An Early Foundation

by Craig Elliott

The crushing weights of regret. From not living up to one’s potential, nothing could be more overwhelming. Living on the wheel of fortune; existing by chance, achieving nothing. Time slowly passes away, taking with it dreams and ambitions, leaving despair at a time we so desperately need a sense of closure and reflection, the twilight years when everything physical begins to fail. The agonizing realization that time is running out, no more spring times to plow and plant, a distant glare, full of anger.

Goals are vital to overcoming the weight of regret. Early on, we must teach our children and those in our care to choose carefully their respective goals and ambitions, both in business and in spiritual matters. A solid foundation, upon which all else is supported, is vital to success. Early on, when school is the most pressing time constraint, ample time is available for a rock solid foundation to be built in whatever area is deemed vital. Whether spiritual matters or laying down the beginnings of a business plan, time and energy is already in place, along with a belief that anything is possible, nothing is too outlandish. As time moves forward, time constraints become more obstructive to fresh starts. His first job after school, her the first date, marriage, children, a thirty year mortgage. Each progression makes time more valuable, and so elusive. Goals are replaced with priorities and getaways, designed to help escape this cycle of fear, and ultimately regret. Disguised as a reward, it’s more of a quick fix, like eating to relieve stress, only to cause more stress from weight gain and poor health.

Foundations can be built a piece at a time, an hour a day, step by step. The old saying “An apple a day” holds true, but eating all seven on the last day doesn’t have the same result. You may get a sour belly, and you’ll lose your taste for the very apple that will make you well, solidify your future, and build good habits that will last a lifetime. A year out is not a long time to wait for a slow, meticulous base to rise up, but time looks much different to a teenager than someone in their twilight.
Nothing requires more care and attention to detail than the foundation. On a waterfront home at the beach, pylons are driven deep into the sand, a solid footing that will cost $25K or more. Once placed, the foundation must sit for two weeks, ensuring it will stand firm against the next storm to blow through. More attention is given to this critical step than any other. Nothing will survive above if the foundation is weak below. Standing tall and beautiful during good times, the first storm will topple what others thought could not be breached. “Who built this house? Why did it fail when others around it survived? What was the difference? Why did he collapse during his personal storm?”
Once in place a solid foundation can be built upon, and rebuilt on after storms, sometimes bigger and better than the original. The key is a solid benchmark, unshakable, and unmovable, no matter what may blow through.