I am an introvert by nature.

Recently Michelle and I went to Washington, DC to connect with some folks working with Coffee Farmers in Haiti… that was the mission.

Built around that was a visit with some of my extended Fish Family, a visit with old friends from the American School in London (2 segments), a visit to the National Museum of African American History and Culture, and 12 hours at the National Book Festival, by the Library of Congress.

There was a day that my introverted self could never have done that. All that engagement with people and crowds would have been overwhelming. Frankly in the past I wouldn’t have agreed to such an intense schedule, needing down time and recovery. Often that down time and reserved behavior has been misunderstood as being aloof, angry, or self-absorbed. None of that is true, but often that’s the way my shyness could have been perceived.

Things are different now. Balanced diet and outside exercise help, and I have a great relationship with my wife. But the real change is my willingness to live closer to what I call my ‘leading edge of growth.’ Two things about that, the first of which is to not allow myself to use my knowledge about my introvertedness as a crutch… instead to use it as a baseline. Second, deciding that I want to grow into a higher functioning person and leader, and in order to do that, I have to test where I am not comfortable… and push those boundaries.

It’s not easy, and I make all kinds of mistakes, but I do feel like I am actually living life when I am looking forward and growing emotionally and intellectually. I am grateful for BIGGBY and all the people in BIGGBY NATION for providing that platform and to Michelle Fish. I couldn’t do it without you holding my hand.

Introvert at the Lincoln Memorial