Dedicated to the late Gene Wilder (1933-2016)
When I was 17 a good friend of mine invited me to watch an old film (1979) he claimed was a classic; we watched ‘The Frisco Kid’. The film is about a Rabbi from Poland (Gene Wilder) and his journey through America to become the leader of a Jewish community in San Francisco. On his way, he becomes friends with a wild cowboy (Harrison Ford), and together share many adventures traveling from east coast to west coast.
My friend and I laughed hysterically at the minimum budget film that had little to no special effects and of course was without a unique soundtrack. The comedic brilliance of the late Gene Wilder combined with the ruggedness of the vintage Harrison Ford, created wonderful on screen magic for all viewers. At the core of this film was a much stronger theme, which sparked something inside me. The film revolved around values such as pursuing your destiny, performing with purpose, delivering your product, and acting fully on all that you believe in.
Now, almost 40 years later, I ask myself where are those values today? Do they belong at work? Why was 'Rav Avram' (Gene) so passionate about his job? Why aren’t people allowing their passion to drive them to accomplish their goals?
If we want to be as passionate as Gene, we must ask ourselves these three question:
# 1: Why?
We become deeply connected to the our work when it serves a purpose both to ourselves and to others. This intrinsic motivation creates a passion that solidifies the purpose of your day- turning boring work time into meaningful work time.
# 2: When?
Mark Twain said it best, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the second best time, is now.” We are all here for only a limited time and therefore should not wait to deliver our product/ brand/ purpose to the world. Get moving!
# 3: Where?
I believe we lose track of our ‘why’, when we are not in the right ‘where’. Our place of work should inspire us, and consistently remind us to go after what we are looking for. Our thoughts need a free dynamic space to explore and consistently be in touch with other people. Coworking spaces makes a great ‘where’ to pursue your ‘why’ and 'when' as you are always interacting, getting new ideas, changing your work environment and more. Although the first two questions are crucial, the ‘where’ is the game changer.
Gene created timeless cinematic memories for millions and captured our imagination in ways that only he knew how. The values provided for us by his roles and films are powerful ones which should serve as a compass for how to lead a successful career, relationship and life. In honor of Gene's memory, I invite you to try and maintain that passion in your work, find that meaningful way to deliver your product, and strive to pursue your destiny.