Yes Gustave is back again..(huh?)

(gustave-flaubert2_optThis is a blog post from someone who recently attended my talk at Canyon Ranch in Lenox, MA. Beautiful place, great audience, perfect night. @Amy Allara – thanks for sharing your experience. – Mike)

The most glorious moments in your life are not the so-called days of success,  but rather those days when out of dejection and despair you feel rise in you a challenge to life, and the promise of future accomplishments.

*During my recent stay at the Canyon Ranch in Lenox, MA (my second time there) I saw and met a very original and gifted speaker, Mike Jaffe.  And I imagine he might take issue with my question/statement, “when something is good why look for something better?” Though, I do think he would understand how I meant it in this context.

He is a motivational speaker who speaks a lot about the concept of fine—what is fine?  Considering trite, omnipresent statements like: I’m fine, you’re fine, life is fine.  But he maintains that fine is, in fact, not fine, and that we should be seeking something better than fine for our lives.  His story is a layered and powerful one, and had he not stepped back and evaluated his own life and his wish to change it on September 10th, 2001, he would not be here to write books or give talks or talk about what it means to be fine, and what it means to look for something better.  The day before September 11, 2001 he reflected on his 4 hour-a-day commute to and from NYC and how he barely got to see his young daughter and wife.  His answer to that, in part, was to have breakfast the next morning with them.  A breakfast that led him to take a slightly later train, and to not be sitting at his desk when the first plane slammed into his building.

His story and his ideas are much better heard from him, and read in his own words, but he delivered a great talk, with much more emphasis on September 10th than the 11th.  Because it was the 10th that marked his change in perspective.

And like Gustave says, the greatest moments are not the so-called days of success, but the days when we feel something in us that challenges us to find something better, something different.  Clearly, for Mike Jaffe his cognitive shift on September 10th saved his life, literally—but his point, or one of them, is that we don’t need something immensely tragic to bring us to a new awareness of what we want.

My favorite metaphor of his was…”


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