Each of us only has one life to live. Ideally, we will live our lives to the fullest. We would pursue our passions, live our dreams, and dare to do things that we might only have fantasized about. And, in the process of living our lives, we create memories and share learnings that make it all worthwhile. Every bump in the road, every detour, every u-turn could possibly lead us to something majestic.
If we are fortunate enough to meet someone who has fearlessly lived their life, who has followed different interests, and has had fun along the way, then perhaps we should pay attention and reflect on our own lives in hopes that we too might pursue a passion.
Brad and I had the distinct pleasure of spending time with professional boxer, promoter, musician, actor, restaurateur, and semi-pro football player Bobby Hitz. The only thing that comes close to equaling the absolute pleasure of sitting in on his interview was dining at his restaurant, Giglio’s State Street Tavern, in Chicago. I absolutely enjoyed every minute of hearing his recounting of stories, improv, experiences, and the food! Oh my goodness! The tiramisu! The cheesecake! The Chicken Sinatra……..Fuggedaboutit….
Reflecting on some of the many learnings from this interview was personally enriching to me. One of the keys to achieving our personal goals is to reflect on those who have actually done so, considering how they may have gone about it, and taking note of different things that they may have had to overcome in doing so.
Brad asked Bobby which of the many undertakings was the most difficult. Bobby replied that none of them was easy. I appreciated his honesty. Anything in life that is worthwhile requires effort. Whether it’s Bobby’s recounting of the time that he rededicated himself to boxing, getting in the best shape of his life for a particular fight, or the challenges of running a restaurant, effort is required. Teamwork is also essential, as he spoke of the mindset that he instills in those who work in his restaurant and those who he promotes. Developing people, regardless of the field, is an investment. Any good businessman is expecting a return on investment, but it is nice to know that some businessmen still operate under the old adage that their word is their bond. Bobby takes pride in doing right by people with whom he does business with, stating that his handshake is as good as anything out there. If more people operated under this notion, lawyers would have to find part-time employment to supplement their loss of income.
I also appreciated Bobby’s candor on the world of promoting. This can be a win-win for the fighter and the promoter, but only if both fulfills their obligations. Bobby said that the promoter is probably one of the most misunderstood professions, in that unscrupulous ones seem to grab the headlines. However, a promoter who is dedicated to his fighter often puts his compensation last, having a strategic plan on getting a fighter from a beginner to a contender. A lot of blood, sweat, and tears go into this, and unfortunately, there are times when the fighter is courted by a promoter who may dangle a carrot or two in front of a fighter. Bobby compared this to someone coming in after you’ve baked a cake, just to put the icing on it and enjoy it after you’ve done the hard work. He added that these things were upsetting at one time, but now, he doesn’t get weighed down by the negativity. Good advice!
Another thing that Bobby and Brad discussed was loyalty. Unfortunately, some people look at the immediate gains and not the long-term implications of being dishonest. What people fail to understand is that a lack of loyalty and being selfish is counterproductive in the long run. Such a person runs the risk of alienating people who could have been genuinely loyal to them.
In our journey of life, there will be punches. There will be injuries. There will be setbacks. There will be defeats. Those things are not what’s important though. What’s important is that we persevere. What’s important is that we make the adjustments. What’s important is that we stay the course. So, pursue your interests. Live your dreams. Develop the things that intrigue you. Life should be enjoyed and lived to the full. And much like a good meal, a good life involves a lot of different things, blended together, perfectly timed, and enjoyed with friends!