As I age, at times even gracefully, it dawns on me how important it is to spend time with people who bring something to the table. I don’t mean something like cinnamon rolls or money, but something like knowledge, friendship and honest feedback.
If you like literature, I’d recommend the biography of Ernest Hemingway by Mary Dearborn. As I struggled through college, I was captivated by Hemingway’s great novels, The Old Man and the Sea, For Whom the Bell Tolls and The Sun Also Rises. When I should have been mastering cost accounting, I was drinking beer in the park and reading Hemingway.
I learned young Ernest hung out with folks like John Dos Passos, Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, F. Scott Fitzgerald and a bunch of other talented writers of his day. Taking nothing away from Hemingway’s brilliance as an author, it sure helps to have those kinds of people in your corner.
When I look back on my life, I think of how fortunate I am to have great friends and mentors: my mom and dad, bright teachers and loyal friends. They never became famous internationally, but they were superstars in my book.