Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Oh to be old and wise

When you're young you're full of gusto and misplaced optimism. Everything is possible. Your imagination runs away with you not constrained by whatever has gone before. You're naive of course. But so what?

As you grow older, through bitter experience you learn to recognise the tell tale signs, you lower your expectations. The knock backs suffered previously, the misadventures, the failures all conspire to temper your enthusiasm.

But how do you prevent yourself falling over the edge into the abyss of cynicism?

We can all picture the cantankerous old git in the corner who can't wait to tell you it won't work. It can't be done. Been there tried that got the t-shirt. How do you stop yourself becoming that really annoying winge-bag?

My childhood sweetheart Aliy used to tease me that I'd be a perfect grumpy old man. Picture the Harry Enfield character: 'You don't want to do that'.

And my best mate Rich and I at Uni used to look forward to the day when we'd be sat with our blankets on our knees at the nursing home setting the world to rights. Telling people what we really think.

The holy grail of course is to achieve a sense of wisdom and to always demonstrate a touch of class.

The ability the keep your head when all about are losing theirs and blaming you.

Being able to trust yourself when others doubt you.

Still being able to dream the impossible but not letting your dreams blind your judgement.

And as you climb higher and higher up the ladder in life never losing your common touch.

Now, the wise amongst you (or the well read) will no doubt have noticed the unashamedly similarities of what I've just said to the classic Rudyard Kipling poem 'If'. Published in 1909 and inspired by the exploits of a British soldier in South Africa, Kippling captured the essence of class. Not as in upper, middle or lower. As in exuding class.

If you've not read it recently or have never had the pleasure I heartedly recommend it.

It forms the introduction to 'Make Yourself Unforgettable' which I'm reading at the moment.

For anyone hoping one day to be thought of as a class act there can be no better checklist to post on your office wall or keep to hand on your desk.

The reason all of this is so front of mind this morning is because my team and I have come up with a cracking idea.

It has all the right ingredients to be a roaring success. It is simple. Engaging. New. But built on a tried and tested concept.

Everyone so far who has heard about it thinks it is great. In fact tempering their enthusiasm is half the battle. But I'm also doing my best to remain calm.

I'm either sat on a gem that will fly and will grow a life of its own. Or the whole thing will unwind and be consigned to the depths of my memory. Only to surface again when someone else in the future suggests something similar and I resist the urge to say 'it will never work.'

Time will tell.

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