Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 3/6/2023
Friday was my 77th birthday. I’m truly blessed. I live a wonderful life, have a great family, and terrific clients. There are about 14,000 of you receiving this weekly missive. I’ve always enjoyed everything that I can, realizing that I can always make another dollar but I can’t make another minute.
I could live another ten years or another ten minutes. I think (and so, apparently do others) that I remain on top of my game. Experience, so long as it’s diverse and new, brings maturity and wisdom. My cognitive processes are sharper than ever, but so are my self-honesty and perspective.
And there’s no denying that the horizon, which seems infinitely far away at 27, is now much closer a half-century later. It’s still distant, but there’s clearly less maneuvering room.
I’ll share this with you: On what issues do we place our priorities? I find passion about helping others, for example, to be a “calling” so long as it stops short of zealotry. I find passion about engaging in our own pleasure to be therapeutic, so long as it’s not an addiction. I’ve always asked myself if anything is getting in the way of my enjoying and contributing to life. I don’t think we have the right to consume wealth and happiness without creating wealth and happiness.
Self-worth is vital, and there’s not enough of it circulating these days. But self-absorption is all too common, and it’s destructive. We should feel good about ourselves but stop short of taking ourselves too seriously. I believe that people who can’t laugh at themselves have very low self-esteem. Most humor is based in pain. We need to face it, because it’s not what happens to us in life that’s critical, it’s what we do about it. Pain is inevitable, but suffering is voluntary.
So please accept my birthday present to you: Practice a “healthy selfishness” so that you can help those around you. That’s my “oxygen mask principle”: You can’t effectively help others unless you help yourself first, so that you’re strong, sharp, and caring.
And you know all those athletes who, when completing a great play, point upwards, intending to mean God or heaven in their thanks? That’s fair enough.
But maybe we should realize that grace and fulfillment aren’t above but within.
You can’t help getting older, but you don’t have to get old. —George Burns
I’m just getting older and better. —Neal Schon
My friends are Peter Gabriel, Bruce Springsteen, and we’re singing about mortality, getting older. It’s an interesting time. —Sting
Ageing is about others’ attitudes. But age is about your attitude. And I wake up each day believing it’s going to be great. —Alan Weiss