Hello Misfit Nation! Welcome to another edition of "Lessons for Hannah!" Many years ago, I introduced a new format that alongside our regular episodes called “Lessons for Hannah.” Hannah is my daughter and one of the main inspirations for the Misfit Entrepreneur. I wanted to have a place where she could go and learn from her daddy and his Misfit friends throughout her life….even after I am gone. If you haven’t listened to the first episode of "Lessons for Hannah," I urge you to as it gives some more background and tells the amazing story of how Hannah came to be in our lives.
Lessons for Hannah are short, very useful, and sometimes comical lessons, that I want to share with you and give to Hannah to help in your lives. Because I want Hannah to have these for her life, I’m going to speak as though I am talking directly to her. These episodes are a lot of fun and if you think there is a lesson that we should include in these episodes, please don’t hesitate to send it over to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to share it.
I want to share some lessons from Nature. As I write this, we are traveling through Alaska, and I am sitting in the café of the Grande Denali Hotel looking out over the amazing expanse of land and snow-covered mountains. It’s a beautiful sunny day with a chill in the air. The temp is about 30 degrees, but the crisp mountain air feels wonderful. It truly a breathtaking sight that I hope you remember vividly for the rest of your life.
As I sit here, I cannot help but think of the great lessons that nature teaches us. We have been in the state for about a week after my Ironman even in Juneau and have been traveling up north with another few days of excursions and taking in the beautiful country of Alaska. Along the way I have been taking note of things and wanted to share some of them with you.
The first lesson is that nature, or really God, arranges things to operate in perfect harmony so that all life can function. It is amazing to see the salmon run to their eventual death, climbing rivers, waterfalls, etc. But, out of their death comes life in the new eggs that they lay. And even more important is how critical it is for them to go through this cycle for the eco-system to survive. While they live fairly short lives and ultimately die after spawning, they provide an indispensable food source for much of the wildlife that keeps the whole system going. Without them, many animals would die off. If you stop and think about it, everything in the universe has to work in perfect order for you to be sitting here right now. One little change in the course of history and you may not even exist. It truly is a spectacular, amazing, awe-inspiring orchestration that makes everything work at every level from the cells in our bodies to sun heating our planet and keeping us alive. Cherish every moment you have in this life.
The second lesson is the nature does not discriminate. As I hit the 80th mile on my 112-mile bike in the Ironman, the rain had intensified to a miserable driving downpour (it rained the whole race, but this stretch was particularly bad), I won’t lie, I cursed it a few times. But, in that moment, it occurred to me that all of us competing had to go through the same conditions and even more so, every living thing in nature has to live through those conditions every day and fight for survival. Nature doesn’t treat any creature different from another – everyone is on the same boat. And some creatures are food for others, like the salmon making the eco-system go, and still others are like a beetle that we were told about actually kill off trees that then die and allow for the forest growth to continue and new trees to grow. As I noted earlier, everything works in a beautiful harmony. But, nature treats everyone and everything the same and that is a great lesson for life. You should do the same – treat everyone with the same love and respect and not discriminate against others for any reason.
The third lesson is the nature is an entrepreneur and fosters entrepreneurship. I mentioned at the start of this lesson that I am sitting in café of the Grande Denali lodge that offers a breathtaking 360-degree view of the entire range. The hotel sits on the top of a plateau that is literally just big enough to fit the hotel. The edge of the hotel is on the edge of the cliff. Nature created the conditions to make this happen. It created the incredible mountain range and countryside that fills this area which drew humans to it for its beauty and everything the land offers. And at some point, someone took a look at the plateau the Grande now sits on from a thousand or so feet below and said, “That would be a great place to put a hotel for the best views in this area.” They then proceeded to make it a reality, cutting the curving winding road up the mountain, figuring out how to make the land work to accommodate a large lodge and hotel, and then everything needed to create the business and make it go. But it all started with nature creating the pull for people to explore and come here. Nature may be the ultimate entrepreneur for the reasons I have already stated, but also for the abundance of opportunity it creates. And the big lesson from nature is that there is opportunity all around you all the time. Once you learn to see it, it is abundant.
Hannah, nature offers so many lessons, I could go on for hours, but if you can take the time to understand the few that I’ve shared and keep them forefront in your life – they will help you live well. If you cherish every day, respect the world around you, and see the abundance of opportunity that exists for you; you will enjoy a great life and help others to do the same. And if you ever need a reminder, just look at a few pictures of your trip through Alaska!
I love you,
Best Quote: If you cherish every day, respect the world around you, and see the abundance of opportunity that exists for you; you will enjoy a great life and help others to do the same
Nature, or really God, arranges things to operate in perfect harmony so that all life can function.
Nature does not discriminate. You should follow it's example. Treat everyone with the same love and respect and not discriminate against others for any reason.
Nature is the ultimate entrepreneur and creates an abundance of opportunities all around us.
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