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5 Life Lessons from Joe Walsh – Life’s Been Good

I was driving down the freeway yesterday (messed around and got lost…hint), and was impacted by a true leadership luminary. I am talking about that visionary who ran for President of the United States in 1980: Joe Walsh ;)!

I was listening to Classic Rewind on SiriusXM, and discussing differences in rock music with my daughter. I am a huge Eagles fan, and I also love Joe Walsh’s Life’s Been Good. We cranked up the music because I wanted my daughter to hear the total irreverence in this song. Of course, I managed to find a few good messages in the lyrics, too.

So what Wisdom did Joe Walsh impart? Here’s the video along with a rough transcript below.

  1. I can’t complain but sometimes I still do

If you ever read my blog comments, you know I revisit this personal issue all the time. I sincerely love my life, and I know that I’ve been abundantly blessed. Yet I can complain about the most inane issues in a heartbeat (especially slow drivers of Subarus). Do you ever find yourself doing the same thing? If so, how do you get back on track? Proposed Solution: I’ve been spending more of my “outbound” commutes with the radio off, so I can reflect on my blessings and remind myself I would not trade my life for anybody else’s.

  1. They write me letters tell me I’m great

Most of us in social media are actively developing engaged tribes. We enjoy the interaction, and communications tend to span from the neutral discussion…through to positive feedback and encouragement…to rampant praise with Haydn’s Hallelujah Chorus in the background. In fact, studies have shown that social media can lead to depression because followers read this praise between people and assume their life is lousy by comparison. Proposed Solution: Delve deeper into relationships both in social media and “in real life”. We should always err on the side of praise and encouragement, but we can also benefit by coming alongside others when the situation is not as praise-worthy. Also, do not spend all your good sentiment exclusively on people you may never meet in real life. We have people in our own household and companies that could use a little encouragement, also.

  1. It’s tough to handle this fortune and fame, Everybody’s so different, I haven’t changed

From a work standpoint, if we do everything right, then success is likely to come our way. Perhaps that success leads to more financial benefits or notoriety within our industry. Temptations will arise that will entice us to become over-leveraged from either a time commitment or financial perspective. Proposed Solution: We need to remain mindful of the fundamentals that “got us there”. If you are tempted to invest more time, I recommend investing that time in mentoring employees and teaching them “how to fish”. We always need to work on scalability; otherwise, we cannot scale to meet the demands of further success. If the temptations are financial, do not become wildly speculative about future success and be sure to seek appropriate counsel. One of my favorite quotes is “a wise man has many counselors”. If good counsel still convinces you to “go for it”, then ensure it is a calculated risk with a well-defined investment threshold and criteria for success and failure.

  1. I keep on goin’ guess I’ll never know why

How many times have we seen individuals or companies run off on a tangent that was not part of their core strategy? Some companies seek to diversity with no firm understanding on why they are diversifying. Proposed Solution: Never lose sight of your core values and the strategy to accomplish goals consistent with those values. Working for the sake of work is not a strategy! I will extend that personal statement with this: Working for the sake of a paycheck is not a long-term strategy. We all need to put a roof over our heads, but it makes life a lot more bearable if we can truly enjoy what we do and adapt our lifestyle accordingly!

  1. Life’s been good to me so far

I never want to lose sight of this tidbit of wisdom. Has life thrown me curves along the way…yep. Did everything go my way…nope. But I focus on what is important to me: a loving, healthy family with a great sense of humor that does not get wrapped up in material possessions. Proposed Solution: Choose carefully your metrics for success. See the blessings in the little things, and the bigger blessings will often follow.

In conclusion, even an old rocker like Joe Walsh can convey life lessons. Perhaps I can get a “Maserati that does 185″ for a prize! And I look forward to your comments on how you remind yourself that Life’s Been Good!

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Brian Vickery

I love my Vickery Girls - and grandsons! My career has blessed me to the point I was able to start a new consultancy in 2018: Analytic Integrity. I look to provide analytic experience, and business integrity, to an Analytics world while helping data-driven organizations mature. I enjoy teaching and coaching, watching football and basketball, and playing tennis. I graduated UT-Austin.

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  1. Wow… Sorry this comment is off topic but I listened to the song. I had not heard that song in MANY years and I was struck by the quality of the stereo sound. Could it be that I was final listening to it with quality speakers or was it digitally improved?

    • Hey, thanks for stopping by Bernie. Sounds like you finally got a new computer ;)? I grabbed the video URL from the Joe Walsh YouTube channel, so I’m sure there is some digital re-mastering going on.

      Have a Merry Christmas buddy, and I still appreciate you letting me borrow those mats for my judo class!

  2. I thank God every day for the blessing in my life but I’m also a bit of whiner…good reminder with #1. For me, I get all my wisdom from Elvis!

    Love your use of music and these lyrics for the valuable insights you’ve shared, BV!

    • I might have a few more music-themed blog posts. I loved music growing up, and the horizons just expanded as my experiences did. I’m more of a throbbing vein guy sometimes (like with the aforementioned Subarus), and there is just no place for it. I have a wonderful life!!

      Thanks as always for stopping by, Bruce. If Elvis not giving you enough wisdom, you can always tap Joe Walsh ;)

  3. Brian:
    Excellent piece! I like your devotion to your family and the way you humbly appreciate all that you have been given. I am similarly blessed. Thank you for your wise words.
    Yesterday morning I drove to Louisville, KY to visit a customer where I met with the Principal and the entire staff for two hours or so and then Santa showed up. Yes, a friend of the company Principal dresses every Christmas as Santa and visits nursing homes and hospitals to bring good cheer. The Principal, Santa and I went to lunch. Just the three of us. Not seeing a sleigh, we drove there. We went to an establishment called “The Café” at 712 Brent Street. We entered the dining room from a side door. People turned their heads, their faces broke into smiles and they erupted into applause. No kidding. Santa waved, and exclaimed “Ho-Ho-Ho” and “Merry Christmas!”

    We were shown to our table. Santa did not sit for long. Up he went to greet people, to have his picture taken with people, to kneel and bend down to talk with a child. Smiles abounded. Everyone suddenly seemed happier. Santa (not his real name) said, “Do not doubt me. Everyone believes in Santa.”

    A woman came and asked if he would come and say something to her Mother. Seems the elderly lady has dementia and does not recall much of anything except her childhood. Santa held her hand and the little girl within brightened and beamed. Another woman asked if Santa would be willing to sing “Happy Birthday” to a guest at her table. My customer and I became Santa’s helpers! We three sang to “Rebecca” with all our might.

    Many of the restaurant employees came and stood by Santa and had their pictures taken. The owner was totally appreciative of the exuberance created by Santa’s presence.

    My customer and I sat and marveled at how much joy and wonder could be generated with the donning of a costume.

    I share this story only to remind all of us that Mother Teresa had a point. At this time of year, we do not need a red suit and white beard in order to spread peace and joy. We simply need two creases in our cheeks, one on either side of our lips.

    This week and weekend, may you smile to one and all.

    • Thanks for stopping by with your comments, David. I especially appreciated the story of the “child within” the lady with dementia lit up to see Santa. And I don’t think I’ve ever heard “We simply need two creases in our cheeks, one on either side of our lips.” Nice one!


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