Friday, February 6, 2009

My Hero the Pilot

One of the things that I have always aspired to is to be cool under fire. Both in life and in business. Movie characters like Clint Eastwood in just about everything he has ever done, but especially Kelly’s Heroes. Tom Hanks in Apollo 13. The character, Draper in Mad Men. But the recent fantastic story of the pilot who landed his plane in the Hudson River really caught my attention. His years of experience allowed him to make the instant decision that saved the lives of all his passengers. He was over 50.

I must confess. For the past 18 months or so I have been stressed about turning 50. That ‘special day’ occurred in February 2008. So with 51 just around the corner, I have been thinking about it once again.

I work in advertising. A young person’s game I was told. Get out before you turn 50. I have believed that my entire working career. Unfortunately I managed to make that advice come true.

I realize now though that I have led myself astray. Years of experience matter! . Now more so than ever in this economic climate. To have all of that thrown out just because I hit 5-0 seems stupid.

Well to borrow a line from another movie, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!”

And that’s where my pilot hero entered. Experience got the job done!

Youth with all its fresh energy and enthusiasm is not the exclusive preserve of the young. I know I am not the first to figure that out. At 50 I still have the naïve optimism I had when I was 21. Just ask my wife, Sally.

I also however have the grey hair, love handles and wrinkles of 30 years of living. And the experience gained from being in the trenches of business.

Looking for an opportunity that takes advantage of my experience now. The search has been frustrating. Lots of naysayers out there. But through blogging I have met some new, positive influences. And I continue to be optimistic, enthusiastic and energetic. The passengers of the flight that landed in the Hudson would agree.

PS: The headline for my personal ad: “Enthusiastic, energetic, experienced…gets the job done!”

Until next week…

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