Hey all you outdoor enthusiasts, get ready to gird your loins this weekend. Marked on my calendar a few months ago (a reader didn’t want me to forget) was this: Saturday, May 4 is World Naked Gardening Day (WNGD).
How could I have forgotten that? (Maybe I tried to?)
At any rate, for those interested, WNGD encourages naturists (that’s what they’re calling themselves these days) across the globe “to tend their gardens naked on the first Saturday of May.”
I checked the weather forecast for Saturday and in these parts it’s ‘sposed to be “Mostly sunny” with a high of 60 degrees. It’s your call, but I tend to believe I will be tending my garden fully clad. The only thing naked I will be exposing to the sun’s rays will be two hands and my two bare feet.
(I know, I am such an adventurer.)
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Left overs are GREAT!
A few weeks ago, I interviewed Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson. With space considerations to contend with, there was a lot of material from that hour-long interview that simply didn’t make it to print (or online, for that matter). One of the questions I asked Brooks recently was almost the same question I asked him13 years ago. As what happened then, happened now – the question and answer went nowhere except between my ears.
Back then I was super interested in success stories, and with my enthusiasms I asked people whom I thought were successful, “Why are you successful?” (I know, I know. The depth of my interviewing skills knows no bounds. Deep and probing questions I will ask on my death bed. Til then, sports fans, you get the Shallow and of Little Consequence Don questions.)
Brooks, in answering the question then and now, basically said the same thing. “If I have one talent, it is the talent to find the right people to surround myself. With these talented people, we have been able to launch a number of successful programs and balance the county’s budget three years in advance.”
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Funny, just last week I pulled on some folded-in-half, white pieces of paper that had been sticking out between lots of papers, magazines and folders, three feet in front of my face on my Oxford office desk for years. I wish I would have been curious and pulled them two months ago, after Mr. Sherman passed on. I coulda’ used it in my column that week. Regardless, last week, pulled on them . . . three pages of notes, questions and thoughts from my mentor Jim Sherman, Sr. I had asked Big Jim a lot of the same questions I asked Brooks in regards to success.
Here’s some of what he wrote me.
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“I knew I could be outsmarted, out thought, out maneuvered, scammed, snookered and eaten alive by whatever competition might arise . . . I knew I couldn’t out-think people. I could out-work potential competition. I could put in the hours to get the job done.
“So what’s my motivation — fear
“Here’s a couple sayings I’ve adopted: Plan ahead, be ahead; If it’s inevitable, do it now; Always have your work done before the deadline.”
“We’ve had many stalwart employees with long longevity . . . and a whale of a lot (of others) who made outstanding contributions.”
I then asked him a a series of questions, to which he wrote out his answers. My questions are in bold, his answers, regular type.
Personal discipline, what is it for you? Accepting responsibility. How did you learn it? By accepting responsibility which my favorite brother and father wouldn’t.
What goals have you set for yourself? How did you go about achieving them? Never set a goal.
Hard work, what is gained from hard work? Reverse that. Little is gained without hard work.
If hard work equals wealth, how do you define wealth, success? Wealth vs. Success, what is more important and why? Philosophically, neither is important. Comfort, family, happiness, friends, attitude, faith, security and a puppy are wealth and success . . . doing what you love, not disliking going to work each day makes live more wonderful . . . my motivation is fear of losing the company, so many people are smarter, more eager and financially capable. I can’t say if it has changed my life. Life went by way too fast . . . In later life sometimes I’ve relied on prayer to get back to earth, or as you ask, right track. Often, I just know things have a way of turning out good. Time is a great curer.
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