If I went solely off of my first impression I would describe him as being a pasty-faced man with beady eyes and in desperate need of a mirror.
His voice didn’t help his cause either, it was a mix of soft and squeaky with a dose of desperation and used car salesman.
I’d like to tell you that none of that influenced my feelings but it wouldn’t be true. Granted his cause wasn’t helped by his approaching me at a gas station pump to ask me if I was interested in his secret.
I was in between appointments and had there been more than a quarter tank of gas left in my car I wouldn’t have stopped until later that day.
But there wasn’t enough gas to get me through the day and the gas fairy doesn’t visit my house in the dead of night to refill my tank.
He came from other side of the station and weaved in between people and cars, but it wasn’t until he got to me that he stopped to talk to anyone.
“Sir, I wrote a book about the secret to life and I am wondering if you would like to buy a copy.”
I’ll admit I barely heard what he said to me, my mind was focused on a dozen different things and none of them involved buying books at a gas station.
“No thank you, I’ll pass today.”
“Sir, it would be a real mistake. It is a secret I want to share with others.”
“You just told me that you want to sell the book to me. It doesn’t really sound much like sharing to me.”
“That is a real shame mister, you are missing out on a real opportunity.”
I didn’t tell him that a condescending voice and poor attitude aren’t particularly useful for sales and instead said that life is a series of opportunities missed and taken advantage of.
He grumbled something at me and then shuffled off but instead of focusing upon what I had to do I thought about an experience my family had a few days earlier.
The picture above is of a Corvette Z06 being driven by a professional driver out at the Auto Club speedway.
What you can’t see is the smile on the face of my son/daughter (they both did it) as that driver took them on the kind of adventure that many of us never get to experience.
He pushed that car around the track at ridiculous speeds and when it was over the kids showed me the kind of smiles I haven’t seen in a while.
Don’t mistake that to mean they don’t smile or laugh because they do it with regularity, but this was different.
It was the kind of smile I remember them having when they were really little and they figured out how to do something big and important.
Now that they are in middle and high school it take a bit more for that particular smile to come out.
That is the kind of smile that every parent loves to see because it is magical and because when you see it at this age you know that it is tied into something they will remember for a long time to come.
And if you add the multiple ‘thank yous’ they gave their mother and I it makes it even better because it shows they understand how to be grateful and gracious.
You can only see so far down the road so you can’t plan or anticipate everything but you can look at it as being an adventure.
It is kind of goofy and silly but it works and life has way too much serious stuff so goofy and silly can be useful.
So if you ask me to tell you what the secret is to a life worth living I’d say it is having the courage to go live and to do things that push you outside of your comfort zone.
That doesn’t have to mean extreme sports either, just has to be something that makes your heart pump a little bit.
Something that sets off that electrical feeling inside, that and gratitude. If you have those things, well you have a lot.