A “Symphony of Your Life” blog with Mark Hardcastle
Captain’s Log: May 1, 2014. Sitting at my desk, my first book newly in publication, refusing to rest on my laurels. This is the first writing of what will become my second book. How shall we begin?
What has me thinking these days? My life for years has had a priority of creating legacy and meaning, for myself, and especially for others. Can we start there? Has anyone given me grist for that continuous mill in the near past? Well, yes, actually.
Let’s start here. Someone recently lamented that a coworker had died and a week later he’d been replaced. She was shocked that the world simply kept turning. It was as if he’d never existed. The image that came to mind for her was that of a pebble tossed into a pond – small ripples evident for a little while, then nothing. I understood her sorrow, and even her shock. And she got me thinking. Can we somehow change that perception of a life when it’s over? What would it take?
Then this question rose to top of mind: what happens when you throw in a big rock rather than a pebble?
I thought about those times as a child when my friends and I stood on the edges of creeks or ponds and heaved in the biggest rocks we could wrestle. We roared as we contested to see who could make the biggest splash – cascades of water splashing up onto the banks. And if we could manage big enough rocks (and didn’t have the strength to heave it far!) often the tops of the rocks remained visible above the surface of the creek, their presence obvious forever to anyone looking that way. Indeed, those rocks forced the water to change its path as it flowed around them. Impact; significance; legacy. And yes, meaning.
Which are you today – a pebble or a rock? Which do you aspire to be?
This book is my second. The first was somewhat longitudinal in nature, a memoir of stories from my own life and those around me, and chronological. I hope it was (and is!) encouraging. That was my objective in writing.
I have the same objective for The Captain’s Log. Much like ship’s records kept by sea-faring Captains of yore, this is my record of significant voyages I’ve taken, many literally as an airline Captain, others as organic observations that presented themselves along the way of the biggest journey of all, the journey of life. In that sense it’s also a memoir. But it isn’t chronological. Each chapter is its own, having arrived in its own time, with its own beginning, middle, and end.
Something you’ll notice is that many of these log entries were written during The Age of Covid, from early 2020 through early 2022. Those will reference thoughts I had as I came to work with my colleagues in the airline industry, wearing masks, being as safe as we could while the world tried to understand the plague and come to terms with it. Recent as those events are, I imagine you’ll relate.
Now, this. I had a mentor years ago who told me that I had collected 60+ years-worth of stories that I had paid for with my life, that some of them were pretty good, and that any good story comes with a moral, a lesson. Because of that, he encouraged me to share those stories with you. So here we are.
As of today, the manuscript is complete. Editing and layout may change the chapter count, but so far there are 45, each containing 1,300 words, give or take a few hundred. It is enough, and I’m declaring it “good.” I’ve officially entered the next phase, the phase of editing, which promises to be arduous. Still, after eight years of working toward creating a book, the end is in sight.
But still a few nautical miles ahead. We’re not there yet. Editing, layout, and design, will take months. Those processes will make what I’ve done to this point all the better. So as we anticipate putting hard copies in your hands (and the hands of your friends and family – Christmas is coming!) here’s my pledge.
If I’ve done my job, you’ll enjoy the stories. And the lessons and simple thoughts they contain will be useful and will help you navigate the inevitable turbulence you encounter along your way.
More importantly, if I’ve done my job, these logs will inspire you to look inside for your greatness, whatever that may be. Which will in turn help you find a desire and the means to become a rock, not a pebble, over the course of your life. And that will make it possible for others to see your wisdom, visible above the creek water, for many years to come.
Thanks for reading. I am grateful for you.
Mark graduated from the USAF Academy in 1982. After nine years as a pilot on active duty, he left the military to join a commercial airline. In addition to flying B-737s around the country, Hardcastle spends time in the Rocky Mountains and serves on the artistic staff of the Colorado Children’s Chorale. He lives in Centennial, Colorado, with his wife and four children. Need some help figuring out why you’re on this planet? Want to talk about discovering your mission and purpose? Contact Mark today at 720.840.8361 to schedule a free personal consultation. He can also deliver an inspirational keynote or workshop for your organization! email: email@example.com for information.
Posted in Inspiration, Motivation, UncategorizedTagged BeingUnited, CaptainsLog, determination, how, inspiration, NewWorld, perseverance, PostCovid, purpose, StayInTheProcess, StepOverTheBar, symphonyofyourlife, TheSymphonyofYourLife, United, WeAreUnited