In a day’s time, I shall major to what some people calls “age d’or”. Yes, I shall be entitled to the special treatments given to senior citizen: a government pension, free traveling on the public bus and reduced fare for air travel. Tom Peters, one of the business management gurus who I have been reading for years, also turned Sixty a few months ago. On the occasion he published a book which is a compilation of things he believes. “In search of excellence” was the first book I read from Tom Peters. Through the years I kept on reading his books and watching the videos of his seminars I could lay my hands on. Up till now I read his blog regularly. Like him I am still thriving and am still in search of excellence.Wow!

“Sixty,” by Tom Peters

A couple of weeks ago, I received an extraordinary book from our friend, Tom Peters, entitled, “Sixty.” I devoured it as my vacation reading. It is a magical compilation of 60 TIB’s or Things I Believe, as he calls them – one for each year of Tom’s life . . . so far. I add, “so far” as I sent Tom the cover of the AARP magazine a couple of years ago with the headline “60 is the new 30.” We are all blessed to have virtually a second adult life after 60. Fortunately for all of us, Tom is in the best health he has been for years and will continue to influence our thinking and our actions for years to come.

The compelling question is what will we do with our extra years? Retire? Not hardly. Ken Blanchard told us he prefers to think of it as refiring, not retiring. Nobel thought. We would like to think that we can have even more influence and make a bigger difference in our experienced years. They say we have two ages: our chronological age and our biological age. To this we add a third, our experiential age. While it is physically healthy to reduce our biological age, we contend that it is mentally and spiritually healthy to expand our experiential age. Said another way, in five years, will you have muddled through one year five times or will you have increased your experiential age by 10 years, learning more exponentially each successive year? Leaning into life and being our best selves is not only valuable for leaving a legacy that will outlive us, but, more importantly, our experience and knowledge is basically all we take with us to the next life. The concept of “he who dies with the most toys wins” has long since been debunked. (You don’t see U-Haul trailers behind hearses.)

Back to Tom Peters outstanding book, “Sixty.” It is a piece of art. A unique combination of design, images, and paradigm-shaking content. For now, for the sake of brevity, I will highlight an excerpt from one of my favorites.

“Excellence is a state of mind.”

“I don’t believe in the tooth fairy. And I don’t own a pair of rose-colored glasses. On the other hand, I do believe: I believe in the possibility of turning any task, assignment, project, or job into a Gem-Mighty Quest. I believe in the possibility of widespread excellence . Note, I said . . . possibility . . . of excellence.

Enter old Tom. That is…Thomas Watson…the de facto IBM founder. Rumor has it that Watson was once asked, ‘How long does it take to achieve excellence?’ His response, pre-dating Ken Blanchard by decades, was, ‘A minute.’ He continued by claiming that excellence was entirely in the hands of the perpetrator, no matter how ‘junior’ or ‘powerless’ Excellence…a state of mind? A decision, actually, per Watson. A decision… right now… to… never again …do anything that is not excellent.

. . . If you are an exercise freak (and I am…most of the time), you know exactly what I am talking about. You may be breathless…but there’s little that’s more self-satisfying than knowing that you’ve pushed yourself right to the edge of the possible…and then a little beyond. That feeling, I contend, is replicable…on any task…at any time. Does ‘it’ turn you on? Will ‘it’ have been marked by…excellence? And if not, precisely what do you intend to do about it? Right now?”

Thanks Tom!

May we all follow Tom’s example, keep making waves of influence, and live our lives like we mean it.


#1 Conn. on 03.02.07 at 6:35 am

To our dear Sow Chen,
Thinking of YOU on your special day!!!
‘La vie commence à 60 ans’.
Lots of love from all of us here.
God Bless and keep well.

#2 joseph on 03.03.07 at 5:08 pm

Thanks Conn from Ottawa. Best Regards from Mauritius and thanks for reading me and encouraging others to read my blog.

#3 Nazlee on 03.05.07 at 12:10 pm

Dear Joseph ,

So sorry that i missed it !

I believed it was on the 04th .

Again ,my very best wishes.

Bon Die beni


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