I learned a lot from reading Ray Kroc’s autobiography, Grinding It Out.
Not only does he tell a fascinating story of how McDonald’s was built, but he also gives you keen insights into how he was built.
One fact that is particularly telling is disclosed in the preface.
As Paul Paganucci, Associate Dean of the Tuck School of Business writes:
“The title brings to mind the long apprenticeship of over thirty years during which Mr. Kroc worked for others as a salesman and sales manager…For the great opportunity of his life did not come until 1954 when he was fifty-two.”
And not only was Kroc approaching his sunset years, but like a prizefighter stepping into the ring, he was carrying the wounds of his previous battles.
As Kroc himself writes, “I had diabetes and incipient arthritis. I had lost my gall bladder and most of my thyroid gland in earlier campaigns.”
Yet, as he continues, “I was a battle-scarred veteran of the business wars, but I was still eager to go into action.”
And perhaps most importantly: “I was convinced that the best was ahead of me.”
What is age but a number?
Is it not like the rings of a tree, only seen from the inside-out?
The question is not, how old are you?
It is, how old are you being?
Like the ninety-five-year-old spry Captain America, we all know people well beyond fifty who are more energized than many people in their twenties.
It’s not about age, but vitality.
And vitality is all about having something that gets you so excited to feel young!