Suzanne Reisler Litwin: Your Common Denominator is?

What is my common denominator? This question got me thinking for a very long time. How are my interests and loves connected and combined? Are they all related in some way?

I love children and I love plants. I love to watch people develop into interesting people. I thrill to watch small successes become big successes. Therefore, I think my common denominator is GROWTH!

When I think back to my youth, I was fascinated with plants and growth. How a little bean when planted grew into a stem, into a strong bean plant, and reproduced beans of its own. The life cycle of the bean was incredible to watch. So too were “Sea Monkeys”! I loved that toy activity. How was I able to bring to life plankton from a completely dry mixture? It was unbelievably fascinating. It still is!

Growing up, I also had fish in an aquarium. I always selected male and female pairings for my aquarium. Why? I wanted to have babies! I wanted to see them being born. I would keep the baby fish in a cradle and release them when they were large enough not to be eaten by the adult fish. I loved to watch them grow. For me, Guppies were the best at reproducing. Actually at one point, I had to give my guppies away because I had too many for the amount of aquarium space I had. I was in the guppy breeding business and I didn’t even know it!

The love of growth has always been my passion.

Each year in the fall, I plant tulip, crocus, daffodils, and hyacinths bulbs. Then the garden is put to bed for the winter. I can’t wait for the bulbs to blossom. This also means the winter is over, but, it’s more about the growth that excites me. How will the garden look? Which colours will be bountiful? What secrets will be untold? Perhaps it’s also the anticipation which excites me too.

Watching children grow up is amazing. Newborns change daily and toddlers learn so much so quickly and say the cutest things. Suddenly their teeth fall out and they turn into big kids! Those big kids become tweens, teens, and young adults. Perhaps some young adults will become parents and the life cycle circles around again. Life rejuvenates and I love to watch the process.

My common denominator is just not about children and plants, it’s about people too! It’s about watching people become interesting and successful. One particular person that I am a big fan of is Mitch Garber. I’m lucky to say that Mitch is a friend of mine. He is also a mentor to many. He started off as a young entrepreneur working in the snack bar at our local community pool. As a teenager, I bought ice cream and drinks from him as I swam and hung out with my friends. He worked hard then and he works even harder now. Modestly, he is quite successful. However, his success does not solely lie in his financials. His work ethic is one of his greatest assets.

His other greatest asset is how he makes people feel. Mitch has a way of making people feel important, special, and loved. Now, that’s personal growth! It’s exciting to watch and witness this. I guess you can say that I’m a little big fan.

Another person whose growth I’m enjoying to follow is Corey Shapiro of Vintage Frames. I remember when he was born. I also remember his fascination with his grandfather’s glasses, especially his frames! His grandmother and my mother are best friends, so family is our main connection. With his very active social media presence I am able to see how hard he works and travels. His children motivate him to surge, and his business is taking off. It’s thrilling to see a young entrepreneur loving what he does and doing it with unbridled passion.

Notably, some entrepreneur quotes I have heard over the years are: “Hard work my friend, hard work is what it takes. No one is going to give it to you, so you’ve got to get it yourself. In life, there’s no free lunch!”

But… the common denominator of my interests is ‘growth’. I really love to watch people and things grow.

In September, I will have the glorious opportunity to welcome fresh new students to my classroom. I can’t wait to meet them. I will also get the opportunity to watch them grow with the curriculum I will be teaching. This is one of the aspects of the growth I enjoy the most.

What is your common denominator? What is the one thing which connects your interests and love together? To find the answer, list your personal interests. Try to isolate what they all have in common. For my sister her common denominator is definitely art. Art and the beauty of art combines her interests together. For both my sons, their common denominator is definitely sports.

Ask yourself, “What is my common denominator?” The answer just might surprise you!

Have a growth-full and inspiring day!

—Suzanne Reisler Litwin

—AB

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