A H/T to @OliverSacks

reflectionWe’ve all been consumed by craziness at one point or another.  The phone is ringing, the emails are stacking up, people chattering all about.  You feel confident that you’re going to lose your marbles…then something happens to bring you front and center with what you do for a living.  The busy-ness of life fades away and in that moment and you remember, “This is why I do what I do.”

This week, during the busiest of mornings, I took a moment to stop and enjoy The New York Times.  It’s one of my favorite things to do and yet I don’t indulge in this nearly enough.  Today, something spoke to me and said, “Stop and read this” and I got rocked to my core.

  • Why do you do what you do?
  • What drives you to get up each morning and do it?
  • How does your talent impact the world?

You see, I ask these questions because of Oliver Sacks.  Imagine living a good life…you’re going along, you’re an accomplished author, writer for many esteemed publications, you’re well-respected and loved by others and then….you wake up at 81 years of age and find out you have terminal liver cancer.  Some would say, “81 is a heck of a run!” and I would bet when you’re 81 you’re going to say, “Not yet!  I’m too young!”  I believe Oliver feels the latter.

The New York Times published an article on February 19, 2015 titled ‘My Own Life’ where Oliver shares the news of his terminal cancer.  As I read his words the hustle and bustle of life faded away and I’m left feeling grateful that my own health is good (and could be better, so working out and eating right just became my new best friends again) and that I’m proud to sell life insurance to individuals for a living.

In being completely transparent, my fingers paused for a moment in typing “I’m proud to sell life insurance to individuals for a living.”  I kept thinking I should write something poetic about providing peace of mind, planting financial landscapes, but selling life insurance is what I do and I really am proud of this.

I’m pretty confident that Oliver Parks has had some good financial advice over the course of his years and although he did not speak of this trained financial professionals is his public writings, that person is there behind the seasons making sure everything is in order.  All of this made me take a moment and wonder how many people are like Oliver though – they are doing great and then all of a sudden, they get dropped something heavy like this.  It’s not something we want to think about, but it’s something we must think about as we grow older.

I’m grateful for Oliver Parks past, and more importantly, present words.  I’ve enjoyed his writing and am appreciative of how brave he was to share something so personal.  I am most thankful for the pause his writing claimed in the middle of my busiest of days so I could reflect on why I do what I do…and be proud.

Thank you, Oliver.

Be bigger, better and more BIONIC today.

Sheryl Brown / @BIONICsocialite


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