Have you ever had a conversation with someone that set a new precedence in your life? Some conversations shape values within ourselves and thereby shape our inner circle. Conversations can create pathways.
Before you even ask…yes, I believe we create our own paths. With this in mind, I believe that if there is shit on the path laid out before you, you should get off that path and go create something else.
These conversations can include something enlightening and meaningful, or they can be an agitator. Either way, they create pathways in our lives. For example, one compliment from a stranger can catapult an outfit to the forefront of your clothing rotation.
Conversely, a teacher’s comment that you don’t read well can influence you to not pick up a book on your own ever again.
I have had more than a few compliments and comments that have stuck with me until this day. Often, I reflect on them. They have shaped who I was determined to be and who I am today.
When I was eighteen, I went to live with my father in Arizona. As I mentioned before, my father was not the ideal father figure.
Did he have money? Yes.
Did he have horses, boats, expensive cars, the gorgeous house? Yes.
Did he live a lavish lifestyle? Yes.
He was the typical man of the eighties, untouchable.
My father was the quintessential alpha man: constantly surrounded by other inflated male egos, spending exorbitant amounts of money, and the only thing he used more than recreational drugs was women. He would exploit women for his own internal self fulfilment until he tired of them, and then he was done.
I say all this about my father to provide context of a conversation I had with his then wife.
One beautiful evening at Lake Havasu, his wife (we will call her Gina for ease), and I were downstairs on my father’s boat. And despite my awareness of some of the above about my father, I still really wanted a relationship with him.
Anyway, Gina and I were sitting at the table sipping on some Fireball. She was a divorced woman with two children, and a nurse. Before my arrival to Arizona, my father had kicked Gina and her kids out of the house because he decided he liked two other women more (that’s right, two!). When he was done with those women, he asked for Gina to come back. She did.
So, I asked her, why? She said, “you try living in a one-bedroom apartment with two kids.” That’s why she came back.
Now, my mom was single with two kids, and the cherry on top was an ex-husband who didn’t pay child support. She struggled and she fought. And to me, she won. Gina’s response not only magnified my admiration and gratitude toward my mother, but it also reinforced that I would NEVER EVER want desperation to be the reason why I would be with someone, anyone!
This single conversation set forth a distinct pathway in my life. I would work, work hard, and keep working. I would always choose love, not money!
I know I chose my pathways based on my passions, not money. Although, granted, we all need to pay the bills. I was able to choose this pathway because I worked hard at things I loved doing. I never gave up because the passion behind them was there, even in the lows of business. I also learned money and material things aren’t everything.
What conversations planted a seed for you and guided your pathway? Think about them. It is so important to know them, listen to them, and hold them. What’s even more important is to dissect how you responded to them.