My wife and I attended a concert recently. No, it was not Lawrence Welk or anyone from that era, though it was someone popular in the past. Collin Raye was a very popular singer with cross-over appeal in the 90’s and early years of this century. He had four platinum albums and four number one songs during his prime years. Those years have been gone for around 15 years now. Yet, he still tours with over 150 concert dates this year. His concert was in a small venue in Benton, IL. The crowd was around 800 people, far short of the 10 – 20,000 he might have performed before during his prime years. Nonetheless, his concert was great – energetic, well done, and his more famous songs performed masterfully. His band was terrific and we had a very nice time. What impressed me about Raye was that – despite the years since his last number one song, despite the small crowd, despite the venue – he was still performing at a high level. His performance was excellent – just as it might have been during his more popular day. He performance was an example of sustained excellence… the kind that a person of character might give. For Collin Raye, maybe the crowds are smaller and maybe he is not as popular as he once was, but his best days are not in the past. In my opinion, both his ability and his character were on display during this concert.
I think we all have a tendency to think that our best days are behind us. We tend to look back to the good old days and the magic they held for us. These days, I often have to remind my wife, “You should have seen me in my prime!” Her response is usually, “I did.” Despite how good our prime might have been, our best days are ahead of us — IF WE CHOOSE! Certainly, we can choose to ride out the remainder of our days or years without the drive to make a difference. We can sit back and rest on our laurels. However, a person with character keeps striving, keeps dreaming, and keeps on making a difference for others. Your career hasn’t stalled unless you allow it! Your life isn’t over until your last breath! Your influence has not ceased! Others still count on you!
I think the point I learned from Collin Raye is that we can look back and say our best days are behind us. But, a person with character will finish strong. I am not just speaking with individuals that are late in their career or life. This applies to a 25-year old as much as an 85-year old. A person with character will not let those around them down and will re-double efforts to make a difference… to keep striving… to keep leading… to keep pushing… to keep caring.
It is good to look back on those fond memories in the past, but don’t stay there! Have a fabulous day!
(For those of you that do not know Collin Raye, here is a link to one of his top songs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ycze0tiMAPw )