Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Axioms I love spoken by real people

"Nothing ever starts on time." - my dad, John Purtill

As kids, my brother and I would get frustrated with my father's inability to leave the house in a timely fashion to arrive at events *before* they began. Now that I'm older, I realize he's right: most things (theater, meetings, weddings, etc.) rarely start when they are scheduled to so why bust your butt to get there? And if that's not true and you're a few minutes late, so what? It's not the end of the world.

"No one wants to do their job." - my friend and manager, Adam Peck

When Adam told me this years ago, I didn't get it but soon - especially after living in LA for a while - I did. It's not that people are lazy, it's just that they don't want to do the jobs they were *hired* to do. They want to do someone else's job, which is the job they really want (assistants want to be producers, clerks want to be managers, and everyone thinks they can be a writer!). I try to be aware of this myself when I don't do something: is it because I can't or because I want to be in someone else's shoes?

"Most people are thinking about themselves." - my husband, Maurice Jordan

After parties, I have a bad habit of analyzing every single thing I said ad nauseum. Maurice reminds me that, unless I ran around naked with a lampshade on my head, the likelihood of anyone remembering anything I said is super-slim. Why? Because they're all thinking about what *they* said at the party. Let's face it: when you're talking to someone, it's very rare for you to be thinking about them, isn't it? You're waiting for your turn to speak. You're thinking about something to say or an excuse to get away or what you can eat next. Well, so is that other person! Once you realize the truth of this, it makes parties and meetings so much easier.