So yesterday, February 11, was my birthday --- hhmmm! There’s no question that for me, my birthday is sobering. I realize I am one year older, one year wiser, one more year set-more-in-my-ways, and yes, one year closer to my eventual demise.
I guess I’m doing lots right. I got more than 150 wishes from my family, friends, colleagues and clients who remembered to call, email or text me – I appreciate that. And I do love you all.
But, good or bad – on every birthday, I sit back with a glass of my favorite scotch (Lagavullin 16) and ponder a bit. And here’s some of what I pondered in a quiet moment yesterday …
1. The more love you make, the more love you’ll take – This is so true. I used to think that people were automatically loved – and that one got love simply as a result of who you were. Yeah, you can get a little love that way – but to really be loved, you have to make love. Not literally, but in everything you do. You have to create love. In what you do. In what you say. With the people you hang. Love does not just happen – you create it. And the more love you create, the more love you’ll end up with. Guaranteed. Create love by being spontaneous. Create love by seeing things from another person’s perspective. Create love from using your imagination by thinking in technicolor. It’s easier than you think
2. The “Oh Wow” factor. We’ve all got choices in life. You can live the mundane or you can live the extraordinary. If you choose, (like I have), to live the extraordinary, you’ll have lots of “Oh Wow” moments. Each of these moments is memorable. Live the mundane, and there really is nothing left to remember at the end of the day. Look no further than Steve Jobs, one of my icons. The last six words, this modern-day Edison ever said, moments before he left this world, were “Oh wow, oh wow, oh wow,” Now there’s a guy that lived the extraordinary.
3. Be good – because it comes back to you, in spades. How often do you call a friend just because? How often do you help an old lady cross the street? How often do you drop a buck or two into a homeless person’s hat? Not often enough – for sure. Being good to others requires thought. It requires effort and it requires sacrifice – all of which us humans would rather not do. But showing kindness to a stranger is not only good for the stranger, it’s good for the world, and it’s good for you.
4. Manage your time. I was speaking to someone at synagogue on the weekend. He’s a smart, well-respected guy. I like his style. He says it like it is – outspoken. We were talking about the passage of time – and how it seems to be flying. His point? Don’t waste time doing things that don’t matter with people that don’t matter. In other words, make the most of every encounter because you never know if the encounter you’ve just had will be your last,
5. “Go placidly amid the noise and haste and remember what peace there may be in silence.” Yeah, I know, this is the first line of Desiderata, written by Max Ehrmann in 1927 but it’s so applicable today almost 100 years later. As a marketing guy, I’m in the business of making noise, so you may think it’s sort of strange me talking about peace and silence. But it’s true. Make the right noise at the right time for the right reasons. Unfortunately, there are too many people making the wrong noise at the wrong time for the wrong reason (that is even if they have a reason at all.)
6. Let go. Part of the growing up process is about letting go. Letting go of your children as they get older and require you less and less. Letting go of your neuroses. Letting go of bad habits. And most importantly – letting go of those things that you cannot control. Letting go feels good. And it’s the right thing to do. In other words, don’t be a control freak. Sadly though, it seems that the older one get’s the more in control one wants to be. Not me.
There you go, your comments are welcome.