Business Opinion

Growing Pains are Not Just for Teens

As I once said, “writing a weekly blog is both burdensome and cathartic.”

As I sit in the Miami international airport awaiting my nonstop flight (yes American has a Saturday non-stop flight) to Little Rock, I think back over my past 3 weeks in Miami (cathartic).

Never before have I been away from home so long. I worried about my cat, my plants, and my business. Whenever I called home, it sounded like the wheels were coming off the bus. Disconnection and helplessness became my constant companion.

After work, on one such worrisome evening, I went out to sit alone on the beach. From my shoreline, you can see the comings and goings of the planes at the Ft Lauderdale Airport.

As I gaze up at the big night sky and listen to the lapping waves, I see an odd and constant spray of intense light. It is not a plane. It is not a star. As I stare, trying to figure it out, I hear 2 guys behind me yelling, “Oh my God. That is so cool” and I look back to see their camera phones in hand videoing upwards.

I have to know, so I run over and ask, “What is that?”

Space Flight

“It is Space X. Elon Musk is launching the first all civilian space mission from Cape Canaveral,” they say.

The thought of this new era in aeronautics is almost too big to imagine. Soon, thrill seekers and science lovers, alike, will have the ultimate carnival ride and opportunity to safely orbit the earth for 3 days. I feel like I am witnessing the Wright Brothers first flight.

Now I feel small. The growing pains of FAB seem miniscule to that of Elon Musk who, in his short life, has founded PayPal, Tesla, and SpaceX. All three of his brain-children have changed not just his employees lives but the lives of us all.

What’s in a Name

Though Elon Musk’s intelligence is somewhat incomprehensible, I do relate to him in my own small way. We share the constancy of strive. The debate of whether it is nature or nurture that makes a person push themselves to their limit is a topic of discussion for generations. You could call it restlessness, ambition, or a curse.

In these moments of growth and fortitude, I often think of refugees who find themselves pushed to their limits by circumstances out of their control. I think about how would I handle that. And, more poignantly, could I handle it?

Nature vs Nurture

Me, I work hard and take risks in a safe America motivated by “whatever-your-call-it” restlessness, ambition, or a touch of insanity. This push to improve one’s circumstances and bring people along with you is a mystery. A mystery, when gone astray, can be skewed by greed or ego. But it can also be pure of heart. An ambition to make life better not just for oneself but for the whole of all. A calling, if you will.

In the enneagram personality chart, Elon Musk and I must share the same architype (an eight) though he proudly professes his autism, I cannot. But I do get to wave the banner of dyslexia. When did these labels become fashionable?

I know from my own experiences these leadership qualities are brought forth out of need. A love/hate relationship with self-improvement. A yin and a yang of the unthinkable; opportunities lost. It is an unstoppable force of nature; not a choice, but a nag. A burden I am growing to accept.