When I was 8 years old I started to surf. I learned to never underestimate the power of the ocean.
When I was 18 years old I moved from the beaches of California to the fields of Ohio to play college football. I learned that freedom stretches only as far as personal responsibility.
When I was 22 I started a business. I learned that value is decided by the buyer not the seller.
When I was 34 I became a dad. I learned that love has unseen heights and fear unseen depths.
These moments of mine reflect one of life’s most persistent and defining tests. You have faced this test many times and you will face it many times more. You are facing it now, somehow, somewhere, possibly with someone.
When I started to surf, I discovered how intimidating the ocean can be. The true test wasn’t the waves though.
When I played college football, I discovered how intimidating high stakes competition can be. The true test wasn’t on the field though.
When I started a business, I discovered how intimidating entrepreneurship can be. The true test wasn’t in the market though.
When I became a dad, I discovered how intimidating parenthood and marriage can be. The true test wasn’t my wife and child though.
We all get tested. We know that. Less known is the true nature of those tests.
Big waves tested me. Courage alone in the ocean was my real test. Football and college tested me. Personal responsibility was my real test. Entrepreneurship tested me. Persistence after failure was my real test. Fatherhood tested me. Navigating intensely complex emotions with long term consequences was my real test.