My friend Dave is reading City of Thieves by David Benioff.  He sent me this passage:

“Talent must be a fanatical mistress.She’s beautiful;when you’re with her, people watch you, they notice. But she bangs on your door at odd hours, and she disappears for long stretches, and she has no patience for the rest of your existence: your wife, your children, your friends. She is the most thrilling evening of your week, but some day she will leave you for good. One night, after she’s been gone for years, you will see her on the arm of a younger man, and she will pretend not to recognize you.”

He didn’t know it but the timing was wildly perfect as I’d sat just hours prior with feelings of inadequacy and outdatedness. Although only in the middle of my life these days ( God willing! ) I still completely relate.  I’ve finally learned the brilliance of hiring people younger and smarter than me.  That was a milestone moment.  It took even longer to realize how I would deal with the inevitable feelings that come along with it…  inadequacy, fear, rejection, irrelevance.  I blew up some relationships instead of using my practice to get though those passing moments.  I imagine this will be like an onion, something as we get older we have to experience again and again at new levels.

The cool thing is, for me, letting go of the ego and shinny bling of ambition and the beauty of fresh talent had made room for a deeper level of wisdom and discernment that truly makes life have more moments of joy and radiant happiness.

I’ve experienced people navigate all this with such poise and grace over and over again that I feel like I’ve been given a road map on how to do it.  Being aware of this universal experience makes it so much better.

More?