When a surf board designer shapes a new board, they consider the type of wave they want the board to handle, weight of the person riding the board, maneuverability, how stable the board should be or how fast (typically you get one or the other) as well as number of other factors. Shaping requires taking foam and various tools and cutting material away, shaving it down until the object meets the vision.
People aren’t that different; we are born a blank page, a moldable piece of foam that through experiences, shapes us into a surfboard of sorts. A young child is shaped by school yard friends that demean or belittle; by being first across a finish line in a playground sprint or by a painting that only a parent can appreciate. Each interaction creates a different experience, carving away a small part of that innocent and unmolded piece of foam.
As adults, we encounter people that help us grow through learning either with good experiences or because they take advantage of a naïve individual. Both experiences, though, shape us into that person we become.
Opportunities, however, are like buses that travel the city streets. The buses you choose to the board can provide experiences that have dramatic positive impacts on your life. Other buses may lead you down a safe path but don’t allow you to grow and have the failures, experiences or successes that could be magnified later in life. Then there are those buses that lead you down a destructive path that you might not recover from.
Regardless of the buses you board in your life; each one represents a stroke with that tool that shaves off just a bit of you to help you become the person you are meant to be.
The trick, if you didn’t figure it out yet, is knowing which bus, which people and which experiences you need to become successful.
Randy Eickhoff, CPA is President of Acena Consulting. With more than 20 years of tax and consulting experience, Randy focused on helping companies successfully document and secure tax incentives throughout the US. He has been a long-time speaker nationally as well as conducted numerous training sessions on R&D tax credits and other US tax incentives.