And Daddy Lost

Author Douglas Huh is working on a book on passion in work life, and he sent me a list of 18 interesting questions on the topic. One of his questions reminded me of an episode in my life that gave me a different perspective on things.

13. I believe people can acknowledge their level of passion when they are “truly moved by their own efforts”. Borrowing this aspect, could you share with us your experience of being truly moved by your own efforts?

I disagree. When you allow yourself to be moved by your own efforts you can easily become complacent. So in answer to your question, I’ve never been moved by my own efforts. It allows you, sometimes, to see something else of greater importance that you may have missed.

Long ago, I was nominated for an award at a multimedia festival that used to be held in Cannes. I brought my oldest daughter, who was 9 at the time. For fun, we went to McDonalds together — which was special to see the French version with her. The award ceremony opened with a massive production that was Cirque de Soleil style and over the top. Then there was the big moment where the nominees were being announced, and my producer was getting us all psyched to go up to the podium for the win. But my name wasn’t read. We went back to the hotel, and my daughter wrote a fax to my wife, Kris, to report the day’s events. It read, “Dear Mommy, We went to McDonalds and I got a Bugs Life toy in my Happy Meal! We ate Indian food for dinner. Daddy’s producer made someone eat a hot chili pepper. There were acrobats and clowns. And Daddy lost. Good night!” I was reminded how children help us notice what truly matters in life.

Only a few more days left in the year of 2011. Reflecting. -JM