On the last of my three breaks during a full shift of work yesterday, “T” and I took the opportunity to stroll through the grocery area of the store to get some ideas for dinner.
“T”, being the chef that he is, was looking at lasagna ingredients when we were approached by a customer, a middle aged man who looked like he was a beard, puffy shirt and pegleg away from being a pirate. He asked us if we carried pine nuts, which is apparently a must-have ingredient for pesto (this alone spurred an in-depth conversation between him and “T”), which could make even the shittiest of bologna sandwiches “gourmet”.
What started as a simple attempt to help a customer (though I was on my break and “T” was off the clock) became a life-coaching session when this older man offered us a bit of advice:
- If you’re gonna drink, do it well. Go for the high quality stuff. Screw up your liver the right way. What can I say? Man’s got his priorities straight.
- Eat well. The food you eat should be like the pesto on your bologna sandwich of life.
- Never stop learning--“We’re all dumb asses.” He said, with the straightest of faces, but
- Don’t go to college. “We have so much technology and information at the tips of our fingers that there really isn’t a need for it anymore.” was the gist.
- Live doing what you love. Be your own boss. Set your own rules. Don’t follow the money; the money will come to you if you play your cards right.
This man said he was an artist, and that he’d sold art to many of the restaurants in the surrounding area. He said he didn’t start this work until seven years prior, but in those seven years, he’d gotten to a point of stability by working his ass off, investing time, and simply having faith that it would work out.
It was difficult, but it was possible.
He mentioned that if you were to put 1,000 hours into mastering something, you might not have mastered it completely, but you’d suck considerably less. And in many cases, sucking considerably less is enough.
Then he went on to say if I was simply lazy, then it didn’t matter what he told me, but that I had no excuse not to do and be my best.
That there was so much better out there for me than retail.
In part, it was like talking to one of the many guys and gals throwing their videos up on Facebook and YouTube, or one of the humbler Tai Lopez videos. I half expected there to be a pitch at the end: for one simple payment of $199.99, I can show you how to run a successful business.
But it never came. His son arrived as he was explaining the Law of Attraction and the biblical concept of “living abundantly”, and shortly after, the two left me and “T” to reflect.
I almost wish he had offered up his information–or that I’d asked. If I could just pick his brain a little more, I certainly would. But maybe I was lucky just to get that little piece of wisdom when I got it.
Oh, and we didn’t end up carrying pine nuts.