Stop and Look Around Once in a While

The summer between my freshman and sophomore year of high school, I had the privilege of attending a leadership course in Washington, D.C. as a part of a 4-H activity. One evening, we listened to a talk from a man who owned the Domino’s pizza franchise in the DC area. I remember he drove to the event in a red Ferrari and wore a pair of Nike Air Jordans and a blue business suit. He reflected that as a child, he defined success as being able to drive a Ferrari and wearing sneakers to work every day.

In sharing this story with m friend, Emily, who attended this same event a year earlier, she reflected on a high school debate coach who talked very fast and offered, unapologetically, that she was in charge. She could talk as fast as she liked. Emily aspired to a role where she was in charge and could speak as fast as she chose. I aspired to a pair of Nike Air Jordans.

Emily is now a Professor and Assistant Dean of a Law School. I imagine she talks fast anytime she likes. I often wear a pair of sneakers with my blue suit. Like Domino’s Pizza Guy, my Jordans are a trivial symbol that I have reached a point of success. They are a small celebration of many goals set and achieved.

What symbols exist in your life to serve as markers of your success?  Do you celebrate with a meal at a favorite restaurant?  A new handbag?  A trip to a special place?

When I think about the individuals we serve at Target, I wonder how successes are celebrated. An earned reward?  A dinner out with a preferred staff?  A special treat?

Ferris Bueller is at least remembered for the quote, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

May we all be more mindful of this practice, to hit pause and take a look around. To celebrate even the smallest of milestones. And as caregivers, help those we serve to experience the presence of mind in celebrating their milestones.

I am not much for New Year’s resolutions, but this year I plan to be more mindful of leading the cheer for the success of those around me.