Big Things Come From Little Decisions

Big Things Come From Little Decisions

June 03, 2024

As the sun begins to peek over the sleepy town of Aiken, South Carolina, on a brisk 55-degree morning, I find myself enroute to a much-anticipated golf game with friends. The early morning drive through the near-empty streets, and the glow of diners welcoming the dawn sets a reflective mood.

Years ago, I was navigating a career transition, driving a milk truck, contemplating a future in the financial services sector. My journey through interviews with multiple companies across different facets of the industry—brokerages, independents, insurance companies, and banks—led me to choose a firm, not for its corporate identity but for the people it introduced me to.

One of those early connections, a colleague from my first office who was an avid golfer, invited me to an out-of-town golf outing. This one in Virgina. Truth be told, at the time I was a novice golfer, and my golf game was not one you would see on TV. Despite being the youngest participant by two decades and a beginner, saying yes to that experience connected me with a gentleman who would become a pivotal influence in my life. We went to pick up groceries, talk a bit more and became fast friends. He offhandedly suggested I meet his sons, a casual remark that I took to heart, not realizing the profound impact it would have. For some reason I felt connected to him and followed up with him once we got back into town. He was more than hospitable and ultimately let me work on a few things for him and eventually introduced me to his family.

Over the years, his three sons became some of my closest friends. Our shared experiences, from business dealings to countless rounds of golf, have deeply enriched my life. We have explored different countries together, enjoyed time on lakes and boats, and ventured through mountains across various states. These relationships have truly changed my life. One of the most memorable achievements we've had was organizing a golf tournament that ran for 18 years. This event brought together a group of friends who still reminisce about those times to this day. Reflecting on this as I drive to meet these friends today, I’m struck by the power of simple, seemingly small decisions.

I decided to say yes to the trip to Virginia. I chose to follow up with my new friend after the initial trip. I made the effort to meet new people. Each of these simple decisions and actions has compounded into 20 years of companionship, fun, growth, and support.

These connections have not only granted me unforgettable experiences and a supportive circle but have also underscored the importance of openness in any interaction. Every handshake and every introduction hold potential energy that can unfold into life-changing opportunities.

I am incredibly grateful for where life has led me—the ability to balance work with these enriching experiences, supported by both my family and colleagues. It’s a reminder of the importance of staying open to new experiences and the unseen potential in every meeting.

Looking ahead, the excitement about where I'll be 20 years from now energizes me every day. The friendships we nurture, the decisions we make, no matter how small, are seeds planted that will flourish in ways we can hardly imagine. This ongoing journey not only shapes our lives but also promises a future rich with possibilities born from the connections we value and the paths we choose to follow.

This story shows the unexpected paths life can take and the remarkable outcomes of being open to every possibility. Always approach life with eyes wide open; don’t minimize any introduction and see every interaction as an opportunity for something greater.

 

Mark J. Modzeleski, CFS, CLTC, AIF 

President, Legacy Wealth Advisors of NY