Tangible Signs

Feelings of doubt have a way of surfacing during the quiet times – during the still of night, or times when we allow our minds to wander a bit.

And as expected, doubt appears during the times when we need it the least.

It seems that during the times when we’re working towards tackling life’s most important challenges doubt’s ugly head appears – especially when relevance and meaning are at stake.


It’s during these times of doubt when tangible signs can be so important – the thank you note, team photograph, or any number of things the show that it really is possible to achieve the impossible at times.

Sometimes we need to see the things we can actually touch or see to provide the validation that we’ve done it once – and we can do it again!

We don’t need to longingly gaze at them as if living in the past, but we just need to give a quick glance as we do from moving from the middle lane of traffic to the fast lane.

I’ve made a habit of collecting these tangible signs over time, and I hope you have too.  

My favorite among the collection is a framed cover from Construction News.

It isn’t because it was the first cover I ever got for Doosan – hardly the case at all.  It wasn’t even because of the excellent story – though it did have a happy ending.

Doosan Hurricane Katrina Relief

It isn’t even because there were only two framed copies shipped to me and the item would be considered “somewhat rare.”  I hand delivered the first copy to the volunteers in Bilxoi.

When I glance at the framed cover from a decade ago, I’m reminded of the struggle and endurance involved in getting the project started, and in the relevance and meaning the struggle provided in the end.

As a result of providing assistance to the people of Biloxi, we helped to make lives better and supported a group of volunteers who later went on to create “Burners Without Borders.”


While we created outstanding goodwill for Doosan during an incredibly challenging rebranding effort from Daewoo to Doosan, with plenty of press coverage, our efforts went beyond the balance sheet – we accomplished something somewhat audacious and daring when we could have just sent along a donation check.

I continue to glance at the magazine cover at times, never staring for long, since living in the past does nothing to further today’s challenges.


Even in such a short glance, I’m reminded of so much.

Prayers lifted and prayers answered.

Arguments made and approval received.

Invitations made and alliances formed.

Gridlock encountered and solutions created.

People met and friendships made.

Urgent needs and faith restored.

Jeff Wolfe with Doosan providing Hurricane Katrina relief to Biloxi.

There can be so much strength gathered by taking a quick glance.

Even today as I put plans into action for the next audacious commitment, I gain a little strength from revisiting some of the that may have been deemed nearly impossible – only to be written about later.

If you haven’t made a habit so far of collecting tangible signs along the way, it’s never too late to get started.

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