There is Nothing to Figure Out

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In life, there are a lot of things we try to accomplish without following the process. I have learned that for everything, there is a process that we must go through to learn and grow before we succeed. This article is a tribute to a friend. As well as, to share that when we trust in the process, “there is nothing to figure out.

It was  January 11, 2020, and we had just finished lunch at Carlyle in Northern, VA. By now our coaching relationship had evolved into a very close friendship based on love, respect, and admiration. The coaching was becoming mutual and I had begun to help him through his season of personal growth. We had met for lunch just a few months earlier, first in Maryland and then in Hawaii. We took every opportunity between both of our busy travel schedules to add value to each other’s lives. By now he had started sharing details of his personal goals with me and allowed me to also be there for him.

Less than a month later as we got off the phone, I urged him to slow down. Being like-minded, we often shared the numerous tasks we had going on in our lives and the tireless ways we found to give more to everyone and everything. Often neglecting our self-care and emotional boundaries. With each day, I became more restless. As I called, texted, and emailed him, realizing he was consumed with so much until one day he stopped communicating with me.

As I landed in Hawaii after returning from another conference, I thought I need to get in touch with him but it was too late. My coach, mentor, friend, and brother was gone all too soon, and my phone connected to the cell tower told me the message. I found myself lost, not even quite sure what to do as the people all around me gathered their bags and shuffled off the plane. As the range of emotions set in thinking this text had to be some kind of joke. I realized the reality of the situation – our friend was gone – when I immediately contacted those close to him.

“There is nothing to figure out!”. Those words played strongly in my mind over and over again as they were the last words from that brunch. The last time we saw each other, the last time we hugged, the last time we said goodbye. Not knowing that it would be the last. Those were the words that led me on a journey that continues today.

He taught me that when you do the work, trust the process, discipline, commitment, relationships, advice, and timing. Including, so much more, because “there is nothing to figure out.” For which he challenged me not to say those words for the next two months.

Craig, you left before my two months were up but I think about you often and the positive impact you had on my life. Including the life of countless others. I think about the promises I made to myself and the successes I have had. As I have focused on my faith, family, friends, and the people and opportunities that have crossed my path. I think about you as I remain focused on my daily growth plan. I think about everything you taught me, and how much more I have learned since the day you left.

You’ve never met her, but I married this wonderful woman named Sarah. She is even more wonderful than what I described to you in my description of the woman who I thought would one day become an amazing friend. You also never got to see how blessed my life has been. As well as the unbelievable hurdles I have had to climb. Which took more faith than I ever knew was possible. You would be so proud of me. To see how I have grown and the challenges of my past have become memorials of my journey. When I look in the mirror each morning, and I say my affirmation. I now believe every word and so much more. I smile when I think about how broken I was when we first met. Trusting the process Craig, I realize there was nothing I needed to figure out.

I still have a lot of work to do and a lot of lives I plan to positively change. You’ve taught me well. As I now prepare to transition from the Marine Corps that in all things in life, “there is nothing to figure out.” For that my coach, friend, and brother, I am eternally grateful for you that our paths cross. Until we see each other again, ~Mahalo Nui Loa!

My faith grounds my process. While others may take advice from a coach, friend, education, experience, or a checklist on military transition. Whatever it may be, trust the process and realize “there is nothing to figure out!”

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