Plan With Audacity, Execute With Vigour
Let me tell you a story,
When I was a teenager, my mom shared an apartment with woman named Enza. Enza was an incredible lady who I really came to love. She cared about my sister and I an incredible amount. She loved spending time with us. I am pretty sure I was the favorite, but that has no real impact on the story so I’ll just leave that there for my sister to stew over. ;)
Anyway, Enza was a child at heart. She loved snow fights and shared my love for Christmas decorations. I remember one of the first Christmas together, we decorated the small patio on their apartment with lights and it became a real competition with all of our neighbors on who had the best decorations. How was “best” defined you might ask? Well, by the incredible brightness coming from our 20ft by 20ft space. If you couldn't tell that we had 4 deer, a santa and a Merry Christmas sign, well that just didn't matter. If you were nearly blinded driving by - that’s worth a 10 out of 10.
This craziness lasted for several seasons and I loved it. One Christmas, I wanted to hang lights from the top of the patio to make it look like snow. (P.S. that’s right, I invented snowflake lights before they were a thing.) When I suggested this technique to Enza I remember clearly what she and my mom said, “if you want to do it, then I am sure you will do it.”
At the time that meant nothing to me other than being thankful that she was just going to let me do what I wanted to do. A young gun with a quick fuse for being creative.
Fast forward 20-ish years and what she said to me has meant the world. Today I sit in my office feeling the free fall again as we take on a new project in our growing business and I read this quote:
The method of enterprising is to plan with audacity,
and execute with vigour;
to sketch out a map of possibilities;
and then to treat the as probabilities.
That quote reminded me of Enza and what she saw in me (and fueled in me) at such a young age. It’s easy, when you are a person that plans with audacity, to be the center of criticism and confusion; yet I have found the latter part of that quote to be so true → execute with vigour. I will take everyday being in the arena than one day being in the stands judging how the play should have gone.
Enza passed away unexpectedly from surgery complications when I was about 17. Her loss was a terrible blow to our family. Yet, I am so thankful for her acknowledgement of my audacity and vigour in something so simple as Christmas lights. And, oh yeah, I still compete in neighborhood Christmas light competitions.
Here is to great stories,