Somewhere I read a quote in which June asked Johnny to spend time with her because that was all she wanted. Or maybe Johnny asked June to give him some time in person so they could walk the line together.
Hell if I can remember where I saw or heard that, can’t say if it was a book, movie or song. Definitely not part of Ring of Fire but sometimes life burns, burns, burns and you find yourself in odd predicaments.
Situations in which it is hard to sleep because your mind is a humming along like you have 15 internet browser tabs open simultaneously.
Reminds me of a moment where I spoke with Grandpa Wilner about a situation that was particularly vexing and he reminded me that holding a roll of a quarters in your fist might help you adjust attitudes.
He also reminded me that is called assault and it can lead to multiple issues that may be worst than the problem you tried to solve with your fist.
I reminded him of the stories of his own father fighting with the police and he smiled. Those were heady days in Chicago in which trying to start a union was met with a less delicate but more direct approach than you find today.
About a 100 years later there are some good stories to tell but you want find me engaged in those types of shenanigans.
The Choices We Make
Sunday night and my mind is operating at high speed and perhaps close to peak efficiency as I think about sets of negotiations I am about to enter.
I know precisely what I am going to say and do for several of them but there is a particular situation that has me playing mental chess games in my head.
Moves upon moves upon moves are being executed inside my mind while I try to evaluate potential outcomes.
A colleague told me recently he can see me working out the chess moves daily and asked if I ever just go for things without having spent copious amounts of time thinking it through.
That made me laugh and I told him I once looked a woman in the eye and asked her if he still loved me.
“That takes some balls because it is naked honesty and she can flat out reject you. Much harder than business. People can say no in business and you can often find another avenue, but in the personal world where logic doesn’t matter it’s different.”
He paused to let an F-150 finish driving by and asked if that was my only example and had I done anything professionally that was based upon gut and not data.
“Every damn day. I do it every damn day. Live my life off of what my gut says and the data I can tie to it. When I played baseball they rarely caught me with a called strike. I hate watching pitches go by. I can wait, but you can almost guarantee I’ll swing at one of them.
Doesn’t always work but it gives me more peace of mind than just letting things happen. I am active in guiding my life.”
What Is Your Brand
Spent some time speaking with the younger Mr. Wilner about why the question isn’t as obnoxious as it sounds.
What is your brand is really about how others view you. Told him in my personal life there are very few people who matter but it is different in the professional world.
“How your colleagues see you can affect you in multiple ways. It can provide you with opportunities for advancement and take them away. Protect that image.
Be honest. Work hard and keep your promises. Good things will happen but remember doing all those things doesn’t mean you won’t encounter bad stuff or hard times.”
I like to think I am pretty good at following Teddy’s advice because it makes sense to me. Remember I am the guy who doesn’t like watching pitches go by.
Nothing wrong with looking for the best one for you provided you don’t get stuck with paralysis of analysis.
Sometimes you have to pick one that isn’t perfect and see what you can do with it. Though it is worth noting sometimes you really can leave the bat upon your shoulder because walks do happen.
So here I sit working out the details and wondering what direction is best but confident I’ll figure it out…somehow.
Figure we’ll end this with one of my favorite songs from Bruce.
Man, I always forget about this song, but it’s a great one. I tend to fall back on The Rising, written as a tribute to 9/11 & NYC; in my mind, until my dad passed away, it was the most significant thing in my life that I could think about.
As for the guy asking if you ever did something without thinking deeply about it (I know, I’m paraphrasing), if someone asked me that question I’d say “only if I don’t care what happens”. That means it rarely happens; why do something if you’re not going to give it your best shot?
The Rising is a great song too. Land of Hope and Dreams has been one I enjoyed for a long time but it really jumped out at me after Bruce said he sang it to Clarence in his hospital room.
You’re right, if it means something you ought to put effort into it otherwise it begs the question of whether it was important.