Life lessons from Chubby (my dad) and other smart folks I’ve met on the road.
It wasn’t the words. It was how they were said.
His eyes? Right in your face.
His handshake? Electric.
He sparkled from morning to night.
I’d sit in his office and listen for hours on end. Each call, each meeting, every hello; he was the focus, the man in command.
One day I asked, “Dad, why are you so full of energy, like ‘really alive’?”
“Greg,” he said. “Stand up.”
And stand up I did.
For the next 30 minutes we practiced handshakes.
Big smiles. Hearty hellos. Grasp deep in the palm.
Look straight in the eyes. Shake from the elbow. Stiffen that arm.
Dad even showed me how to use my left hand to overlap his right. He said that projected warmth and personality.
That night at dinner, Dad asked what I learned.
“Well,” I answered. “How to shake hands.”
“Anything else?” Chubby inquired.
I didn’t know.
He paused; then brought it all home.
“Greg, people live like it’s a crime to stand out. Why? To me, life is a choice. Cringe in the shade or shine bright in the room.”
What I did I learn from Chubby that day?
Be bold. Liven things up. Shine bright in the room.