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CW 72: David Hopkins

“Choose Wisely” said the Knight in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.  How do you choose what is good for you? Host David Hopkins explains.

Welcome to Bridge the Gap Contributor Wednesday. I’m David Hopkins. Happy October everybody. The leaves are starting to turn and it’s a beginning of a beautiful fall time. If you’re one of those pumpkin people, which I am not,  the pumpkin spice latte is back at Starbucks, as well as pumpkin ice cream and all that good stuff that people like who are pumpkin. So I’d like to talk to you today and I’d want to start with a story. It’s a story of a man. The year, picture it, is 1609, and the ship is the Sea Venture. And it’s bound for the settlement of Jamestown, Virginia. The new world had been opened up and Europeans were trying to stake their claim and establish a colony. This man was on the sea venture, and this ship actually ship wrecked on the Isle of Devils. What we now call Bermuda. If you’ve ever been to Bermuda, there is nothing devilish about that location, except maybe you don’t want to leave.


When the order came from the captain to salvage some wood from the ship and another ship to build a new, smaller vessel that would then sail on to Jamestown. This man commuted mutiny. He was sentenced to death and he talked his way out of it. And onto Jamestown they sailed until 1614 when he returned to England. In 1620 he embarked again on the Mayflower to Plymouth, signing the Mayflower compact, and living out the rest of his life in his new world. He served as an ambassador to native Americans and settlers. He was an aid to the governor and helped by facilitating the new settlement. He was the first tavern owner in the new world and a shopkeeper. Always choosing the choice of freedom for his family. He died in 1644. This man was Stephen Hopkins. He was my 10th great grandfather.


When I think about all the choices that he had to make and where our family is now because of his choices in making decisions for his family and for him. I compare and see how many different choices I have to make during a day. His were hard choices for his family. Survival decisions. Mine are more like, will I get guacamole on my chipotle bowl today? Choices are powerful. We all have a tendency to suffer from the analysis paralysis, but if we can push past the fear and doubt, you are actually in control. You need to stop settling. You need to stop choosing for somebody else and stop doing it for somebody else. A spouse, parents, significant others, your job. You need to choose what you want. When cereal boxes had prizes, inevitably, I would get the one I didn’t want. Whether it was the red and I wanted the blue. Or I got the whistle and I wanted the decoder ring. So many times did I wish that I could choose the prize that I had in my cereal box. Imagine if you could just open it up and choose the prize that you wanted.


My friend Jack Canfield says ,”event plus response equals outcome.” The only thing that you can control on this is your response. We can’t control outcomes and we can’t control the events that were placed into, especially in senior living. How many times have you walked into a family meeting, feeling like you are going to discuss one thing, and it turns out to be a complete 90 degree turn, and you’re going off the tracks? Whether it’s discussing inappropriate behaviors, family members, drugs, and alcohol abuse, neglect, or maybe it’s time that mom has a DNR. All of these times we are in the event. But the only thing that we can control is our response to it.


5:17 As leaders, we make decisions every day. Some are easy, some are not. Our team looks to us for hard decisions. We make mistakes. We learn, and we move on. When we get it right, we celebrate. Right now in this country, more in particular senior housing, we’re being forced to choose lots of the words of mandate, vaccines,  and other stipulations and new policies and procedures need to be adhered to. When we mandate something, does it take away our choice? A mandate still provides an opportunity to choose. Sometimes it’s not the outcome that we want, but it is the response we’re going to have to work with. So many times do we just choose the easy way? Not to make waves, keep everybody happy. It’s much easier. Everybody’s doing it. And then I think about how our parents would say for that. “If everybody was jumping off the bridge, would you?” It’s time that we start thinking as leaders for ourselves. It’s not what is mandated.


It’s not what is stipulated. But as leaders, we are burdened with the choice. Using the power of choice and exercising  this free right, is what makes our country great. So many times when we choose something different, do people and friends, all of a sudden not become our friends anymore? It’s okay to disagree. This country has had many disagreements over its years. We learned from it, we move on, and we grow. So today I want to challenge you. I want to challenge you to make the right choice for you. Not for your job, not for your spouse, and not for your kids. But today, do you just need to sit down by the lake or the ocean? Watch the waves come in. Do you need to go for a hike before you get home and decompress? Choices are a powerful thing and they can affect our lives greatly.


If you don’t know where to start, start small. Every morning you choose to wake up. You choose to get out of bed. Some of us even choose to make our bed. If you read that book by the Admiral Navy Seal, Navy Seals get up every morning and make their bed. First thing accomplished for the day. Imagine starting off your day with a check mark even before you’re fully awake. For those OCD people out there and type A personalities who have lots of checklists. This is speaking your love language. When you choose, you choose control in your life. As the knight in ‘Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade,’ a great eighties movie, stated to Indiana when he was looking for the Holy Grail to help save his father. The knight said to him, “choose wisely.” So today my leader friends, and my fellow senior living folks, today I challenge you to choose wisely. Our choices are impactful. They will shape the next six to eight months in this industry, and will shape our future. You have a choice. you are empowered. So go out there, my friends and make the choices that you need and not somebody else. Thanks for listening to this week’s Bridge the Gap Contributor Wednesday, please connect with me at

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CW 72: David Hopkins