Three Times Chai

Well, here we are again…
A fourteenth year since September 11…
A year where my birthday falls between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur…
A time of inescapable memories, reflections, and resolutions…
Another year of relationships, engagements, and events to review and assess…
An upcoming year of more of the same, but hopefully with better results…


I’m becoming a year older. I’m turning fifty-four.

Some have said, “You don’t look it.” Others have told me, “Relax, it’s just a number.” Many tease, “You don’t act like it.” With this feedback, I conclude the following…

(1) If I don’t look it, I must keep doing what I’m doing to defy gravity. (2) If it’s just a numbers game, then I officially will declare myself twenty-seven for the second time or just be eighteen for the third time. (Hey, three times chai! That’s a concept I can get behind.) (3) If I don’t act like it, that’s because I’ve learned some lessons well…

*     *     *

Years ago at IBM, I worked with a guy named Keith Harrell. He was a charismatic sales rep and speaker who taught sessions in our “sales school” classes to motivate and empower the trainees. I was in awe of his personal and he inspired me daily.) His gifts of public speaking ultimately caused him to leave “Big Blue,” write a book, and hit the road as Motivational Speaker.

Keith passed away five years ago (at the age of fifty-four!) of cancer, but his legacy was in his message that “Attitude is Everything;” that our own negative perceptions, excuses, and lack of self-motivation keep us from achieving our own successes. He taught others to become self-aware and positive. It was Keith who taught me to avoid complacency and to find the passion to strive for more; to want to be better.

Through the years, I’ve also learned that having a positive attitude and acting “young” means you:

  • Don’t blame others or make excuses;
  • Accept responsibility for your actions or mistakes;
  • Have self-confidence;
  • Be open to change;
  • Embrace new opportunities; and
  • Exude passion.

*     *     *

This Rosh Hashanah, this New Year, may our insides match our outsides in ways that make our real age irrelevant.

Shana Tova u”Mituka

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