WHY I LIKE HAVING “OLDER” FRIENDS:
I almost got married to some girl while I was drunk in Las Vegas at age 22.
That’s a long and fun story that I’ll write about another time, but basically it was one of the most important moments of my life. It led me to meet one of the most important and cherished friends in my life. He is 63 years old.
Yesterday, we met up and walked around in the rain in Washington Square Park looking for food.
We ended up at what I could describe as an “Indian Chipotle” and talked for a while. I was sharing some of my “anxieties” with him. I recently learned that Tony Robbins starts his day writing down what he is anxious about. So, I basically verbally wrote mine out loud to Fred Rooney (my friend). Things like:
“Should I be dedicating all the time I dedicate to perfecting my professional Spanish, and serving the Latin American market instead of focusing more energy here in the US?”
“Will it be difficult to find a deep connection with a romantic partner with my unique travel lifestyle?”
“Should I stay living in NYC or relocate to Latin America?”
“Am I making enough of a difference?”
And on and on…..
To these questions, Fred shared the same advice.
“Don’t worry about any of what you are worried about.”
I asked him why? and he replied,
“Because you are 33.”
Then he told me that when he was 33, he just graduated from law school, he relied on public benefits to keep his family fed as he started a law practice. He had law school debt. He had a family. He was still learning Spanish.
30 years later, he travels the world helping people set up legal incubators to serve underrepresented populations. He is internationally known as the “father of the legal incubator.” He is democratizing access to good legal representation. He is not on food stamps. He makes a good living. He has 2 beautiful kids who love him. He speaks fluent Spanish. He has a loving relationship. He makes a massive difference and has hundreds and thousands of people that adore him.
Fred told me that I have a “huge head start” on where he was at 33.
OK, I feel a bit better.
We spent the day together and then went for a falafel at Mamoun’s. We ordered a second one and split it. As we ate the second falafel (best in NYC), I asked him about my final anxiety of the day.
“How do you deal with not wanting to miss opportunities?”
He told me, “because when you are my age, you realize you don’t really miss much.”
Then we finished the falafel, and I understood what I think he meant.
Because of all the thousands of restaurants on the island of Manhattan, for that moment, we were in the only place that existed in the whole world.
Two friends from two generations with one thing in common.
That moment of love, peace, and truth that no age could contain.
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