Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Breath In, Breath Out, Move On - The Zen of Buffet

I recently went to the Margaritaville in Orlando and picked up a hat with the sagely words..."Breath In, Breath Out, Move On." I like this. Very Zen. Keith Moon, deceased drummer of The Who once said "No matter where you are, that's where you're at." Both are simple and very much in tune with how I would like to treat not only my foibles, but also my successes.

I also think the world would be a better place if we all felt that way. Don't get me wrong, I really believe that you celebrate your success; and, kick yourself in the proverbial butt when you don't measure up to your own standards. But these two sayings really put into perspective that unless you are curing cancer or have just landed an airplane on the Hudson River and everyone survived, pretty much what we do has relatively little impact on the world. It may make our "immediate world" a much better or more uncomfortable place, but in the long run the sun will still come up tomorrow and I'll still have to put my pants on one leg at a time.

I'm thinking about this now because of a personal situation that occurred just the other day. I purchased a 2005 Mustang Convertible for my son. Great price (thousands below retail), only 21,475 miles. It is RED with two racing stripes. Yep, I'm that kind of dad. Believe me, a great deal of research went into it and to my surprise, this one car, at this price, beat out every other used car we looked at for that price.

Well, when I went to pay the taxes on this vehicle I learned that I would have to pay the retail value and not Blue Book (I've never purchased a car from an individual before so I was not prepared for what happened next).

I was surprised (putting it mildly) that this tax bill was over $300 MORE than I expected. OMG folks! I blew my top. And unfortunately, my poor - and very patient - wife got caught in my tirade. Collateral Damage. It literally took me an hour to come down off the ceiling. A real "Hissy Fit." I then spent the next 12 hours apologizing to my wife of almost 22 years. She is a gracious person who is truly my anchor and someone who I do not deserve.

I simply did not..."Breath In, Breath Out, Move On" until it was a bit late. Live and learn.

Next time you're faced with a success or an "alternative-success" (how PC, eh?), think "Breath In, Breath Out, Move On." Maybe this will ground you and make the next success that much easier to attain and perhaps you'll have less "collateral damage."


  1. Great post, Erik. I'm very into the whole "zen" concept you described with "breathe in, breathe out, move on." (I think it's the yoga enthusiast inside me.) I think we could all be much calmer if we looked at things through the "big picture" lens and rested on neither our laurels nor our failures for too long. Then, perhaps the "collateral damage" won't be as great.

  2. Thanks Shannon. Another aspect of this is how it applies to working with our members. Yes, they can be difficult, but if we simply find our "zen place," we can devote so much more energy into solving the problem - and most likely do it quicker as well.
    Thanks for your comment.
    Erik -