I don’t consider myself to be old, but I also know I can’t, and most of the time don’t want to, do the things I was able to do 20 years ago. Now hopefully with that age comes wisdom, or so we tell ourselves so we can accept the inevitable tradeoffs that come with the passing of time.

I got the chance to ride around the country with one of the industry’s bright young men this week. He is in college and is looking to build a future, a life, somewhere in this business, and it really was quite refreshing. I think I had a similar kind of hope and optimism at that age; sadly I struggle to even remember.

Some would argue that my youthful optimism was because I was naïve and that with experience would come a tempering of expectations. I don’t think so. Priorities change, expectations change. Things like helping the kids practice livestock reasons becomes a priority that you never thought it would. And perhaps with age we learn that life is not so much about the destination as the journey.

For me, spending time with kids and bright young adults increasingly is an important part of that journey. It reminds me of the power of hope and optimism. Even more than that, it is a powerful lesson that most great things are accomplished because someone isn’t smart enough to see all the pitfalls before they get started.