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Three Great Life Lessons

There have been many life lessons thrown at me over time.  These are three great life lessons that have made a huge difference.

When I was 12 we moved from my grandmother's house to my mother's house which had been rented the previous 8 years or so.

After my first day of school I went to the school nearby to see what was happening.  To my joy I found the football field full of kids my age!

Wanting to play, I was invited to one of the teams.  Its leader, who became my good friend, said, "You cover Ann.  She's fast and she can catch."

Pretty simple instruction.  So I went to cover her.  She came at me and turned toward the sideline.  I trotted after her, as she was so easy to cover. 

THEN, TO MY SURPRISE, SHE TURNED UP FIELD, AND CAUGHT A LONG PASS LEAVING ME AND MY DEFLATED 12 YEAR-OLD EGO IN HER WAKE!  SHE COULD CATCH AND SHE WAS REALLY FAST!!

Angry, I made sure she did not catch another pass all game as I had her covered like a blanket.  But I never recovered from that embarrassment.  My first day!

LESSON 1 - Sometimes the simplest instructions are the best.

I have been involved with the Boy Scouts, one way or another, since I was 8 years old.

Not having a father at home, this was one of the best things that could have happened to me.  It involved me in "boy" things and I had interaction with men.  Because of my relationship with my father, I was afraid of grown men.

One very important thing I was told was to leave a campsite cleaner than I found it.

And if we found a campsite that was already clean and prepared, we would leave a pile of wood for the next camper.

This has served me well my whole life.  I have improved every property I have lived at, including my first apartment and rental townhouse.

LESSON 2 - The Golden Rule, doing for others as you would want them to do for you.

I spent two wonderful years of my life as a missionary in the country of Ecuador.  Much of my time there was spent living with and teaching the indigenous Indians in the city of Otavalo.  I learned their customs, life style and language.  And their language, Quichua, a dialect of Quechua, was VERY difficult to learn.  It is nothing, and I mean NOTHING, like the Romantic/Latin/Germanic languages you and I are used to.  I learned it by ear.

The soil there is extremely rich, darker than anything I have ever seen, before or since.  When the Indians plant corn, they put other seeds in the same hole.  Those seeds are climbing green beans, a broad-leafed squash and haba beans. 

I took a picture of the practice!  Not a very good one, taken in 1975 with my trusty Kodak Instamatic camera, it at least gives you the idea.

What the Indians do not know is all the biochemistry involved with this farming practice.  Each of these vegetables replaces in the soil what the others take out.

They work symbiotically.  And to each other's benefit.

The result?  Delicious, nutritious food.  And the corn grows so high that it must be harvested with a machete!

The cobs are twice the size and have twice the kernels.

CORN NOT PLANTED WITH THESE OTHER SEEDS DOES NOT GROW SO TALL OR HEALTHFUL.

What was the lesson this missionary learned?

That my progress in life will be more fulfilling, and I will grow more, giving and receiving more, and be far more blessed, if I accompany that path in life with three things:

PRAY, STUDY AND WORK.

I have employed this principle in every aspect of my life - as a person, as a student, and as a business owner.  At every turn, I have prayed about it, studied to find out what is best and then gotten to work.  And it has worked for me...

Have I had my screw ups?  Sure!  Which I have muddled through and tried to learn from.  But this practice has served me well.  It would serve anybody well.

Why do I think so?  Because it is a principle, a principle with a promise and an eternal one.  The most common admonition in scripture is a three-letter word.  And that word is ASK.  That simple request is extended to us by a loving Father who I truly believe has personal involvement in every single person's life every single day.  And perhaps hundreds of times any given day.

The word 'awesome' is overused, and used in contexts that truly are NOT awesome.  It is a word used so much these days that I have come not to like it!

But I think that daily, personal, individual, loving, parental involvement is truly AWESOME

LESSON 3 - Ask!  And you too will find how awesome the principle of pray, study and work is.  And not to forget Father...

 

 

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 32 commentsJay Markanich • May 16 2011 07:21AM

Comments

A great read, and inspiring advice.  Thank you!

Posted by Laura Giannotta, Your Realtor Down the Shore! (Keller Williams Realty - Atlantic Shore ) almost 8 years ago

Super post. Lessons learned early on that stay with you.

Posted by Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573, Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker (MOOERS REALTY) almost 8 years ago

De nada Laura.

I agree Andrew.  The best principles seem to stick!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

Wonderful post Jay.  Pray, study and work put together will lead to blessing.

Posted by Chuck Carstensen, Minnesota Real Estate Expert (RE/MAX Results) almost 8 years ago

Jay...Excellent advice for both life and business.  The lessons we learn early on help mold us into the adults we become.

Posted by Anita Clark, Realtor - Homes for Sale in Warner Robins GA (ColdwellBanker SSK Realtors ~ 478.960.8055) almost 8 years ago

Good morning, Jay. I found it works better to pour the water out of the boot first before inserting foot. If you don't know how to do this, the instructions are on the heel...

Posted by TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc., Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029 (Complete Home Inspections, Inc.) almost 8 years ago

Gracias Jay! Pray, Study and Work.....I couldn't agree more. Staying focused on these things is not always easy, but the rewards are priceless!

Posted by Anne M. Costello (Weidel Realtors) almost 8 years ago

Thanks, Chuck, it works every time.

Anita - life and business so very much go together.  What helps one helps the other.

Michael - that is a touchdown I have never forgotten!  The horror, the horror...

Anne - por nada.  And you are right, it's the staying focused part that sometimes gets in the way.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

Jay, Absolutely awesome post!  At first glance you'd think the multiple seed planting would be chaos, but love how they work in harmony.

Posted by Liz and Bill Spear, RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton) (RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com) almost 8 years ago

Jay ~  You had me leaning with Lesson #1 -- #2 is amazing and #3  . . . it just doesn't get any better.  What a wonderful way to start the week; thank you.

Posted by Tish Lloyd, Broker - Wilmington NC and Surrounding Beaches (BlueCoast Realty Corporation) almost 8 years ago

Good stuff Jay. I especially liked the football story and the image you put with it really expresses the embarrassment.

Posted by Robert Butler, Montreal Home Inspector | Aspect Inspection (Aspect Inspection) almost 8 years ago

Thanks Jay. I to have learned about the seeds of life. And I am going to try and plant multiples this year just to see what happens.

Great lessons

Enjoy the day

Posted by Don MacLean, Realtor - Homes For Sale - Franklin MA (Simolari & MacLean REMAX EXECUTIVE REALTY) almost 8 years ago

Great post Jay, lesson three reminds me of something my grandmother told me... pray like everything depends on God and work like everything depends on you...

Posted by Chris Smith, South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta (Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage) almost 8 years ago

Bliz - the harmony of some farming is interesting.  Obviously there is biochemistry going on there, but the Indians just know that it works!

Thank you Tish.  I am glad you enjoyed it so much.

Robert - I still feel the sting!  And she really was fast!  I tried but was not going to catch her all the way to the goal line!

Don - plant a bunch and see what grows!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

Chris - I think that is the plan, and it's good to see that you do too.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

these are some great life lessons.  Very deep for a guy.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) almost 8 years ago

It was really deep when Ann smoked me Debbie!  She had me with that one for years to come!  But as to the rest, it's just me stuff.  And I'm not that deep...

And I bet you leave your campsite cleaner than when you found it!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

Inspirational Jay.  Debbie "For a Guy?"

Posted by Jack Gilleland (Home Inspection and Investor Services, Clayton) almost 8 years ago

Jack - ha!  I thought that was funny too, kind of female chauvanism!  Some days I get philosophic and it spurts out!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

What I take from this post is your positive attitude and learning from your mistakes. Never once did I read that you blamed some else for what happened to you. A rare thing these days....For a guy :)

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) almost 8 years ago

I am my own captain Jim.  Another's attitude or impositions cannot make me different than who I am!  And thanks!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

Jay,

Congratulations. This post is now featured in "Celebrating Free Enterprise." :)

Steve

Posted by Steve Hoffacker, Certified Aging In Place Specialist-Instructor (Steve Hoffacker LLC) almost 8 years ago

Thanks Steve.  This was just a couple of musings coming through.   I was reflecting one day and this popped out!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

Jay, I didn't know you were a missionary!  That explains why you're so patient with replies to your posts here on AR!  :)

Posted by Jeremy Wrenn, C.O.O., Winslow Homes (Winslow Homes) over 7 years ago

What'er you talkin' about Jeremy?  I can slam with the best of them!

And that experience was a hundred years ago, but did provide a good foundation...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Yes you can, but in a nicer way than most.  ;)

I'm sure it did, no matter how long ago!

Posted by Jeremy Wrenn, C.O.O., Winslow Homes (Winslow Homes) over 7 years ago

Any time you volunteer your efforts to lose yourself in the lives of others, you find yourself in a way that is a spring board to the future.  And the future is now.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Yep, we're just getting to where our 4th kid can go places and miss a nap and not totally collapse.  So now I think we need to focus outward some more.  It's hard not to be selfish with our time & efforts, but it's also not very fulfilling to be ONLY family focused.  The kids need to see more of us giving of what is most precious to us:  our time!

Posted by Jeremy Wrenn, C.O.O., Winslow Homes (Winslow Homes) over 7 years ago

That should be your focus Jeremy!  The other can happen in smatters.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Yes, that is correct.  But when it's not even a smatter, that's what's a matter.  :)

Posted by Jeremy Wrenn, C.O.O., Winslow Homes (Winslow Homes) over 7 years ago

You'sa poet'sa!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Thank ya!

Posted by Jeremy Wrenn, C.O.O., Winslow Homes (Winslow Homes) over 7 years ago

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