Where I think I’m going is rarely where I end up.
In high school, I thought I would become the next bowling Buzz Fazio. I practiced my arm swing at home for hours using my mother’s iron. My bowling average never surpassed 190, but I now expertly iron my shirts and Sherry’s blouses.
Once, as a confused and intoxicated college student, I attempted to hitchhike from Champaign, Illinois, to Greencastle, Indiana, to seek love and understanding from a high school sweetheart. I eventually wound up in Ogallala, Nebraska, washing dishes at a truck stop and recognizing I needed to take better care of myself.
As an adult career-hopper, I became determined to own a regional sports magazine empire only to discover that studying behavior change is the most rewarding sport in the world.
Opportunity often disguises itself as failure. It takes time and perspective to realize our pathways are sometimes more significant than our destinations.
Mindful Midweek is a professional and personal pathway for me. I share it with others in hopes that some of my experiences will illuminate points of positive change. I have been delighted with notes and stories I have received in return. A number of readers have asked me to share a little of my professional background, which I am happy to do.
I stuttered my way into the bottom half of my 1963 Lyons Township High School in La Grange, Illinois.
I flunked out of the University of Illinois in 1965.
I graduated first in my class of three in 1967 from The Hiram Scott College in Scottsbluff, Nebraska. The school closed in 1970.
I served as Director of Student Services at Midwestern College in Denison, Iowa, in 1968. It closed in 1970.
I served as Dean of Students at Tahoe Paradise College in California. It closed shortly after I left.
I started two statewide sports magazines, one in Colorado and one in Wisconsin. They both failed.
I received a Master of Science Degree from Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. Miraculously, it’s still in operation.
I worked in Student Administration for the University of Wisconsin System and as a Vice President of Business Development for a healthcare organization in the Midwest. Thank goodness, both are still present.
I founded The Change Companies in 1989 to help individuals make positive life changes. Today, it serves nearly 4,000 agencies and corporations worldwide and has assisted over 20 million people.
During my serendipitous journey through adulthood, I have been blessed with bumping into wonderful and productive professionals in the field of behavior change. I spent a weekend with Carl Rogers and his wife at Lake Tahoe. I met Peter Drucker and Ira Progoff at the University of Chicago. Over the years, David Mee-Lee, Jim Prochaska, William Miller, Joe Cruze, Steve Hayes, Roy Williams, James Pennebaker, Stephanie Covington, Alan Marlatt, Earnie Larsen, Claudia Black and other dynamic influencers have entered my life at important and unexpected times.
So I’m off to get a haircut this morning, but who knows where I will end up?