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Thoughts on a Legend’s Retirement

13 September 2018

Last week, I was privileged to see Paul Simon in concert here in New Orleans, as part of his farewell tour. The farewell tour began this past May in Los Angeles and will conclude later this autumn in New York City.

Needless to say, the concert was wonderful. Paul Simon has had a music career spanning some 65 years, from age 12, when he first began playing the guitar, to his current 77 years. Over those years, he has produced countless great songs, from ballads to upbeat rhythms. Simon’s songwriting evolved over his career – he was a life-time learner of new ways of expressing his musical gifts, from the folk orientation of his early work with Art Garfunkel through collaboration with Ladysmith Black Mambazo, and countless others with whom he worked and from whom he drew inspiration. He was never content to simply ride on past successes, but was constantly growing.

The older songs, as well as his impending retirement, brought up a lot of nostalgic thoughts and feelings in me. Who says nostalgia isn’t what it used to be?

He said those 65 years “went by in a snap.” I believe it.

As you may have gleaned from prior emails and blog posts, I am a serious music lover. Music is transformative for me – it takes me out of myself, it allows me to forget my day-to-day issues and worries, and focus on something beautiful, for that moment.

With the recent passings of Senator John McCain and Aretha Franklin (incidentally, Paul Simon wrote Bridge Over Trouble Water, originally made famous by Aretha), and contemplating Simon retiring from performing, I started thinking. What is really important to me, in my life? And why is it important to me now?

The first thing that occurred to me was:

Trust. Trust and honesty. This is one of the most basic human values, and its importance spreads across all facets of life, both personal and professional. Without trust – between my wife and me, with my team, with my clients – there can be no real relationship. I feel any true relationship must be founded on trust and honesty, and I believe that an integral part of trust is open and honest communication. As my friend, Dan Sullivan says, “All progress begins with the truth.”

Please do not let The Sound of Silence grow between you and those you care about.

Consider trying the following: write down three things that you feel are important in your life right now. Then, think about why they are important to you. Do the “whys” make any difference to the “whats?”

Then, write down any action you feel you should take regarding this important item or issue.

What is important to you? Why is it important? Do you want to do anything about this?


What are some the things you feel are important? I would love to hear from you! Please click here to email me directly. to email me directly.

Until next Wednesday –



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