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A Message To The 20 Year Old Me


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A Message To My 20-Year Old Self

A twenty-something asked me online the other day “Rick, what would you tell your twenty-something self?”

It was such a great question I had to stop and think about it.

I remember being in my 20’s, forty years ago.

I was pretty insecure, didn’t have a clear path for my life.

I had no idea what I was going to do for a living.

I was empty.

I graduated from high school with a 1.67 grade point average.

I attended community college because no other college would take me.

I worked for two years to get my grade point average up so I could get into Pacific University.

I worked 35 hours a week at Copeland Lumber in Hillsboro as a salesman and went to school five days a week.

I had a boss named Harold Eastman who changed my life.

After about a month on the job he came to me and said “Rick, these customers want two-by-fours, nails and bullshit and you aren’t giving them any bullshit.”

That change my world.

What Harold taught me was relationship building. People wanted to be seen, noticed and accepted. The art of conversation is the way to get there and I perfected it through just giving a damn about their projects, their lives, their kids or the last vacation they took.

I discovered something I was very good at and my shyness and insecurity was keeping me from discovering….me.

I remember worrying a lot in my 20’s about what I was going to do with my life.

Sure, I had to change and finding myself was the hardest part of all that.

But God had a plan and a man named Harold Eastman in line to assist me in getting there.

So what would I tell my twenty-something-self?

“Rick, it’s gonna work out. Don’t sweat it but work hard and be willing to look deep in your soul to find yourself. Don’t listen to what people say about you or how they try to define you, define yourself with the assistance of the God who created you.He is the only one with the blueprint to you. Worry will get in your way. Worry will rob your focus on the things you can do. Worry will get you nowhere.”

As I sit here writing this I’m realizing my 63 year old self needs to remind me of these things…..still.

Life is about changing and moving and not being what others tell you but being true to yourself and the God who made you. If I’d listened to myself and not had Harold to push and prod me, I would have never realized the gifts I had.

Telling ourselves the truth is so important.

Ignoring those who throw darts and arrows at our weaknesses is key.

I hope this helps you as much as it’s helping me on this Sunday Morning.

Jer. 29:11. “I have plans for you, not plans of your undoing, but plans of prosperity.” (my version) LOL

Rick Dancer


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