Country music song titles are a hot topic of conversation due to their unique ability to tell a story with just a few words. Perhaps we all have a favorite, either because we actually like the song, or because the title can still generate a laugh even after years of exposure.
With so many jokes made using fictitious song titles, it is difficult to tell real ones from the fakes. One of my favorites falls into that category: “My wife just left me for my best friend – and I’m gonna miss him.” Several fairly current songs have used our changing society to make statements about what should really be important to us. One that pops in my head is “The Good Stuff” by Kenny Chesney. The story is about a guy who has had a fight with his wife and stops off at the neighborhood bar for something strong to help ease the pain.
He asks the bartender for “the good stuff.” As it turns out, both the patron and the bartender drink milk, while the older, wiser barkeep explains what “the good stuff” truly is: a first kiss, the nervousness associated with asking your prospective spouse to get married, learning to like your new wife’s less-than-tasty home cooking – that’s the real “good stuff.”
If you believe all that is promoted today about the good life, then we might be led to believe that it is all about looking good or feeling good. As the old ’60s phrase pronounced: “If it feels good, do it.” And if you believe that, there are many paths to choose in an attempt to reach that Holy Grail. To me, this so-called good life is confused with feeling good – the minimization of pain and maximization of pleasure. Or good sometimes gets confused with goods, earning, collecting and spending all of the goodies found in the world. The current economic situation serves as an excellent reminder that the good life certainly cannot be bought. Chasing that good life has caused many of us to stay in perpetual motion, multi-tasking our lives away in a futile attempt at being super-productive.
There is another good country song that warns against this failure to stop occasionally to get your bearings, “I’m In A Hurry” by Alabama. The refrain says it all: “I’m in a hurry to get things done. Oh I rush and rush until life’s no fun. All I really gotta do is live and die, but I’m in a hurry and don’t know why.”
How often do you feel that way? Too often for me personally. Setting aside how important the “good stuff” is in maintaining our personal relationships, it is equally important to our businesses to foster good relationships with our customers and suppliers. Taking the time to share a bit of the good stuff with everyone you meet is the best way that I know to truly be successful.