by Darrin Schenck

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by Darrin Schenck

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I am beginning to really like British Author George Mack, and this quote is an excellent example of how he sees the world.  I love his insightful and slightly askew look at the world.  For a sampling of some of his wisdom, please click here to read some excerpts from a podcast interview of him.  Pure. Gold.

The idea that adults don’t exist may sound completely ridiculous, at least until you understand what he is really saying.  For me in particular, I have had a large circle of older friends, and I have written blogs about how I go to them for advice.  I do believe that this has been a secret weapon of mine, as I have access to a lot of wisdom and brain power when I need it.  However, this statement by George has reminder me of a piece that I do tend to lose sight of on occasion:

Adults don’t exist

What he means by this is that no one has all the answers.  Yes, those older than you have more experience and maybe have learned a thing or two that you could benefit from.  But, they do not have all the answers to all of life’s problems and situations.  One of the people in my “older brain trust” had been married and divorced multiple times, and always the divorce was preceded by infidelity.  Yes, they cheated on their spouse during each marriage, and then got caught and things blew apart.  Is this someone I took life advice from?  Actually, yes, BUT not about relationship stuff.  This was not an area of expertise for them, other than “Don’t do as I did” as the resounding theme.

If you have heard me speak in person, or read any of my writings, I assume I sound pretty convinced that I am correct in my assertions.  I do, but that doesnt mean I am truly correct.  I am correct within the confines of my own life.  These assertions are based on my experiences, viewed by the lens through which I see life.  Does the advice apply to many, probably.  But is it perfect?  No chance.  And this applies across the board to anyone else, they are all living their lives looking through a different set of glasses than you wear.  That makes the advice-giving business always open for interpretation.

As an athlete, I learned things the hard way in most cases.  There is no way to learn how to compete well in your first major event by talking about it with others.  You don’t even know how you will react in that situation yet, because you haven’t been there.  You have to do it, take notes and learn.  Then you can sit with someone who has been there too, and compare notes.  I promise you that you’ll be surprised at some of the answers and the thoughts that float through people’s minds.  Competition can bring out the best in you, but it can also unbox a whole bunch of fears and insecurities you didn’t even realize where there, hiding just under the surface.  I am guessing most of those who you idolize and think are so cool under pressure are far more of a mess than you ever thought.

So what does this mean for you in the grand context of life?  Here’s the best I came up with:

–Trust your instincts, but verify with others when possible

–Don’t take directions from someone who has never been where you want to go.

–The shortest path to success is to learn from others who have been where you want to go.  But the next best thing is try it yourself and figure it out.

–Just because someone else couldn’t/didn’t do something does not mean you can’t.  It just means they can help you.

There is no real shortcuts in life, and sometimes the most valuable and impactful lessons come with a belly flop and a whole bunch of pain.  But if you brace yourself for this in advance, know that you are going to fail sometimes, it’ll be easier.  We are all the sum total of everything that has happened to us up until this moment in life, so the more moments you add, the better off you will be.  Success, failures and slow fade aways all add to the database of the software that runs your operating system.  Embrace all of it and you will be better off.

I wish you luck in your endeavors.

 

 

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