-opening read.
The first 50 years of my life have flown by. I have accomplished much. I have strived and I have thought about success quite a bit through the years. God willing, I hope to have another 50 years to experience more of this wonderful life. When I think about it, I really do believe it is a wonderful life. Have things been perfect? Of course not, but in the experiences I have had, I have learned a great deal, and that, I can’t put a price on.
I grew up in a small house with seven siblings. I bought my first car at the age of 16. I had the awesome experience of leaving home at age 18 to go to college in Florida and play baseball, the game I have loved since I was a kid. I married my beautiful wife at age 29, and I have three children and a granddaughter.
There is much more to share. The first half was about doing and achieving. My goal for the second half will be more about teaching and leading. Nevertheless, I learned a great deal over 50 years and I plan to continue to learn for the rest of my life. My education and quest for learning will never stop.
I think often of some of the great speeches from coaches from the past, most notably Herb Brooks, the gold medal-winning coach for the 1980 USA hockey team. “Great moments are born from great opportunity,” he said.
My journey into personal growth began at age 22. That is a young age to start thinking about self-improvement, but I wanted to capitalize on the great opportunities given to me. And now, as a 50 year old, I dearly want to get this concept into the minds and hearts of the younger generation: The sooner our younger generation grasps the benefits of personal growth, the brighter their and all our futures will be.
Although I don’t know when my time will expire, and I hope my 50th birthday is merely halftime, I want to be the best I can in fulfilling God’s calling for me so for the second “half” of my life, I plan to continue my journey to be the best version of myself for my wife, my children, and everyone I meet.
The two most important things I can do going forward — take the time to apply for myself the lessons I’ve learned over the years and take the time to share the information I gained with others.
You never know when you will impact others or be impacted by someone. Here’s to the second half!