Thursday, October 01, 2009

Rave Review

Here's a nice review of my recent talk before the Princeton Chamber of Commerce.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009
September Restart: A Glitzy Bartlett

When Bill Boggs spoke at September's Princeton Chamber lunch, I came away with one solid tip for restarting my life: Every day, he said, when you get up, take one minute to write or think the one thing you need to know. You know what you need to do – affirm it.

I haven’t quite decided what that “one thing” would be for me, but Boggs says his first affirmation was “I am unafraid.” Fear can hold us back, he said, quoting Anna Quindlen, who – though a very successful journalist – admits she is still afraid the fraud police will come and catch her out. “Write down your doubts, fold them up, put them in your pocket and get oBn with your life. Cultivate the opportunity to be less afraid – or unafraid.”

The entertaining actor and talk show star shared a bunch of tips on how to achieve success and overcome adversity, drawn from his book “Got What It Takes: Successful People How They Made It to the Top."

When I bought it I realized “He’s written the People magazine version of ‘Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations,’ originally collected by John Bartlett (1820 to 1905). If you were a speech writer, or a preacher, or any kind of mass media writer who needs quickie 21st century anecdotes, this is the book for you. Nothing is really new here. Almost all the quotes are standard self-help fare.

The difference is the glitz factor: Boggs quotes movie stars (Brooke Shields and Renee Zellweger), sports figures (Joe Torre and Jeff Lurie), entrepreneurs (Craig Newmark and Donald Trump), TV celebrities (Bill O’Reilly and Matt Lauer), fashion designers (Joseph Aboud and Diane von Furstenberg) and a dozen more, and he sets their aphorisms in the context of their oh-so-famous lives.

Just like the 18th-century quotation quoter said, “I have gathered a posie of other men’s flowers, and nothing but the thread that binds them is mine own.”Now if I can just figure out what is the ONE thing above all others that I need to remind myself about this morning. Maybe it's Don't Blog Before Breakfast.

Looking at Bill Boggs' book again, I may have given the impression that it is only quotations. Actually, it has mini bios of each person quoted, and each quote is set into the context of the anecdote taken from the interview. So yes, you can get a Bartlett's quote, but you also get a mini-story, like those 50-word Reader's Digest anecdotes...

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