I’m reading a new book titled, “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg and while I am only about 20% into the book, the topic has definitely wrapped my interest. The first part of the book talks a great deal about memories and the things we remember as opposed to all those things we “forget” over the years. He takes a brief moment to ask the rhetorical question, “why does my brain decide that one memory is more important than another?” I’ve often wondered the same thing. How come we can remember the minute detail of a particular experience, but not the others, seemingly larger details? As I was reflecting on this thought today, I was reminded of a poster that was in a classroom of mine in elementary (maybe Jr. High..?) school…It read:
“30 years from now, it won’t matter what shoes you wore, how your hair looked, or the jeans you bought.
What will matter is what you learned and how you used it.”
If I could draw, I could create that poster to exact specifications – with the black background and bold colorful words – the print was attached to the side of the wall, close to the ceiling so no matter where you were in the classroom, you could see that poster. I’m not sure that I had an inclination of the the truth of the poster or why I paid so much attention to it, my life in years had been but a fraction of 30, yet something about that poster mattered to me. While we can’t always identify why, our memories are laced in emotional experiences. Perhaps it was a sign that I would one day be writing this blog about how life is a story, composed of events much more important than the clothes we wear or the shoes we buy. Perhaps it was the catalyst to creating my mindset about life and offering wisdom and perspective that can only come with age. I’m not sure, but what I do know is that memory is important, it stuck for a reason and truth of the poster couldn’t be more true today than it was 20 years ago for me. What matters is how you use the lessons, the gifts, the wisdom and the talents that you have been given. And the responsibility to put it all to use lies solely within you.