What’s the most interesting summer job you’ve ever had? That’s not just a rhetorical question, comment yours on this post or tell me next time we talk.
I’ve had many summer jobs through high school and college. I’ve been a Publix bagboy, a golf course attendant at PGA National, a busboy at a seafood restaurant, a baseball camp counselor, and a construction worker.
Although the pay at all these jobs was nothing to write home about, the experience was invaluable as I was exposed to so many different industries and people.
One of the most valuable lessons I learned was the summer I worked construction. Working construction is hard work, which you could probably assume. There were days where I got home, took off my boots, and walked directly into my pool with my full attire, jeans and all, still on.
The coolest part about construction is watching nothing become something. A phenomenon I’m still fascinated with when I help people construct new bodies at our gym.
But what’s really cool about construction is how the massive job of building a building is broken down into daily tasks.
Each day as I watched the vibrant sun come up over our jobsite, the head contractor on the project laid out my task for the day. I got excited each morning to learn what I would be doing next or who would be coming in to perform their job that day. It was really just a two-man jobsite with a bunch of different tradesmen coming in and out throughout the progression of the building.
I learned the importance of focusing your attention on one task. I learned what it meant then to be really good at playing finite games. Finite games have clear objectives, worthy opponents, which in the world of construction is time, and conclusions at the end of the day.
I got really good at playing finite games with each day of construction, and that definitely has transferred into my life now as I break down big goals into small tasks for myself and for others.
However, learning the importance of the infinite game is a newer realization for me.
It’s only in hindsight, that I can see ALL of those days in construction adding up to help me get better at this infinite game of life. I have a new respect for all those hours in summer jobs because I know they had a bigger purpose for shaping me into the person I am.
I never had dreams of being a Publix bagboy growing up. But I often had dreams about working in fitness and owning a gym. They weren’t the clearest of dreams, because I couldn’t comprehend how I could possibly own a Gold’s Gym and this was before CrossFit’s inspiration that group classes could actually be cool. (Sorry step aerobics.) Yet something told me that this was what I was meant to do in my future.
I held onto that feeling that I would someday coach and influence people in the world of fitness.
In my down time from those summer jobs, I read business books and fitness magazines. I was unknowingly playing an infinite game, preparing myself for this future that I live now.
I live my dream every single day getting to do something I love. I’m grateful for every job I’ve ever had because it steered me to where I am now.
Some might say that’s a sign God has moved in your life and to that I say, “hold my beer.”
You see, that building I helped build for a summer wasn’t just any old building. It’s the building you now see standing right next to FitTown Jupiter. The building that houses Village Veterinary and other businesses.
Each morning, almost 20 years ago, I parked my car in the exact same parking lot that I park now. Back then I was parking at Brown’s Furniture. Now I’m parking at FitTown Jupiter.
I’d watch the Brown’s furniture trucks back up to the loading dock, our main BeachFit west entrance, never once realizing how many lives would eventually be changed by passing through those same doors.
I watch in awe now as vibrant sunrises light up our gym and the amazing people in it. Sunrises that use to light up a sandy jobsite. If I start to get emotional during a 200m cool down walk and the sun is coming up, now you know why. My gratitude overwhelms me even as I write this.
I tell this story to give glory to God, and also to give some love to the phrase “Everything Happens For a Reason”. I know it’s a tired phrase, but never underestimate the power of infinite games that are being played in the background of your finite ones.
You may go to work every day, or rush through the same hectic school and activities routine for your kids, and wonder what bigger picture is this all for?
Just BELIEVE that there ALWAYS is a bigger picture.
There will be finite games you win, and some you lose.
But the ONLY infinite game you lose is the one you stop playing.