Our Perceived Ideals

Conan's Dartmouth Commencement Address is good for a chuckle or two, but worth it just to hear him finally impart his wisdom gleamed from watching his predecessors and colleagues strive to become their ideal:

It is our failure to become our perceived ideal that ultimately defines us and makes us unique. Its not easy, but if you accept your misfortune and handle it right, your perceived failure can become a catalyst for profound reinvention.

Almost three years ago I was laid off from what I considered a dream job. While a rational person will explain that getting laid off is not exactly a "failure," try telling that to the person getting laid off, who like myself, couldn't help but think that if they had done things differently, if they were somehow a better employee, a better person that they wouldn't now be jobless. My getting laid off was made even more bitter by the fact that it happened just two weeks after learning my wife was pregnant with our second child. So not only had I failed as an employee, it felt as if I had failed as a husband and father as well.

Now three years later I am proud to say that my daughter has never known a day in her life where her father was not home during the day to greet her, hug her, or to pick her up when she wakes up from a nap. That my family has dinner every night together.

I hope I am never done reinventing myself, but this most recent incarnation is something I am very proud of.

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