Zen Greetings! (And apologies.)

I think I finally & truly know why I have Big Problems with the notion of “built to last.” It’s fine with me if things last … if they remain … EXCELLENT …THE COOLEST-OF-THE-COOL. If not, what the hell is the point, any point, of “lasting” per se?

This emerged during a Press Conference in São Paulo. I was asked about the value of “in perpetuity,” and I in turn launched a Rant. Here’s the gist, mercifully edited:

“I’ve ‘lasted’ quite a while; my landmark book, In Search of Excellence, arrived 22 years ago. That’s cool. But it misses the point … Utterly Misses the Point. I live for one … AND ONLY ONE … thing. THE MOMENT. I have worked my buns off at my craft for 3 decades, but the Entire Point is to do absolutely nothing more than bring every moment of those 30 years to bear on this … this “mere” 30-minute Press Conference in São Paulo. Screw the ‘long term.’ I will achieve IMPACT in answering your particular question or … as I see it … I will have pissed away the entire 30 years! My life will mean shit all! No kidding! I just came from speaking for 90 minutes to 4,000 (FOUR THOUSAND!) of my fellow human beings, Brazilian execs and professionals and managers. That 90 minutes … is my life. THERE IS NOTHING ELSE. Not yesterday. Not tomorrow. Only now … a God-given, Incredible, Once-in-a-Lifetime, Never-to-Be-Repeated Opportunity to Make an Impact. (Or not!) To: Make a Difference about some Ideas I care Very Deeply about. (Or not!) ‘Built to last’? Who gives a Tinker’s Damn! Built to Do My Utmost to Make This Moment Matter! To Make This Moment Sing! Period! Tomorrow will take care of itself … tomorrow. (If I am lucky enough to be given the gift of another day.)”

Clear enough?
Your thoughts?

(As to the “apologies” in the Blog title, I was doing a video taping last weekend, and at one point I exploded with profane anger at a bystander comment. Such an outburst is clearly unbecoming from a Senior Citizen. But the point was … I was 100.00000% engaged in my “performance.” As I said above, “The Performance Am Me!” Total, Excruciating Concentration … on bringing every ounce of Intellect & Passion & Life Experience to bear on the Beady Eye of the Unforgiving Camera. Mess with my Total Concentration … and reap the Whirlwind! But I am sorry. Sorta.)

Tom Peters posted this on November 12, 2004, in Brand You.
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