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The C! Group enters a third decade

The C! Group enters a third decade


Passion, intelligence, authority? Or just constant learning

Passion, Intelligence, Authority.

That’s what I came up with to explain what brought a group many thought would not survive together and go further than we thought. Before you think it sounds extremely arrogant, and it unfortunately does, let me explain.

It isn’t three things, it is a journey. It is one that can lead to another.

And it isn’t all that special.

The first part of the journey is passion. ANYONE can have that. You need to be excited about something, you need to be enthusiastic. This will by nature make you want to learn more. And it DOES NOT matter where you start. Or what others say. Or how you may be defined. It is simply about a desire, something that draws you. You may not even understand why.

I had a recent conversation with someone who helped me define myself (literally, as in what to say on a country entry form when I said I can’t consider myself a journalist) when he said he didn’t consider himself a watch enthusiast. I said just by having the discussion we were having and the learning he had done I would call him an enthusiast. I don’t like labels really, they tend to pigeonhole and therefore limit. So perhaps enthusiastic is a better choice. But the point is, anyone at any time can have a passion to learn.

Intelligence. I DO NOT mean intelligence level or anything like that. Perhaps I should have made that second word “learning” but those three phrases have been plastered on all the C! Group corporate stuff for a long time. It is really about learning, gathering information. I grew up doing this with libraries and encyclopedias and newspapers and magazines and talking to people who knew way more than I did. And of all of these parts of the journey, perhaps learning is the one you can control the most. You can’t force a passion, but you can become passionate or enthusiastic by learning. Which brings us to…

Authority. Again, perhaps not the best word but it looks good when people see it. When you learn more, people ask you questions. It is that simple. It doesn’t mean any type of stamp, and in all honesty it isn’t something that can be decided for yourself. It is something that others may decide to see you as. This may be what you have the least control of. If you understand a bit about stoicism, you should be paying the most attention to the second point, learning. It is all you can really control. And by doing that, you may find yourself becoming someone others want to listen to. So, maybe ultra nerdiness?

Responsibility? I told Kookie Ramirez, and Pocholo Ramirez, and George Ramirez (yes I somewhat admire the Ramirez racing family, and not just because of the racing) that I would pay to sit at their table and listen to stories. They would say they are always happy to share their stories, and that was actually their responsibility. During the so-far-two-years of this pandemic, we found the opportunity to share by going online what we used to share at the racetrack, or at car shows, or when people showed up at our office. It turns out our far more casual conversations and approach was what people wanted. People said it was more approachable, more like listening to your car geek friends talk while you are in the back seat. So, Responsibility. And this, again, has nothing to do with where you are in your journey or how others may see you. Be responsible for what you do, what you say, the example you present. It won’t be perfect, but it will always make a difference.

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And be grateful. Not hashtag grateful, not even necessarily publicly. But understand and remember that there is always someone that works harder than you, that needs more than you, that hurts more than you, that is fighting battles you can’t comprehend because you just happen to be luckier than they are. Be grateful, remember that you have the ability to make someone’s day better by smiling, by remembering a name, by letting them out into traffic, by checking on them. Be grateful you have that ability, because others may not.

And just in case you need a little push, being grateful may be the most selfish thing you can do. It can lead you to feeling better, to being healthier, to having a better outlook, to making others see you in a better light.

My father would always say be grateful you can help. My mother always told me to help others that are trying.

We are all still learning. Our world is changing drastically, but we may well have the ability to learn far more now than any other time in history.

And for that. We should be. Grateful.