We all learn from our life experiences, especially those that are particularly challenging. In the first half of my adult life I did what we all do—made every effort to “succeed”. Success early on was synonymous with getting married, finding a decent job, buying a small home, and starting a family. As time went on I pushed forward toward more success—borrowing money to buy a bigger house, finding a better job to pay the mortgage, accumulating “stuff”, engaging in some community service-lite, etc. You know the drill. It was a period of worldly ascension. It didn’t take very long for me to start making mistakes, some small, others much larger and more costly. Eventually, through trial and error, I found God, discovered my true gifts and talents, and then did my best to deploy them in the most constructive way possible. I mentored high school students by coaching football and co-leading senior high fellowship, engaged in organizational turn-around, renewal, and performance development as the CEO of a small food company, and have done my best to make up for my shortcomings as a husband and father.
I am now preparing to retire, or, to put it more succinctly, redeploy1. As I begin the second half of my life—a period of descension2—I am going to make every possible effort to transition from success to significance3. As I contemplate doing so, I feel compelled to share some life lessons and perspective from my first half experiences. I look forward to interacting with you as I begin this journey of transition.
1 Robert Lewis’ Men’s Fraternity.
2 Richard Rohr’s book The Wild Man’s Journey: Reflections on Male Spirituality.
3 Bob Buford’s book and organization Half Time.