the secret to a richer life

The Secret to a Richer Life

Dad told me the secret to a richer life.

My name is Lori. Today, I’ll share what may be the greatest life lesson in the history of humankind — spoken through the words of my Dad.

Want to have a richer life? Dad told us the secret early on.

What is the secret to a richer life?

“Draw a wider circle.”

A bit anticlimactic, you say? Well, few words can speak great volumes. Let me explain.

I grew up with two sisters. Sometimes we came home whining, “The other kids won’t play with me!” or “They’re leaving me out!” or “Nobody likes me!”

Dad would always respond simply,

“Draw a wider circle.” 

He said it repeatedly, ad nauseam. Dad was big on aphorisms, but that’s another story.

He told us that we should not make assumptions about others. Dad constantly reminded us that other kids were scared of making new friends too, so we should be proactive in making friends and joining in on activities. Our father was determined to raise three confident and assertive young women.

As a kid, I didn’t comprehend the magnitude of impact this one phrase would have on my life. When I was the newbie at work gatherings, and everyone else knew each other, Dad’s voice would whisper,

“Draw a wider circle.”

And I would. Hand extended, I’d introduce myself and smile. At cocktail parties, when I’d rather hug the wall than interrupt a formed group, Dad’s voice echoed,

“Draw a wider circle.”

And I did. I made friends. I was included.

Ever seen the movie Field of Dreams — the voice quietly urging Kevin Costner, “If you build it, they will come”? This was my dad’s gift to us.

And true enough, my “field of dreams” was always within grasp, provided I listen to Dad’s voice,

“Draw a wider circle.”

I can’t remember it not working. I do remember it being hard each and every time — but always worth it. It applies to a much greater concept though, circling back to the “greatest life lesson” reference.

What happens when you draw a wider circle?

When you force yourself to draw a wider circle, as uncomfortable as it may be, you automatically enrich your own life with the only thing in life that really matters: other people.

Drawing a wider circle means:

Making an effort to reach out to those you may not get along with.

Risking rejection to meet the one person who may sweep you off your feet.

Overcoming the fear of joining new groups, trying things you never thought you would or could do, and traveling to parts of the country and the world you never knew existed.

My dad grew up without a father. Maybe this forced him to “draw a wider circle” early in life. It certainly didn’t stop him from being the most incredible father three little girls could ask for.

Thanks for loving us so well.

“Fear makes strangers of people who would be friends.”– Shirley MacLaine