Memories

This past Friday, like many Fridays during the pandemic, I hopped on a Zoom call around 10pm ET with four of my closest friends back in Winnipeg. We waffled about the usual: Covid, the Masters, our families, our work; but the best part of the call was when we fell onto the topic of our February 2020 golf trip in Palm Springs. Combinations of this Zoom group have been on 5 different golf trips and countless other Vegas trips in the past decade, and as we started to discuss 2020's event, we began spiraling into the minute details of all the other trips.

From where we stayed, to the golf shots we hit, the golfers we were paired with, the restaurants we ate at, and the outrageous specificity of the gambling we did. It's always so fun reminiscing with friends, and because of Covid, where most personal travel is off the table, it was even more beneficial to dive deep into the memory banks - and more hilarious. I was crying laughing at one point thinking about the shenanigans we got up to on those trips, and trying to pinpoint the slight differences from the 2011 golf trip versus the 2013 golf trip (both in the Phoenix area) was a fun challenge.

A couple days later, I was thinking about that experience of reliving memories. We get so much joy in telling and listening to stories from the past. People are remarked as "amazing story tellers" if they're able to bring you along down memory lane while entertaining you and making you wish you'd been there. I began to realize the importance of the memories we have and started to think about the place in which the past should lie in our "order of importance" when it comes to tenses.

It seems like we're constantly told to "live in the moment", "be present", "stay mindful" or any other meditation-based slogan you can think of. We're also told (and I'm probably guilty of preaching this on the blog) to "only look forward". The past is behind you so there's no point dwelling on your mistakes, shortcomings, or bad experiences because they're finished. What's in front of you is the future - your next attempt, tomorrow's presentation, the next shot - so why even think twice about something that's already happened and you can't control!

While this can make sense for negative memories, I think it can be way more beneficial to reflect on your memories much more often than we're told by mainstream gurus.

For example, if you can draw from your past mistakes, it will help you move forward. I've screwed up royally on client calls as a consultant, and I think about those memories often to understand what I did wrong so I can improve on my next presentation. Some coaches might say "forget what happened last time", but I think that's a missed opportunity.

Additionally, sometimes life just sucks. In the poker game of life, you can find yourself on an absolute cooler where it seems like nothing falls your way. In those moments, it's not always practical to try and "be present" or "focus on the moment" when the moment sucks! Instead, you can look to the past for inspiration, motivation, confidence, or at least a good laugh.

Many of the people who've grown into good friends of mine in New York have moved away over the past few months and with the weather getting colder, outdoor dining becoming less attractive, and work days being longer than I would like, the social life has been a bit slower than I'm used to. Enter Friday night and a detailed trip down memory lane, and I felt like I was re-living the joy of traveling, golfing, and partying with my friends without leaving my couch.

With all of the technology we have, and the snapping, sharing and posting we do, I feel like we don't document experiences and bottle memories as well as we should. Sure we all take photos and share them online, but the 30-minute conversation I had with 4 guys on Friday provided more detailed insights of our trip, and more importantly, evoked way more emotion inside of me than any of our videos or pictures combined. That's why I'm so pumped to have this blog - to act as a diary, encapsulating how I felt in certain moments, rather than just a cool picture I took of the Empire State Building.

That's probably enough rambling for now, but if you (or I) take one thing away from this blog, it's to recap memories with friends and family more often. My buddy Marc used to say that every time you tell a story to people (he would use this when referencing our European backpacking trips), it was like dimes are falling from the sky - because the financial investment you made to travel, pays you back in spades every time you enlighten someone with a story from your adventure.

I think that's the case for memories from all facets of life. Live life in the moment, but recap those moments often with the people you shared those moments with, and I guarantee both experiences will pay massive dividends.

Thanks for reading,

Mike