As a Rotarian for around 15 years and proud Past President of the Rotary Club of Grand Cayman I can tell you that I have heard many guest speakers. Most are are ok, some are even good. This past Thursday I was so fortunate to be there when Dr. Thomas Haggai, Chairman of IGA Global Supermarkets, spoke to our club. He would be in the rarefied company of great guest speakers at our club. His comments really resonated with me, and I think they will with you also. Read on.
Dr. Haggai is a well-respected speaker, and has lead IGA supermarkets on a global growth strategy over the almost 40 years he has been with the company. He keeps up a grueling travel schedule, and this trip to Cayman was to personally present the local owners of the IGA store here in Cayman with an award. The company honoured Woody Foster of Fosters IGA at a company event in the USA several weeks ago, but it is an important part of the culture of IGA to have the award also presented locally.
Rotary was the real beneficiary of his visit as he used the time allotted to him to share his thoughts on how to be successful in life… in three easy steps. They are:
Have you ever felt like you have come completely off your tracks? Projects just not getting done in time, disconnected from your routine, commitments not being met? Of course you have. We all have, and I have too. In fact, I have been off track for the past few weeks (probably months) now. Let me tell you three tips I used to step back and take control again. Read on.
I read a ton of blogs across a wide spectrum of subjects. One could say they are my resistance. I like to think I am learning and fine tuning my research into procrastination. Seriously though, from these blogs I pull ideas that I want to apply in my personal life. I have written about a few of these and, honestly, I’m not doing that great in any. So many thought leaders in the world of blogging say that you have to be honest, real, and open in your writing. Well, this is me ‘fessing up. It is also me passing on some steps that I am working on to get back to my commitments. If you are in a rut and off track a bit, hopefully my experience is of some help in getting you realigned.
So, what happened?
My grandparents on my mom’s side were what my kids would now refer to as ‘old school’. Joseph and Cynthia Pereira, or Mama and Papa as all the grandkids called them, were strict, but in a kind way of strictness, if that makes any sense. They were also clear of their expectations for all of us, as they had been for their own children. One area that we all received guidance on was constant reminders to get a good education. Today I am sure of the smile that must be on their faces looking down on the family as their youngest granddaughter, my cousin, just completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Ottawa. Their legacy has had a lasting impact. Read on.
Joseph and Cynthia Pereira – 1937 – Wedding Day
It really is a legacy in the true sense of the word. This is not a legacy born out of being smarter, or being well off, or having a single minded focus on an educational goal. In fact, most if not all of us were the opposite on those points. Across the family in the Cayman Islands, Jamaica and Canada I am sure we are perfectly average in terms of natural gifted smarts. Some brainiacs, some not so much (that would be me), and many in the middle, probably just like your family. Certainly growing up no one would call any of the family wealthy. And, to the last point, there was not that all-pervasive push for academic excellence that you sometimes read about in books like Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua.
Yesterday my wife and I flew back from Canada where we had spent two days visiting boarding schools with our son, Ryan. No, we are not looking to send him to boarding school because he has done something wrong as we were actually asked (jokingly) by the immigration officer. Instead, we believe that this investment in our son’s education will better position him for college admission, give him more sporting and academic options, and pay him huge dividends later in life through the networking and independence that the boarding school life provides.
Life is a journey, not a race.
On our way back to Grand Cayman from Ottawa we changed aircraft in Charlotte, NC. My family had some breakfast in a typical airport restaurant. You really never know what you are going to experience in terms of service, and having been up since 3:30 am we probably just wanted to have no-one speak to us.
My son asked me an interesting question today. What is the difference between a goal and an aspiration? I did as any self-respecting dad in the digital age would do. “Have you Googled it,” I asked? “Yes,” replied Ryan, “but it is very confusing.” Looking closer at the definitions I could see what the problem was, and I gained an insight I think is worth sharing. Read on.
First, the definitions, using the Oxford Online Dictionary.
GOAL: The object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result.