I remember a conversation I had with my grandfather, Dr. Joseph Fielding Catmull.
I am lucky because I grew up in a home with two parents and had grandparents from both sides of the family living with us at various times during my youth. I can’t over state how fortunate I am in that regard.
Dr. Catmull, or “Grandpa” as some people called him, was a man of great accomplishment which I will not detail here but suffice to say he set a high bar. So at the time of the conversation I was in my early 20’s, a barely committed junior college student, and basically drifting through life.
I told him I was feeling a lot of pressure about the lack of direction in my life….and really not having any good ideas about what I wanted to do with it.
He could have taken the opportunity to give me a lecture about hard work, or getting more serious about school, etc.
But he didn’t.
Instead he chose to reminisce about what he was doing at my age…which was less than I would have guessed. Again, I will not detail it here but it was not the kind of stuff that would have projected his ultimately successful life. At least not the way he presented it to me.
It took the pressure off and put it all in perspective.
A few short years later I had a wife and son, then a hitch in the Army, and followed that by completing a degree from the University of Texas. I was on my way…
…and I have shared that conversation with more than a few drifters I have known over the years.
The power of perspective is often underestimated.
Still not quite sure what I’m going to do with my life. But, heck, there’s plenty of time to figure that out. No pressure.