An article from The Clinton Herald has been displayed on my fridge for the last few years. The headline states that a “Man who served time for wife’s murder starts over with taco stand.” When I first saw the article, I assumed it was about a wrongly accused man getting his life back on track. Nope! It’s about a man who actually murdered his wife, did his time, and then opened a taco stand with help from his parents.
This article has amused me for years because of what I expected the article to be and how different the real article was. And then the other day, the article took on new meaning for me. I passed the fridge like usual, because it’s the best way to get from my kitchen to my living room, when the article became about productivity instead of changed expectations.
This man murdered his wife, moved on, and started a business. A murderer opened a taco stand. Why is it so hard for me to write a new blog article, make a new podcast, or work on funding video projects when someone who could easily have given up opened a taco stand. My excuses are piddly compared to the adversity this murderer surely faces.
So where is my taco stand? What is stopping me from working hard to achieve my goals? Fear of failure? This man is bouncing back from murder. If we had a conversation, I would say something like “I’m just feeling really beat today and I’d rather watch American Ninja Warrior.” Then he would say “I murdered someone and live with that every day and now I run a taco business.” Then he’d probably say “checkmate” or I’d say “touche,” depending on the levity of the conversation.
I’m not saying the obstacles of laziness or apathy aren’t real. They’re very real and can feel like mountains in the way of progress. But did you murder someone? No? Then you can probably dig up 20 minutes to be productive.
And maybe you did murder someone. That’s a pretty big deal. But you could still open up a taco stand.