These are the good old days part II!

I bounded up the stairs just now at home having returned from the movies alone. At my farewell lunch with colleagues from AUT just before Christmas I was taken to blog about the good old days. Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris explores both the glorious beauty of Paris and the good old days. On his midnight strolls through Paris whilst visiting with his fiance and future in-laws, Gil Pender, a screenwriter and budding author,  travels back to the good old days. He finds himself mixing with Hemmingway, Picasso and others. Okay, so it’s not real, but hell, you don’t go to the movies for reality!

It’s a delightful romantic comedy and I can’t believe it took me so long to see it. This week I started my new role at PwC. There’s been grief from parting and finishing and wondering whether I was living in the good old days these last few years. Now I know I was for certain.

In the last year or so I’ve come to know a very special man, the poet Sam Hunt, and now be privileged to help him to find more places to perform to those that would appreciate him. He offers much to those seeking to find their grounding and understand their moral compass. Beyond Martin Seligman’s pleasant life of material pleasures, beyond the good life of maximising capability and achievement to the meaningful life characterised by connectedness to a greater whole.

I am not sure yet why I am connecting these diverse events – the good old days, Midnight in Paris, Sam Hunt and the meaningful life, but it’ll come as we continue.

I don’t always have it, but I have enough of a sense of the meaningful life to value it, want it and know that it is my key to happiness.  I’m honoured to have such a reputable firm as PwC take a chance on me to make a difference for them and add value both to them and their clients. I’ll try my best to do so.

Midnight in Paris reminded me to treasure the meaning I already have, and the meaning I am once again starting to build in a new place.  But starting new isn’t really starting new. It’s building on what exists and all the meaning I have built in leadership development, before that in investigation, and more recently connecting with Sam, is part of that base.

It was scary, but now it’s exciting and much more connected. Whatever you do, connect it with what brings meaning. Otherwise, why do it?

There’s a line: meaning for happiness. Maybe that should have been the title of the blog.

Stephen

Happy to be what you are

Mahmud Omid Djalili is a Muslim living in London with his wife and family in the movie The Reluctant Infidel. He discovers much to horror, that he was born to Jewish parents and adopted by a Muslim Pakastani family when he was two weeks old. The anguish of how to deal with this including how to tell ones loved ones. Especially when his son’s future father-in-law is a radical cleric from Egypt and needs to give approval for the wedding.

We all gain at least part of our sense of who we are from our ethnicity, our parents and our culture and possibly the religion of our parents and community. But what if there was a missing link on the way through like there was for Mahmud?  Would your whole sense of being be brought into disarray? Does it matter?

As it turns out (and we know this), Mahmud discovers it’s the same god, that actually Muslims and Jews have much in common and in the end he’s still the same father, businessman, husband and friend he was before he knew about his birth parents. Only he’s nicer. Aware of the absurdity of forced demarcation we get from religion, he brings the two together with new understanding and tolerance.

It’s a comedy, or more particularly a farce, but it’s got a great lesson in leadership about finding commonality by seeing through artificial contrivances and having the ability to laugh at ourselves.

It’s worth seeing!

Stephen

I love the movies!

I try to go the movies  a couple of times a week.  It’s Sunday, which is a great movie day, so here’s a listing of some of the movies I’ve seen this year (I know there’s more but this is a start) with links to blog entries where I’ve mentioned the particular movie.

Why? I felt like it! And they influence my thinking, and hence my blogs.

Stephen