My good friend Matt Davis told me a story a long while back that has stuck with me for more than twenty-five years. Matt grew up on a ranch in Brenham, Texas. He was named John Matthews Davis after his paternal grandfather, from whom he inherited his playful prankster genes, his work ethic and a lot more.
Matt told me, "We would have a project to do--fence building or repair or some other job that somehow would always take place a long distance from the barn or house. Looking back, I'm convinced my granddad would purposely forget an important tool or item necessary to complete the job. Instead of returning to retrieve the forgotten item, he would say, "If it don't want to do, you got to make it do." Then we would have to figure out how to complete the project without the necessary tool by creating another solution with the available resources.
The lessons learned taught me resourcefulness, creativity and determination, to not give up, because there is always a solution for any problem. I applied those lessons in school, sports, business, marriage and raising my family. My granddad was a great man!"
Matt and I have worked together for a long time, and I recall him saying to one of our clients, "There is always a solution." And we found it. We were out for a run with one of our buddies talking about a thorny business situation, and Matt said, "You are never out," and it turns out he wasn't.
Matt inherited some very good things from his granddad, and so have I through our years of friendship. Makes me think about how we are influencing those around us all the time, but how we do so is up to us.