Author: Rick Stockburger, BRITE President & CEO
In the world of startups, we often emphasize the significance of reaching milestones. Today, I’d like to kick off this blog with a personal milestone of my own. As of this writing, on the crisp morning of October 26, 2023, I have completed 40 revolutions around the sun. But this isn’t just a celebration of another year added to my life; it’s a reflection on a year that changed everything.
My 39th year began with a certain determination. At that time, I found myself unable to walk due to a torn Achilles tendon, an injury I sustained in July of 2022. I had also reached my heaviest weight ever, tipping the scales at 275 pounds. More concerning, I was battling depression and grappling with the lingering effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder stemming from my military service. At the end of the day, I was exhausted, not just physically but mentally and emotionally as well.
Throughout my 30s, I had been willing my way through life, much like the rest of my journey, the hard way. My father had toiled in the mills, and I, as a decorated combat veteran, had always approached life with a passion for responsibility and purpose. However, it was evident that if I wanted to be the husband, father, and executive I aspired to be, a change was necessary.
Fast forward to this week, and I’ve achieved a half marathon in a respectable time of 2 hours and 5 minutes, weighing in at 225 pounds. That’s a remarkable 50-pound weight loss from the previous year, and I’m not finished yet. But the transformation I’m experiencing isn’t just physical. I’m gradually becoming the best version of myself, and this journey has been marked by hard-earned lessons, self-compassion, and the support of those who care about my success.
One crucial lesson I’ve learned is the importance of surrounding yourself with people who genuinely love and support you. These individuals can provide the encouragement and motivation necessary for personal growth. Like Abraham Lincoln, who famously said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe,” it’s crucial to invest in ourselves to become more efficient and productive.
As I embark on my 40th year, my message to you is simple: start by getting your personal life in order, and everything else will fall into place. Surround yourself with people who uplift you, and don’t forget to reciprocate their kindness. Remember that your mind and body are tools, and it’s vital to keep them sharp.
In the world of startups, we often focus on achieving milestones, but let’s not forget that our most significant milestone is the one within ourselves. By investing in our well-being and relationships, we can truly become the best versions of ourselves and, in turn, achieve greater success in all aspects of life.