Lesson learned: Sometimes the people who are the most quiet have the loudest message. That certainly is the case with Arthur, a tall, quiet, introspective man in his mid-80s. I recently started working with him and his wife as they prepare for a move from their suburban home of decades.
Our focus, on a recent warm and sunny Saturday morning, was to declutter their garage. Like many garages, it was piled high with typical garage stuff – old paint, lawn tools, Christmas decorations and numerous, dusty plastic containers filled with an assortment of newspaper clippings, greeting cards, photographs and paper files that dated back to Arthur’s career as a manager and motivational speaker.
I set one of these plastic tubs in front of him and asked him to review the contents. He studiously examined the many documents that conjured up memories he freely shared with me. At one point he handed me a steno pad to look at. On the first page of this tablet, in precise and crisp printing, he had written the following quote by John Wooden from UCLA: “Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.”
What a powerful message from an elderly gentleman who sat quietly sorting through much of his life that had been relegated to a few storage containers. If more people would make this life lesson their mantra, our society would be all the better for it. Thank you, Arthur, for unknowingly reminding us to do our best to become the best that we can be.