Reflections @ 45.

Hello friends & family, 

This year I turned 45 years old.  Not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing.  Haha. I should be happy that I made it this far.  If I am lucky, this is very likely my half way point in my life.  I can’t imagine myself beyond 90.  Wandering around the local Costco trying to get my steps in.    Maybe treating myself to a chicken bake afterwards if I made it far enough.  So, I’m at the 50 yard line of the my life on the way to the end zone.  What a weird analogy.  Haha. 

When I was younger, I used to be self conscience about having my college graduation year on my resume or LinkedIn profile because I didn’t want people to wonder who was this young kid managing all of this stuff.  Well, its probably the other way around now.   I don’t want people to think, “Whoa, who is this old guy?  Does he eat dinner at 4pm?” 

FYI, I do not eat dinner at 4pm but it does sound intriguing.  

What’s new with you?

I’ve taken some time recently to reconnect with old friends.  Some I had not spoken or seen for years.  You might be surprised to hear that being social for me takes effort.  So, I’ve done a terrible job keeping up with old friends.  Thats totally on me. 

When I reconnect with folks I find it fascinating the arc of responses when asked the question, “What’s new?”.  If you don’t lead the witness and keep it absolutely open ended You should get a 10,000 foot sense of what is important to this person or what this person wants you to know is important.  I had one friend of mine give me a 1-hour detailed updated on everything going on at work but forget to tell me how his wife or kids were doing. 

How would you answer that question?  What would your top three categories of responses be?  When I was 25 years old my responses would have been  —

  1. Work
  2. Super secret side work project that will be super duper awesome when its ready and you’ll see it in TechCrunch 
  3. Commute to work

How would I respond now at 45? 

  1. Family & Friends
  2. Health
  3. Activities — Skiing, Hiking, Mountain Biking, Music, Coding   

I don’t love work less.  I’m still a workaholic but I don’t think it defines me as much as it did when I was in my 20’s.  Time has gone by and I’ve come to enjoy the broader aspects of life.  

What are your top 3 categories? 

Musings of a 45 Year Old

I thought I would collect some ramblings as I ponder 45 years of life.  Here we go! 

  • Being married for 19 years and having 2 smart / beautiful / healthy girls is a gift — it’s easy to take for granted a solid home unit.  There are rarely articles in the Wall Street Journal about the entrepreneurs that have been able to keep a healthy family unit together.  It’s usually about someone that made a billion bucks yet just got a divorce … for the 2nd time.  I‘m really proud of our family unit and everything we have been able to accomplish together.  Plus, Sarah is everything to me.  There is no Renato without her. 
  • Family & friends are everything — they put a smile on face.  Make me laugh.  Help me during hard times.  Invest in them.  It takes work.  I’m amazed by how many family or friend events I missed in my 20’s and 30’s for reasons I don’t even remember anymore. 
  • Find your passion and work hard at it — finding something you are passionate about in life is a gift.  You can’t stop obsession about it all times of the day.  Many go through life never finding that passion and/or do things in life because society told them that was the right thing to do.  You’ll know it when you find it and when do you, work at it like your life depends on it.  It’s life’s flywheel. 
  • Master something — Be the best you can be at one thing.  Anything.  Maybe something you are passionate about.  The journey to being the master at something is very fulfilling. 
  • Be comfortable being uncomfortable — it means you are pushing yourself and learning. 
  • Setbacks are opportunities — what comes up, comes back down.  Those downs are usually ripe for opportunity.
  • Find a way — I love this rally cry.  There is always a way.  Find it.      
  • Take the road less traveled — society’s predefined path in life is bunk.  Well, its not terrible but don’t follow everyone else down this path like a lemming.  Make your own path.  When you can take the road less traveled. 
  • Care less about what other people think — We spend our entire life giving a shit what other people think — our physical appearance, the clothes we wear, the car drive, the college your went to, the job your have, etc.  Care less about what others think and it will set you free.  Social media thrown gas on the fire.  Be careful. 
  • How much money do you really need? —   Society and the news will tell you that you need to collect as much money as you can until it starts coming out of your ears.  It surely is a choice in life to make this your life’s goal but find the balance.  Being rich is relative.  Find your richness in life because that isn’t unlocked by more money. 
  • Be a leader — Be a leader in whatever you decide to do.  Most are looking for someone to follow.  Help them. 
  • It’s all about the Team — My teams are everything to me. They are not my family but they are high performing teams. It’s how anything at scale happens. 
  • Find perspective — there is always a bigger picture perspective.  Find it.  Evaluate with that lens. 
  • Have empathy — empathy is a magic word.  It creates perspective from another angle that likely isn’t your own.  Empathy and Perspective will help you make balanced decisions. 
  • Be humble — no matter how good you get at anything, there will always room to get better or a perspective that widens your understanding.    
  • Take care of your body — the physical side is just as important as the mental side.  Be healthy.  Take care of your body.  Close the laptop, and go do “things”. 
  • Be creative / Enjoy something creative — I am in awe of the creative process and creative people. They are imagining things that are absolutely new and unique.  Go do something creative.  Create something new in the world. 
  • Appreciate nature — our surroundings are a wonderful thing.  Enjoy it! 
  • Enjoy the moment — Put the phone down.  Enjoy where you are at in the moment. 

Lastly, please find your joy.  Life is too short to not be happy.  And if you are not happy, explore and find your joy. 

I hope you found my musings useful.  Please leave a comment or share with your friends!  Hope all is well.  Talk soon!