Speak Softly and Carry a Big Stick

I went to a local cafe to get some work done this morning. However, I think a bigger work was done in my mindset after an interaction with an elderly man as I placed my order. We continued the conversation as I walked over to my table, and I quickly learned that we shared quite a few similarities. We both work in the alcohol industry, I’m in real estate classes and he’s a real estate broker, and we even seemed to share similar political views. I clearly am a sucker for good conversation.

There are maybe 40+ years between myself and this man, Lin, but our ability to connect at a non-surface level at a cafe before noon on a Friday brought me joy, hope, and inspiration.

Joy that there was good conversation, and that I knew the joy of the conversation was mutual. I believe we made each other’s day brighter.

Hope that there are still kind, friendly people in this world with pure intentions that can happen in the most unexpected circumstances.

Inspiration because before he left, Lin told me that he believed I am intelligent and have a great drive for success. He left me with a quote by Theodore Roosevelt, “Speak softly and carry a big stick and you will go far.”

Lin didn’t know this, but those very words are something I strive to carry out on a daily basis. I’ve wrestled with being too trusting of people and not cautious enough, I’ve let the wrong people walk all over my decisions and dictate how I should live my life. I will walk gently through life, but I will be cautious and I will stand my ground. His encouragement inspired me today and I will carry those words with me. I hope you do, too.

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