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.)"
(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.)