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Seeing partners Outcomes..

by | Feb 3, 2021 | Cat Stevens, Outcomes, partner

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Texas is not friendly to mass transportation.  A mix of the frontier mentality, setting out to control your destiny, and then floating in oil, everywhere you go is in a car.  Particularly as you came of age, you would get your license, and then head out on the town…. Except if you can’t drive… which I couldn’t until I was a senior in high school – an Outcome assured when my parents put me ahead.  As such, I was constantly either riding by bike (even LESS cool than mass transportation) or bumming rides.

Like most things you can’t have, being able to drive was a constant drive – pun intended.  The good news is I could work on cars because my Dad had done that since he was a boy, as had both of my grandfathers, uncles, etc.  And surprisingly, other people’s Dad’s didn’t… so my friends would drive over to work on their cars – or better, watch/help me do it.  I was thrilled to help change the oil, spark plugs, whatever.  We messed with 4 Barrel carburetors (remember those??) and generally enjoyed the time in the driveway… punctuated of course by going somewhere in the aforementioned car.  The reason I did it was to get out and … at least ride 😉 

The song for today has the perfect line in it for this discussion of driving… and I have to skip ahead to one of the last albums he would produce.  He was watching Soul/R&B music start to take off in the middle ‘70s, and wanted to do something “different”.  His partners were not as wild, but no worries – his rep was his… and he used it to record an album called Foreigner.  He always felt he was one being Greek/Swedish in England, but the title focused more on the fact he was not a “native” soul performer.  The album was good, but not as popular as the 4 huge albums everyone knows. 

Small towns in Texas always have a “main drag” where kids go to “drag” each other – which actually has way more to do with being seen with your partners and the car you are in.  People park on the side of the road as you drive past, and occasionally a couple of cars will actually race… for a short distance, never long enough to attract the police.  It is very much like American Graffiti, and I suspect it probably still happens to this day on Broadway in Tyler. 

The Outcome everyone was looking for was a partner that you could be seen with… a sentence that should be examined.  Sure – “with” is an important quality… but I think that more interesting is what does “seen” look like?  As everyone was growing, changing, learning, becoming… partners helped hone your own understanding – good ones help you see yourself better usually than you do – talents that are “normal” to you.  And the others remind you of things you may want to leave behind 😉 

I was fortunate to have some of both, and the best part for me is I knew I was leaving…  so the various versions of me I tried out would all be left there. When I arrived elsewhere, I could pick what I wanted new partners to see… and the Outcome I anticipated, and repeat the process. It is much harder if you have to “reinvent” yourself in a place where people know both the old person and the new person you want to become…

I had one friend who had one of the fastest stock cars in the town – a 68 Nova SS with a Muncie 4 speed… and if you don’t know what that is, then you really missed out on a missile.  But ironically, the car I enjoyed riding around in the most was a 72 Dodge Dart Swinger.  It was not that fast, and it was lemon yellow… but in it, was the partner I wrote about last week also.  We would run around town and buy the crazy new magazine – National Lampoon – and read it as we drove around.  There was no particular Outcome we were seeking – other than not being home, and driving around the town we both knew we would soon leave behind. 

The same is true in career trajectories.  What makes you excellent in your 20’s, gets you in trouble in your 30’s, and is fatal in your 40’s.  The drive to deliver Outcomes in each of those leadership stances is VERY different and without good partners, you can drive over a few speed bumps that are politely called “derailers” in my profession.  So where are you in your own Outcomes… and do you have partners who can help you – by helping you be seen… by you?  And if you had them before, what keeps you from reaching back and “going for a ride again?” Their observations could be helpful for the next leg of your journey…

This song was the major hit from the album, and again was something we played live as we drove around East Texas, and it spoke to us then, and again now looking back.  It is timeless in its focus on what mattered…and unlike the lyrics, we had someone to help us, my friend did have the time, when we rode around in his car, and switched on the radio.  My partner made the Outcome be a lot more fun than… The Hurt.

You say you want to seek the truth, but it’s hard to find
No one to help you, your friends don’t have the time
So you ride around in your car, switch on the radio
You want to relate to something you once read in a book
What kind of a way to try to take a look

Until I got hurt I was looking, I was on my way
Until I got hurt, until I got hurt, darling I painted my face grey
Until I got hurt, ’til I got hurt, why didn’t I
I didn’t think of this until I got hurt
‘Till I got hurt, baby, I didn’t know what love is

You say you want to learn to laugh ’cause music makes you cry
But the tears you shed are only in your eye
So you turn to any phony mouth with a tale to tell
But he’s just a hoaxer don’t you know, selling peace and religion
Between his jokes and his karma chewing gum

Until I got hurt, I was looking, I was the same as you
Until I got hurt, until I got hurt, I did not know what to do
Until I got hurt, ’till I got hurt, why didn’t [
I didn’t think of this until I got hurt
‘Till I got hurt, baby, I didn’t know what love is

Young son, don’t let me down, young son
I’m trusting you to keep on, never turn away now
Hold on, never let go, now hold on
Turn your heart to the bright sun
Love will come your way
Cause ’till you make that final show
You’ll never know what love you’ve been missing

You say you want to seek the truth but you work alone
No one to help you and nobody to push you on
So you sit at home drinking your wine, television on
You wait for a miracle, ’cause you say one day one’ll come along
( But wishful thinking, boy) any minute now ! You might be gone
I’d like to help you brother but that would be wrong

Until I got hurt, I was looking, I was on my way
Until I got hurt, until I got hurt, darling I didn’t know which way
Until I got hurt, ’till I got hurt, why didn’t I
I didn’t think of this until I got hurt
‘Till I got hurt, baby, I didn’t know what love is

Until I got hurt, oh I didn’t know what love is


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