Bloggers are journey people. They don’t wait for the story to be told. They tell it all. In a not-too-distant future post, we’ll be talking about a big-deal change for our family. In order to make things work, many things will need to go right and we’re fine in making things works, but money is not one of them. Money equals stress for us and stress is one of those things that finds its way in everything you do, but the simple fact is stress does nothing but lessen your quality of life.
I had an early morning workout at Energy and listening to an interview Howard Stern did with Jonah Hill. You may say what you like about Howard but both Karen and I are devoted fans. No one is as honest with himself and gets honest answers from guests like Howard does.
The topic of the interview was Jonah’s film The Wolf of Wall Street, particularly how he took the minimum salary to work with Leonardo and Martin Scorsese. Jonah spoke of advice he received from Hollywood heavyweight David Geffen. The basic advice is not earth shattering – everything is about the journey and not the destination. That sounds cliche nowadays but it’s important to actually take every task and either enjoy it or get something from it. It’s not about the accumulation of wealth but the accumulation of experience. You’ll do great work and always have a job if you focus, not on the money, but on the experience.
David told Jonah, the reason why some movies will throw a ton of money his way is because that’s the only way they can get you to do it. Money is the only motivating factor in these cases. I think we all have those moments, where we say the only reason why we’re doing it is because of the money. I know I have. I’ve had to work with political candidates that I can’t even admit to working for by threat of being unfriended (I’m halfway kidding). Wealth comes from the positive experiences you have have on your journey.
Over breakfast, Mr. Geffen shared with Jonah an old Greek poem that Jonah says transformed him and has guided his career choices. I love the idea that this guides him. What guides you?
As you set out for Ithaka
hope the voyage is a long one,
full of adventure, full of discovery.
Laistrygonians and Cyclops,
angry Poseidon—don’t be afraid of them:
you’ll never find things like that on your way
as long as you keep your thoughts raised high,
as long as a rare excitement
stirs your spirit and your body.
Laistrygonians and Cyclops,
wild Poseidon—you won’t encounter them
unless you bring them along inside your soul,
unless your soul sets them up in front of you.
Hope the voyage is a long one.
May there be many a summer morning when,
with what pleasure, what joy,
you come into harbors seen for the first time;
may you stop at Phoenician trading stations
to buy fine things,
mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
sensual perfume of every kind—
as many sensual perfumes as you can;
and may you visit many Egyptian cities
to gather stores of knowledge from their scholars.
Keep Ithaka always in your mind.
Arriving there is what you are destined for.
But do not hurry the journey at all.
Better if it lasts for years,
so you are old by the time you reach the island,
wealthy with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting Ithaka to make you rich.
Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey.
Without her you would not have set out.
She has nothing left to give you now.
And if you find her poor, Ithaka won’t have fooled you.
Wise as you will have become, so full of experience,
you will have understood by then what these Ithakas mean.
– C.P. Cavafy