Microsoft founder Bill Gates once gave a speech in Beijing, China. A boy named Jia Jiang listened to the speech and was impressed. So much so that he wrote down a plan to become a successful entrepreneur. He even planned to buy the entire Microsoft company someday.
Dreams don’t always work out as planned. Jiang and his family emigrated to the United States when he was 16 years old. He ended up working in the marketing department of a company. He was unhappy in his work and still wanted to become a successful entrepreneur.
Jiang left his corporate job and embarked on his entrepreneurial dream. Unfortunately, his first efforts ended in rejection. But he realized that worrying about rejection was a bigger obstacle than rejection itself. …
Sometimes I spot a flock of birds, departing in mass from the branches of a barren winter tree. It always feels like a sad event to me.
Where once the birds seemed to provide warmth and company to the tree, now they are gone. Like departing souls of those we have loved and lost.
The branches, stripped of their leaves, are abandoned and alone now. Not unlike people, still of sound mind and limbs, but devoid of warmth and color.
In 1990 Henna Inam graduated with an MBA and took a job with Procter & Gamble, which provided the foundation of her corporate career. Then she joined Novartis, which led to eight assignments across four divisions, three functions, and four locations over 13 years.
Inam had amazing sponsors, mentors, and experiences in her corporate career, but something was missing. After she turned 40, she experienced a mid-life crisis.
On Inam’s website bio she shares the following reflection:
“My corporate career had been mostly about achievement and climbing the corporate ladder and now I wanted to find my own way to ‘make a ding in the Universe’ as Steve Jobs said. So, instead of handling my midlife crisis responsibly by engaging in retail therapy, I went off to an ashram in search of myself and my personal ‘Ding.’” …
Roger Berlind was a successful man, despite several setbacks in his life. He majored in English at Princeton University and was involved in the Triangle Club, which put together musical productions.
Berlind served in the U. S. Army until 1954. He was a fluent pianist who played by ear. He pursued songwriting, but was unable to sell his music to publishers.
Despite knowing little about the world of finance, he interviewed for various positions on Wall Street. After many rejections, a firm finally picked him up.
Berlind would go on to create a small investment firm with friends. The firm later became swept up in a merger, followed by more deals. …
The dispatcher’s voice startled me. It was 3 AM and I was parked in a lonely, empty lot in the north end of town. I liked parking there because it was quiet, and I could get my reports done.
“Code 7 at Oak Tree Villa,” the dispatcher continued over the radio. In other police agencies, Code-7 meant “lunch break.” Unfortunately, in my department’s radio vernacular, it meant “dead body.”
Oak Tree Villa was our town’s only retirement and assisted living community. A local firefighter once called it “Croak Tree Villa,” which was awful but not inaccurate. …
Imagine receiving a phone call, out of the blue, from a long lost childhood friend. A friend who suffered a terrible crime when you were both boys. A crime you knew about but did nothing to help.
How would you feel, as an adult, to hear the kind voice of your long lost friend? A friend who still loves you. A friend who harbors no animosity.
A friend who enticingly says, “There is a way to be good again.”
Jeremy Mann is a successful fine artist known for his cityscapes and figurative paintings. He favors a limited palette of muted tones, and many of his cityscapes are monochromatic.
Mann hires models to photograph as reference material for his figurative work. He has an extensive collection of ornate dresses, belts, jewelry, and footwear to costume his models.
My mother is an 87-year-old Parkinson’s patient. She was in a car accident years ago that caused a neck contracture, so her head is permanently bent to one side.
She recently came down with pneumonia and was hospitalized, followed by many weeks in a nursing home. Now she’s back in her assisted living apartment, albeit weakened and frailer. Her mind is mostly intact, with occasional forays into mild dementia.
Mom’s skin easily bruises and tears, and she must constantly guard against bed sores. …
Live long enough and you’re bound to look back on the landscape of your life and mourn things long gone. The sting of losing loved ones goes without saying. Ditto for beloved pets.
Many lament the demise of their youthful appearance or good health. Others call up fond memories of their first house or car and wonder what happened to those exciting days gone by.
There are times when apropos of nothing, memories of my childhood home and early life come to the forefront of my mind.
“Nostalgia, the vice of the aged. We watch so many old movies our memories come in monochrome.” …
Hunkered down at home during this infernal pandemic, I had great plans. I was going to write more, create new artwork, and work out religiously.
Instead, I binge-watched the entire Ray Donovan TV series.
I know, I know. I’m embarrassed to admit it. Sure, I managed to get some creative work done, and exercised a bit. But once you’re hooked on a TV series, you have to follow it through.
“Sometimes I look around my living room, and the most real thing in the room is the television. It’s bright and vivid, and the rest of my life looks drab. So I turn the damn thing off. That does it every time. Get my life back.” …