Fulfilling Our Ingrained Nature

In my conversation with Randy Young, Galaxy Guitar Products USA, which you’ll hear on the podcast soon, he was very clear on the events that led up to his development of finger protectors for guitar players, and anybody who wants a new finger-tip. His mother moved him to Florida when he was a junior in high school, meeting his girlfriend outside a 7/11. Her getting him backstage at a Black Sabbath band practice and meeting his idol Tony Iommi. Tony’s riding in Randy’s van with no seats back to a hotel, which led to Tony showing him his finger protectors, which led to Randy’s drive and determination to make them for himself.

As we were talking, we also flipped the coin and looked at what didn’t happen. Randy, an accomplished hard rock guitarist, auditioned to play with Ozzie Osborne, a band Ozzie started after he’d left Black Sabbath, but Randy didn’t get the job. Randy also auditioned with Kiss, a hard rock band from the 70’s but wasn’t selected then, as well. So, while those were big disappointments, I’m sure, they also led to him fulfilling his life’s purpose of making fingertips for people around the world, young and old, from Siberia to Canada.

This takes me to two principles that are at play here. One is how the deeply ingrained nature of our aspirations, motivations, and desires as human beings gets played out, whether it’s intentional or not. And the other is Eric Erickson’s late adulthood stage of Integrity vs. Despair wherein older adults reflect on their lives and evaluate their accomplishments.

I can look back on my life and remember the exact instant when I decided to become a licensed professional counselor. My therapist at the time, Wayne Jullian, asked me what I wanted to do for a living (I was a geophysicist at the time, making too much money and complaining about my job). Anyway, I said, “I want your job.” To which he replied, “You can have it.” Fortunately, he was very encouraging and he helped me set out a plan of action. Becoming a trainer has the same kind of one-liner, only that time it was at an EMDRIA conference, and it was in a conversation with my mentor, DaLene Forester.

I’m not going to flip the coin on this and look at the things that didn’t happen, or work out because there are too many. Suffice it to say, it includes such things as selling rotten peaches at a Farmer’s market in Kentucky, to growing two crops of tobacco, and ending up with nothing in the process (however, I will say, that is when I quit smoking cigarettes). Interestingly, it does help to see that what didn’t work is as much a part of fulfilling human desire as is what did work out, a recent insight.

It was fun talking with Randy because he is someone who is innovative, accomplished, and is living out his life’s purpose. I was always a folk-music-bluegrass-music kind of guy, so I wasn’t drawn to hard rock, or any kind of rock really. I’m one of those people who dropped Dylan when he showed up with an electric guitar at the Newport Folk Festival. I was in Vietnam during Woodstock, although to my credit I will say, I’ve always liked the Beatles.

Suffice it to say, no matter which of Erickson’s stages we’re in, we are probably in our life’s purpose and living it out, whether we know it or not. Even if things aren’t working out, they might be, so keeping on keeping on is vital. Voicing aspirations and internal desires along the way is important because other people are always involved, and you never know when what is needed will arrive and through which messenger – it could even be Ozzie.

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