The High-Stakes Game of Life: A Lesson From My Late Father

Apr 1, 2024 | Leadership, Life Balance

As someone who thrives in a high-stakes, fast-paced environment, we often think that living on the edge only applies to business deals, revenue targets, or our career growth. Let me shift your focus today. This isn’t another motivational pep talk to conquer the sales world, but a lesson that redefines what it truly means to live at the edge of possibility.

The Unyielding Grasp of Parkinson’s

Nearly a decade ago, my father was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. The illness gradually robbed him of his vitality, leaving him unable to perform even basic tasks. While many of you might be measuring your days in terms of leads generated or deals closed, success for my dad became a matter of using a walker to prevent falling. My mother dedicated her days to keeping him comfortable. On June 21, 2023, my father passed away, but not before he left me with an enduring lesson on what it means to truly live.

When Living Trumps Safety: A Day to Remember

My youngest son, Caleb, is a ball of energy—much like many of you, I’m sure. Recently, my mother watched him while my wife and I were out of town. When my wife went to pick up Caleb, she stumbled upon a heartwarming scene—my dad having a water bottle spray battle with my sons. That’s right, in that brief episode, my father chose life over safety. He ditched his walker, laughing and running through an uneven yard, each step a gamble. An accident waiting to happen, you might say. Yet, for those minutes, he was truly alive, and so were we.

The Eternal Conundrum: Safety vs. Living Fully

We are creatures of habit, always leaning towards the safer options. But, what if those safe choices are precisely what’s holding us back?

  • Is it better to overwork yourself to appease your boss, or to unplug and discover what the world has to offer?
  • Should you save every penny for a future that’s not guaranteed, or should you splurge on a memorable experience?
  • Would you rather sit on the bench, paralyzed by fear, or get on that roller coaster with your hands in the air, embracing the thrill?

Fear as Your Inhibitor: Make the Shift

In the pursuit of achieving our lofty sales targets or getting that big promotion, it’s easy to forget the simple joys that make life worth living. Watching my dad, in his final days, choose to live freely, even if for a few moments, was a wakeup call for me.

Life is unpredictable; the future, uncertain. Don’t let fear dictate your choices, or you might miss out on the richness of the life you’re meant to experience. We’re all players in this high-stakes game called life. So, are you going to play it safe, or are you going to live?