“It’s not how you start or finish; the true joy of life is in the trip!” – Steve Gilliland
I recently finishing reading Steve’s book titled Enjoy the Ride, and this was one of many quotes from our guest speaker that spoke to me. Steve uses the word trip in his book, I often use the word journey when referring to Digital and the path we are on together. It is a fun and inspiring journey for me. I pinch myself on many days when I take a step back and think about how lucky I am to be on this journey and most importantly, how much I enjoy the people I am taking this journey with each and every day.
In my role, I have the opportunity to reflect often. I’m asked on almost a weekly basis by team members, prospective team members and acquisition prospects to share my views on where I “see” the company in a year, 3 years, 5 years…. I’m asked by investors regularly to share perspective on what we have accomplished over the past few years and what our outlook is for the future. So, the past and the future are stops that I often need to reflect on – to learn from the past and plan for the future. The most important stop for me, however, is the present – this exact moment. I know this might seem cliché, but I believe that in our business and for this journey, our ability to be focused on the present and stay in the moment has been and will be a significant contributor to our success. The truth is that we do have a plan for this year and for the next 5 years, but we also know that we will have to adjust those plans countless times between now and then. It is this ability to adjust and adapt that drives our success and our culture. When I’m asked about our destination as a company and what we will look like when we get there, I typically just chuckle and say something like, “I can’t tell you exactly what it will look like but one thing that I can guarantee is that it will look different than today and it will be fun and exciting getting there.” And when it no longer feels meaningful and fun, we need to take a step back and figure out how to do a better job enjoying the ride.
We can learn so much from being “in the moment” as a company, in our professional and personal lives. We are much better leaders, contributors, co-workers, friends and family members when we are in the moment, when we are focused on the task at hand and on the people around us. We all have days that we regret when we are thinking about something else, maybe the past or maybe the future, and we neglect to focus on all the opportunity right in front of us. We sometimes overlook the opportunity to have a quick conversation with co-workers, or even worse, appear too busy to ask our loved ones about their day and share a few laughs together.
On a personal note, the present moment for me is a crazy, fun and inspiring time, and I am reminding myself every day to “live in the moment.” As many of you know, one of my passions in life is coaching. I love to coach and specifically love coaching the sport of lacrosse. It has given me more joy and time with my boys and their friends growing up than I could have ever imagined. I have coached them since they were 7 and 8 years old, and with both of them in high school, my time with them in this present chapter is growing short. In fact, I thought my coaching days were over as my youngest started high school this year. I was planning to move from the sideline to the bleachers to enjoy this remaining time as a parent watching all the boys I have coached over the years. Then a crazy thing happened – I was asked to help out as a community coach for my boy’s high school program and lead the varsity lacrosse team through some struggles they were having with the coaching staff. My first reaction was “I have a pretty busy day job. How could I possibly do that? Where would I find the time?” My wife, of course, thought it was the craziest idea ever. Then I took a step back and thought about enjoying the ride, how short the present time is and how I didn’t want to look back and regret not spending these last few years “in the moment.” The truth is, while many people in my community thank me daily for investing my time and energy, it is actually me that should be thanking them. You see, coaching is my passion. I love the competitive nature, the team dynamics and the gratification that comes from seeing young men accomplish something that they didn’t realize was attainable. It’s a rush and a gift that I have been afforded, and I need to take advantage of this moment! So, when you see me running out of the building at 5:00 or even 4:45 over the next few months, you will know why. I am heading out to yell my head off and work with a group of crazy, talented and fun young men that I get to call “my team” for a little bit longer.
So my message is simple, our goal at Digital is to be in the moment each and every day. We are here for our customers and co-workers today as we continue to build a great and lasting company for tomorrow. We are excited about our future and our journey together, but we need to be in the moment and enjoy the ride today. And finally, in our personal lives, whether your passion is coaching, fishing, running, knitting, singing, playing guitar, volunteering at schools or non-profits or just spending time with your friends and family; don’t wait for a good time to follow your passion. Our work lives will always be busy and will always be here for us. There is never a better time than today to Be in the Moment!