Friday Randomness, Vol. 65

Christopher Walken

Okay, back to our random-but-not-always-random agenda. This may be a bit scattered at first. Bear with me as I piece together for you the inner workings of my brain…

Thought #1: A couple of weeks ago, my friend Jesse reminded me about Dale Carnegie’s book How To Win Friends & Influence People. I mentioned it a while ago mostly as an aside to a story about rabbit holes. Jesse loved the book, too. 

Thought #2: That same week, my friend Beth shared with me an awesome story about her days working as an intern at a theatre company in New York City. Among the actors and actresses working there at the time was Christopher Walken. I thought it was funny how she admitted he sort of intimidated her. Heck yeah, I think he’d intimidate me. He probably intimidates a lot of folks.

Intimidating notwithstanding, she told me how she left the theater one day to head out for lunch. Walking down the sidewalk, she spied him coming toward her. ‘Hey Beth,’ he greeted her. How did she know his name!? She was just an intern! (My memory isn’t 100%, but I feel pretty confident she in fact used the word just in what I’d assume an act of humility).

Thought #3: One of the parts of Carnegie’s book that stood out to me was this:

‘(Franklin D. Roosevelt knew that) one of the simplest, most obvious and most important ways of gaining goodwill was by remembering names and making people feel important. Yet how many of us do it?’

I’ve always been terrible at names. I’ve used the excuse that, well, ‘Sorry, I’m terrible with names.’ Pretty lame. At some point, I realized there’s no excuse not to remember someone’s name, so I learned to repeat them in conversation, then jot them down in notebooks and in spreadsheets. That’s helped, but I still screw up sometimes and forget. I’m a work-in-progress.

Final thought: Christopher Walken remembered names. There’s something to it. However many years later, Beth still hasn’t forgotten.

Friday Randomness, Vol. 64

Amanda Gorman

Kelia Anne/Sun Literary Arts via AP

I had something random-but-not-random all lined up for this week. Then I heard Amanda Gorman recite her poem The Hill We Climb during President Biden’s Inauguration. It was so incredible I wanted to give a heads-up in case you didn’t catch it, you haven’t heard someone you know tell you about it, or you were on a backcountry ski tour or somewhere cool and out of information range.

You can watch it in a lot of places like here. Just as powerfully as her reciting it, you can read it also in a lot of places like here. (If you have a browser that supports a reader view, click it)

There’s so much to her poem it seems silly to pull out a single piece. That just means it’ll likely speak to many of us, in different ways. For me, this was what stood out:

We are far from polished, far from pristine, but that doesn’t mean we are striving to form a union that is perfect.
We are striving to forge our union with purpose.

Friday Randomness, Vol. 63

Clouds gather around Lookout Mountain

Last year, I had what I thought a great call with someone from a company that had been on my ‘Companies I’d Love To Work With’ list. Our conversation felt good. They asked me to follow-up in a couple of weeks. A couple of weeks rolled by and I shot off an email, excited for the opportunity. Nothing. Nada. Ok, another week went by. I emailed again. Nope, still nothing. Disappointed, I came downstairs and mentioned to K it seemed like I had been ghosted. I’ll never forget her reply. Or, more accurately, how she replied. 

‘Yeah, that happens.’ Then she turned around and went back to emptying the dishwasher. 

She said it totally one-hundred-percent nonchalantly. How she responded, having not been invested, was an awesome reminder to me. It happens. No worries. Move on. 

Friday Randomness, Vol. 62

Delivery guy discovers treats

Last month, K and I set out some treats for the delivery folks. Like kids on Christmas Eve leaving out cookies for Santa, we waited in anticipation. The first gal drove around to the back of our house. Strike one. A few more came and it didn’t seem like anyone got a kick out of it.

Until this guy. (If you watch the video, turn up the volume so you can really hear his excitement)

His reaction was awesome. It was a good reminder, too. What matters isn’t pleasing everyone, or trying to make them all happy. Maybe those other folks just grabbed a snack from the house up the street, or they’re about to head home for dinner. Maybe someone doesn’t like snacks. What matters is just making one person’s day a little brighter. Like that guys.

I have to remember this from time to time, running a business, trying to make an impact. Everyone isn’t going to be blown away, or find something meaningful in what I have to say. That’s okay. As long as one person does, though, that’s enough for me.