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Off-Centered Leadership by Sam Calagione

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Introduction

But yield who will to their separation, My object in living is to unite My avocation and my vocation As my two eyes make one in sight. Only where love and need are one, And the work is play for mortal stakes, Is the deed ever really done For Heaven and the future's sakes.

—Robert Frost, “Two Tramps in Mud Time”

Sitting in the driver's seat of my new used muscle car, paintbrush in hand, the sound of the throaty engine music to my ears, I began painting the words “Go Slowly, Go Thoughtfully” in bright-red acrylic paint on the center of my steering wheel.

Enjoy the Journey

Just before I turned 46, my grandmother Jessie passed away at the glorious age of 96. She had run a small business with her husband, Sam, and had been a great inspiration to me. As I thought about her life, I figured if my grandmother lived to the age of 96, then it was certainly reasonable to assume I could live to be, say, 92 if I started taking better care of myself, stopped stressing out so much, and stopped trying to do so many new things so quickly.

A color photograph depicting steering wheel of Dodge, where the upper and lower parts of central panel reads “Go Slowly” and “Go Thoughtfully”.

“Go slowly, go thoughtfully.”

So I decided to treat my 46th birthday as my definitive midlife moment—the unofficial halfway mark of my journey along this mortal coil—and celebrate this existential milestone memorably with gusto.

I traded in my sensible used Volvo sedan for a 500-horsepower three-year-old Dodge Challenger Super Bee. This isn't ...

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