Let me tell you up front: This is not the promised post I told you I would be writing today. There are a couple of minor technical problems involving its “construction” which will be solved shortly. Then I will tell you about the Christmas present I’ve already dispatched to my friends and relatives.
In the meantime, I thought I would tell you about the letter from the editor that my great friend Lesley Jane Seymour wrote in the December/January issue of MORE magazine. The subject is not about the holiday season which is supposed to celebrate kindness, giving and altruism, instead it is far more timely and timeless.
It’s a philosophy of life based on integrity, generosity, intelligence, love, priorities and, yes, kindness. Lesley was asked to give a talk about her best business maxims at Catalyst, an organization she said she admires for “its commitment to the breaking down of gender and race barriers in the workplace.” Rather than strictly follow the agenda, she decided to “expanded [the subject] to encompass my overall life philosophy.”
I was so impressed by what she said that I wanted to share her thoughts with you. Knowing her for as long as I have, I’m not at all surprised by what she wrote. Here then is what she shared with her readers (if you want to read the entire letter and more MORE, run out and buy this month’s magazine):
1.) You’re never too old or too young — or too anything — to have an impact on the world. You just have to get started.
2.) Put your family first. You can always get another job; you can’t get your children, spouse or partner back from a neglected relationship.
3.) Be a connector. People are always looking for contacts, help and advice; being the person who fills those needs breeds incredible joy.
4.) Never waste energy on revenge. It may take years, but the person who is lying or cheating will get toppled. There is something wonderful and empowering about rising above the anger you feel — but don’t think for a minute that justice won’t be served if you just walk away. Bad karma boomerangs to bite those who put it out there.
5.) No one holds failure against you; it’s just part of the game. . . .if you’ve never failed, it looks as if you’re playing it safe rather than trying to hit one out of the park.
6.) It’s hard to get to the tippy-top and still be nice — but you can get to the level just below with your integrity intact. Some people are shocked to hear that a certain celebrity or boldface-name CEO is not as nice as they seem. I say, ‘No duh! How do you think they got so successful?’ A good friend recently told me my elbows were not sharp enough for a task I was trying to achieve. What she didn’t know was that I had decided long ago, while working with the über mean girls at the high-fashion magazines, to keep my elbows comfortably round. Would I like to wear Prada every day? Sure! But I don’t want to become the devil in order to do it.
What do you think? What would you add?
I would add loyalty to the mix. Lesley knows a great deal about that subject as well.
Oh, yes, I’ve also given subscriptions to MORE this Christmas (and last). This is what you do: Take the current issue, wrap it in tissue paper and slip it into one of those pretty gift bags purpose made for a bottle of wine. It’s a gift that keeps on giving and the price is right. Furthermore, it’s our magazine.