5 Lessons I Learned From An Inspiring And Successful Man
I recently met with someone who I’d perceived as a role model in the health and wellness space for quite a number of years. Prior to meeting this man, I put together an image of what to expect and how I figured he’d come across. After chatting with him and watching him interact with several other people over the course of an hour, I walked away even more inspired than I’d anticipated – but not by him.
I observed quietly as this man, someone who’s experienced much success over the past 3-4 years, was equal parts condescending and rude to people in the service industry, not to mention less than kind in his choice of words for his colleagues.
I walked away wondering whether success and money had gone to his head, or if I’d merely set unrealistic expectations for how he’d be. Either way, this wasn’t the first time I’d had an experience like this – someone who’s in a position of power, be it financially, socially, or otherwise, abusing that power by attempting to elevate himself at the expense of others. It’s honestly an all-too-common story. So what part of this was inspiring, you might ask?
This encounter left me even more appreciative of someone who touched my life many years ago, and who’s inspired me to be better. I first met Bryce ten years ago, over the Christmas holiday back in 2006. Bryce was my then-girlfriend’s dad, and she’d raved about him plenty prior to me actually meeting him. I figured this would be one of those cases where a girl’s wearing rose-colored lenses when it comes to her family, and that her old man would bust my chops simply for being his only daughter’s boyfriend. Nothing could have been further from the truth.
Bryce turned out to be a self-made man who’s achieved incredible success, both financially and personally. Along with that, he wielded a lot of power in many areas of life, and had every opportunity to let people know just who “the man” is. But he did nothing of the sort. Over that Christmas holiday I got to know Bryce pretty well, and learned more than I could have ever hoped for from him. Here are a few things, out of many, that I learned from observing and listening to Bryce.
1. Stay humble. Truly powerful people don’t need to point out how mighty they are to others. Bryce is one of the most well-liked people I’ve ever met in my life, which is no small feat for a man in his position and of his stature.
2. Don’t be above laughing at yourself. Bryce took me golfing one time at a swanky resort course. I wore some dorky outfit and was surrounded by a bunch of very serious people. Thankfully, Bryce felt just as out of place as I did, so we spiced things up by placing bets on holes of golf. After I won a particular bet, Bryce walked from one hole to the next with his shorts around his ankles.
3. Empower people. By believing, entrusting and investing in those around him, Bryce had people who were not only willing to work hard for him, but positively giddy to do so.
4. Nobody likes a know-it-all. Bryce and I were chatting in the car one day about various foods, and he was incredibly inquisitive. He made me feel like he really appreciated everything I was telling him, and I walked away with the impression that he was taking my words to heart, and was eager to learn from someone else.
5. Never take what you have for granted. Bryce conveyed this message to me many times, and in many different ways. I had a theory back then as to why Bryce appreciates every moment, lives in the present as often as he can, loves his family so dearly, and generally doesn’t take things for granted. Here goes…
Anyone who’s battled a chronic health problem has gotten a taste of what it’s like to feel as though everything can be taken away from them. Bryce is no different. As a sufferer of Crohn’s Disease, I saw him struggle with a problem that was, at times, out of his control, and able to temporarily prevent him from living life to the fullest.
On the last night of my two-week Christmas vacation spent with my ex’s family ten years ago, I thanked Bryce for his kindness and hospitality, and said “see ya soon.” My ex and I got into the car to head out to a movie, and on the way there I cried unexpectedly and uncontrollably, which I can say with honesty is very uncharacteristic for me.
As I was going through my own health journey at the time, I was so touched to meet someone who refused to let his problems define him. But more so, I had a redefined measuring stick of success.
Just like I was inspired many moons ago by Bryce, we all need that sort of inspiration, especially those battling health problems. If you’re like Bryce and you know what it’s like to struggle with a health challenge, then you should already know the importance of the aforementioned points.
If you’ve been fortunate enough to achieve health improvements, gains, remission or even a complete recovery, don’t forget about where you’ve been, or how fragile and unpredictable life can be. And if you’d like to inspire others the way that Bryce inspired me, share your story. Knowing that someone else made it over the hump can be the very drive that a person needs to push forward in their own health journey.