I attended the funeral of a good friend last night, which got me reflecting on the time I had spent with him and the impact he had on my life.
Leighton, at the age of 82, was one of the happiest and most at peace guys I had ever met.
I met Leighton through our local Toastmasters club a few years ago, and he has faithfully shown up every week to our meetings.
I loved hearing him speak, he had a way of saying things that made you laugh, and of relating deep truths about life in a lighthearted way anyone could understand.
One of my fellow Toastmasters said that she thought that his frown muscles were broke. He was one of those guys that was always in a great mood and had a smile on his face, no matter what. You just wanted to be around this guy.
I want to be this guy "when I grow up".
I thought you might appreciate 3 life lessons that I learned from my time with Leighton, and I am sure he would have wanted me to share these with you.
1. Don't Over Complicate ThingsI learned from Leighton's daughter during the funeral service that his favorite Bible verse came from Matthew Chapter 22 when Jesus was replying to a question from one of the Pharisees.
35 One of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
Leighton was fond of telling his daughters not to complicate their life or the Bible.
All you need to do is love each other and love God.
If your heart is in the right place, everything else will fall into place.
That's all there is to it!
Leighton lived these ideals, he seemed to love everyone he met.
DON'T OVER COMPLICATE IT!!!
A comment that a fellow Toastmaster made the other day is still ringing in my ears.
"It seemed like Leighton's frown muscles were broken."
The thing a lot of people don't realize is that being in a good mood is a choice!
Even on days where Leighton was having difficulty standing, he always wore a smile and complimented everyone, and I believe he was genuinely happy.
You can train yourself to do this. Psychologists have repeatedly demonstrated that physically putting a smile on your face and saying positive things can impact how you think about the world.
3. Enjoy Today
The final thing I learned from Leighton was to enjoy each day as it comes.
One of the last table topics questions I asked Leighton was if there were any particular sunsets or sunrises that he really enjoyed.
His answer was telling of how he looked at the world.
"I enjoyed all of them. What this question reminds me of is that I need to go see another one tonight."
He knew how to take each day and appreciate it.
He never seemed to get caught up in worrying about things he couldn't change from the past, or worrying too much about what the future held. He instead enjoyed the moment.
Enjoy the moment. Yesterday is gone, and tomorrow is not promised. There is only today.
I think Leighton would appreciate knowing that his life affected a few more people. If you've enjoyed this article or taken anything away, please share so that others can enjoy as well!
3 Lessons about Life I Learned from Leighton Reviewed by Don Smith on 9:53:00 AM Rating: