Life is a Business – Chapter 11

A series of essays on the past, the present, and the future

Okay, let’s take a break to laugh and giggle!

Normal brains are hard wired and chemically controlled to stop laughing or stop crying at some point, or we would go nuts. There must be relief from the extremes of our emotions; there must be balance. You must have balance in your personal and business lives. “All play makes Jack a poor boy!”

I tell young people all the time to think about their careers and business like they did about sports as kids. It was just a game and we knew there would be some hard knocks, but it was so fun! We begged to go in and endure the pain so we might be the one to score the winning points at the last second…we all played out that dream behind the house as kids. The glory that awaited us for achievement completely overwhelmed any fears of pain; we were Motivated.

As teenagers, we got seriously motivated for something else and risked life and limb to find it, catch it and keep it for ourselves…but that’s a story for another day. The point is for you to remember how much fun was in the chase-often it was far more thrilling than the actual results which tended to be very short and unfulfilling, to say the least. I think it was Plato who once said “the imagination is always better than the real thing”.  It’s OK to dream, but don’t set your expectations in love or life in an unrealistic manner. There is a place for you in this world and it waits patiently for someone with your assets to knock on the door.  Be realistic about your odds for success and choose the targets of your affection and interest with great care. Remember what Dad said: “Only a fool would aim his cannon straight up”!

Great success is simply the logical conclusion in a chain of smaller successes. There is a passage in the Bible that says “Be faithful over a few and I will make you ruler over many.”  I was told that on my first job as a young manager trainee at American Manufacturing Company and one day, I retired as President, because I was faithful in my duties at every level. In the end, you realize that a great leader works for employees, not the other way like most folks think. The lost word, the Holy Grail of traits, the secret to success. . . DUTY. Rarely heard any longer, even more rarely honored in our self-serving society. Too bad, but you do not have to miss out!

With rights come responsibilities; with freedom comes duty; with success must come humility and compassion for others. It is my duty to give back to the country and society that allowed me to seek and achieve my dreams. It is my duty to be a good citizen, neighbor and friend to all who seek the same in life, along with some who don’t. They are all my fellow travelers on the same road, arriving at the same end, just on different trains and schedules.

In the end, find joy in all circumstances and laugh most of all at your ridiculous self!

By Bill Hewgley