Weekly thoughts from the forklift…
I’ll never forget my mother’s eyes that first time she saw me in the hospital. I was barely recognizable, I was a mess.

She did all she could that day to not let me see fear in her eyes. She told me she loved me, softly began to caress the top of my head, and told me that I’d be ok. She instantly became our family leader that day. She is the real hero of that story. The real strength. I love my mom.

But the real story is what happened later that day,  the cup of coffee. The cup of coffee that I’ll always remember…but at times still forget.

Up to this point in the hospital, due to both my upper and lower lips being pretty torn up, all my calories had been coming intravenously. Although 3 or 4 days after the night on the mountain, I was also still freezing. It just felt tough to ever warm up. Consequently, when the nurse offered me a cup of coffee that day, I eagerly said yes. The idea of something warm going down my coarse cold throat sounded so good.

I remember taking that first sip. Despite being maybe the worst cup of joe ever, I began crying following that first taste.  The warmth alone introduced me to a type of gratitude that I never had experienced. As I sipped, I looked around the room at the people by my side. Through my tears, I could see my family. I could see my friendships.

In a quick second, it was as if my entire perspective had changed. I had worked so hard through sports and school, striving for accomplishments, and in just a matter of seconds, it seemed like none of it mattered anymore. The ONLY thing that mattered were the people in the room that day, my people.  My family. That moment forever changed me, teaching me the importance of friendships. I learned about the fragility of life that day and the sturdiness of friendship.

Why is it that friendship so often gets pushed down the priority list? Even after that lesson… I still forget?

Friendships are investments, they require time. They require effort. You can’t just have good friends. As our lives get more full, prioritizing our time gets more difficult. Rather than just showing up every day, we must plan. We must prioritize. Success comes with responsibility. It can bring complexity into our lives. 

Have you ever gone to the grocery store, hungry, and without a list?  What happens?  We end up filling our cart with things we don’t really need.  We should be filling our cart with good nutrition for the week, but instead we fill our cart with Lucky Charms and Pop Tarts.  When we don’t have a plan, when we don’t prioritize our list, we fill our carts with the wrong things.  Life is no different.

As we participate in today’s crazy fast world, called reality, so often we lose track of our priorities. We don’t forget them, we know what we should fill our cart with first, but the speed of life gets us off track. We begin to fill our cart with the wrong things. We forget to purchase the most nutritious thing of all, friendships.

Look at your life and see where friendships fall on your list. The greatest gift you can give someone… is your time.

Weekly Action:

On Sunday night, put a 30 minute window on your calendar for the upcoming week to just call someone you consider a good friend. No text messages. No emails. Call.

Let each first cup of coffee in the morning be your reminder as to what’s most important, just as it was for me that day in Mexico City. No matter what difficulty life throws at you, I can attest that as long as you have someone there who truly loves you, you can make it though anything. Let each first cup of coffee in the morning be your reminder as to whats most important, just as it was for me that day in Mexico City.


Matt Miller
Author: Matt Miller

Matt Miller has done many things in his young addition to just surviving. In 2002, Matt left behind person he once was as his life was suddenly changed forever by a horrendous mountain climbing accident. Diving for his falling father, Matt fell over 4,000 feet before miraculously stopping just short of the ragid cliffs. Through a night of survival and pain, Matt persevered but lost most of his fingers and toes as a result from frostbite. Matt does everything from public speaking, one-on-one consulting, firm strategy, as well as company retreat facilitation. With a seasoned investment background and passion for educating the investment world, Matt also can't resist sharing his comments from time to time on markets. Matt is also an avid runner, successfully completing over 10 marathons without his toes! He is 38 and resides in Phoenix, Arizona.

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