Ken Dahlberg - entrepreneur, leader and WW2 fighter pilot died today. He was 95 years of age and ended a life of accomplishment that few people will ever approach.
When I heard the news this morning, my first thought was to hurry up and post the finished work of his P-47 fighter. But I think I'll wait - there's an ironic lesson to be had.
My experience with the man was momentary. Years ago, Joe Foss suggested I call him, gave me his phone number...and I made the dial. Ken and I talked for maybe ten minutes and I made plans to get in touch at a later date. I never did...until too recently. My notes are probably half a page and contain nothing of real importance. My loss - I wasted the opportunity.
Life is linear. Like a P-47 howling over the earth at 400mph, time consumes distance. Zoom!
Many people will mourn Ken's death, talk about his accomplishments and be grateful for his example. But, if I've learned one thing from talking with successful "old people" it's this - at the end of life, they don't talk much about what they haven't done. Though it's a repackaging of the age-old thought - "Is the glass half full or empty?" - the best of the breed think about what's to come rather than what's been left behind.
And that, of course, only makes sense. Flying with the past as a reference only leads to crashing.
So, for now, I think I'll keep Ken's "Bolt" up as a work-in-progress for the reminder that life is short and the number of tomorrow's are finite.
Yet, for the opportunities at-hand, I will seize this day and move them forward.
In the lingo of the 352nd FG "Bluenosers," Blue Skies, Ken. We'll catch up to you.
In the meantime, learn more about Ken by clicking here.