Icons have a way of sticking in our memories and James Dean, gone these 55 years, is still sticking. He lived fast and Thoreau would have commended him for living his imperative to “suck out all the marrow of life”. Here’s what Dean had to say about living:
Dream as though you’ll live forever.
Live as though you’ll die today.
There’s no imperative to die today; however, the ancient Samurai lived with a James Dean-like consciousness, imagining that they were already dead. That left them no reason to hold back in anything, so they lived every moment and did great things. In contrast, pretending that we will live forever makes us protect ourselves and live small.
Here’s a picture of my oldest grandson when he was just short of a year old.
I was struck by his insatiable curiosity about everything, even a blade of grass. He put himself fully into every moment and was the most 11-month-old kid he could be. It wasn’t a conscious decision; it’s just how children live.
That same curiosity and insistence on living all of life still lives in you. When you show up in that way you’re the greatest leader of others you can be and they are grateful for your leadership and want to give their very best, their A-game.
Imagine that: all you have to do is show up like an 11-month-old and great things will happen. Now is a good time to do that.
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