How My Father Saying “Maybe” Transformed Into A Valuable Life Lesson

Craig Stanland
3 min readNov 14, 2022

I love cars.

I have since I was 7 years old & a white BMW M1 passed my family’s Subaru GL wagon on Route 35 like we were stuck in the mud.

In one moment, I was hooked.

My blood was swapped for petrol, and I never looked back.

One of the most fantastic Christmas presents I ever received was a Road & Track magazine subscription.

Do you remember what it was like to receive mail as a child?

It was one of the most exciting things I can remember, let alone something dedicated to something I love.

One of my errands was to ride my bike to the post office to pick up the mail.

Around the 15th of the month, I’d wait with the enthusiasm and anticipation that only a child can have (which is a shame) and would relish in delight when the latest issue came out.

I’d flip through the magazine, grazing the content. Then I’d start over from the beginning and begin my exploration and my work.

Pouring over every detail, memorizing every stat, horsepower, engine size and type, list price, zero to sixty and quarter-mile times, and top speed.

I could recite all this information for basically every car out there, and my father and I would talk about cars quite often, and I’d recite what I knew.

“The Lamborghini Countach LP5000 Quattrovalvole has 455 horsepower and does 0–60 in 4.5 seconds.”

My father would reply the same way every single time, and it would drive me friggin nuts,


He did this not only with cars but with anything I’d read and recite that wasn’t based on pure science — and sometimes, even then, he’d say,


I was infuriated every time he said, “maybe.”

I’d point to the magazine where it was printed in color for the world to see,

“There’s no maybe; it says so right here!”

And, he’d respond again,


Craig Stanland

I write about my journey from corporate success to federal prison and finding joy, mission, meaning, and fulfillment beyond professional and financial success.