Popcorn for strangers.

Last night, I took my twelve-year-old cousin, Antoinette, to see the latest Pixar full-length feature, Wreck-It Ralph.  (On the way, we picked up matching Santa Claus hats–just because.)

After nabbing two seats in the overbooked theatre, I waited in line for 20 minutes for her Nestle Bunch-A-Crunch, Milk Duds, and a bottle of water.

When I got back to our row, there was a father of four young girls sitting in the aisle.  He graciously stood up so I could squeeze past him and his children to get to my seat at the end of the row.

I handed Antoinette the candies and water, took off my coat, put on my 3D glasses, and prepared for the show to begin.

“Where’s my popcorn?” she asked.

Damn.  I totally blanked on the popcorn.

“No problem.  I’ll go grab it,” I replied.

I got up, disrupted the little girls and the father once more, and made my way out to the concessions again.  The line was even longer now.  And worse, I realized I left my wallet in my coat.

The movie was just about to begin and I didn’t want to have to disturb everyone in my row three more times plus wait in the extremely long line again.

“What am I going to do?” I thought.

About twenty feet away, I noticed an older woman who worked at the theatre leaning up against a wall holding a broom.  I had an idea.

“Excuse me, Jeane,” I said–reading her name tag.  “My name is Jared and I’ve got a little situation.”  I explained to her my dilemma and proposed a possible solution that would require her help.  She obliged.

Moments later, I went back to my row without any popcorn.  The patient father stood up one more time so I could scoot in.

“Where’s the popcorn?” Antoinette asked.

“It’s coming.”

About three minutes later, we heard Jeane’s voice whispering, “Popcorn for Santa Claus.”  There she stood at the front of our row with two bags of popcorn.  One for the dad in the aisle seat and one for Antoinette.  As the little girls passed one of the bag’s down to us, I passed them a $10 bill for Jeane.

The father gave me a smile and a thumbs up.  Antoinette laughed.

“You’re the only person I know who can get popcorn delivered,” she said.

After the movie, Jeane was standing at the front of the theater waiting for everyone to clear out.  I thanked her again.  But before I said goodbye, I asked her one question.

“Jeane, why do you work here?”

“This is my retirement,” she said. “I worked for forty years as an office clerk.  But I always loved the movies and the theater.  So now I work here two nights a week.  I meet some really interesting folks.  And I even get free movies whenever I want.  It’s the best.  Did you like the movie?  I think I’m going to take my grandson.”

“I loved it.  Thank you so much, Jeane.”

The Point: When people are doing what they love, they’re better for the world.  They help strangers buy popcorn.  They buy popcorn for strangers.  And they know that the show must always go on.

Here. We. Go.

Love, Jmw.

Seize the moment, NYC.

Hurricane Sandy is gone.

For those of you who have not lost power, running water, and food, I’m certain you know people who have.

This is your moment to step up and help someone. Maybe even lots of them.

Sending your thoughts and prayers on facebook is cool, but offering up some space in your living room is better.

Seize the moment. Help your friends. Maybe you’ll even make a few new ones.

We’re always on the lookout for some good luck. Today, you can be someone else’s.

I just took in four people. Others are coming to shower and charge their phones.

Make it happen, NYC.

Here. We. Go.

Love, Jmw.

Evolution in relationship

Over the last two hundred years, science and technology have taken leaps and bounds.  Human beings have built trains, planes, cars, iPhones, satellites, and more.  We’ve traveled all four corners of the earth and put men on the moon.

But how have human relationships evolved?  How have the ways we interact with each other improved since, say, the Middle Ages?  Men to women, parents to children, employers to employees, etc?

I’d say our growth rate in the area of relationship is depressingly slow.  After all, it’s only within the last hundred years that we decided to *consider* that all human beings–regardless of color, culture, or creed–are equal to one another.  Where is our evolution in relationship?

Be careful: those applauding you could have really bad taste.

A lot of inspirational mumbo jumbo delivers this message:

“Don’t sweat those who judge you.  They’re wrong.  Embrace those who love you.  They get it.”

I think this message sucks.  Because either way, you’re still too heavily invested in the opinions of other people.

Whether they like you or not is irrelevant.  What’s most important is that the people in your life inspire you to look to the future with hope and marinate in the present with joy.

And above all things, applaud yourself.  That way there is always cheering in your corner long after the people come and go.

Here. We. Go.

Love, Jmw.

Let them be.

I learned a long time ago that trying to define someone else’s happiness only pushes them farther away from you.

And if you love someone, the last thing you want is for them to be farther away.

Here. We. Go.

Love, Jmw.

Top of the inbox.

Making it in New York City is a hustle.

It’s sleepless nights, lots of coffee, tons of handshaking, even more handholding, and a lot of Jay-Z’s “On To The Next One” when things don’t go as planned.

But to make it here–or anywhere–there is one piece of advice I have to offer.

Whether you’re trying to get the attention of a potential employer, customer, agency, production company, partner, casting director, whatever…

LIVE AT THE TOP OF THEIR INBOX.

That means you’ve got to email them.  Persistently.  You’ve got to be the squeaky wheel.

You want people to follow through?  You’ve got to follow up.

Start now.  Make it happen.  Compose new email…

Here. We. Go.

Love, Jmw.

Design your life. Don’t just decorate it.

The difference between design and decoration is utility.

A great design is intuitive, integrative, and usually satisfies a need, while decoration is just making things look pretty.

Too often, we decorate our lives with relationships we think we’re supposed to have, careers we’re supposed to maintain, ideas and social bullsh*t we think we’re supposed to support, until one day, we realize that our lives are not intuitive, integrative, and many of our real needs are still unsatisfied.

The only way to escape the ‘decorated life’ is to 1) realize you’re living it, and 2) choose to design your life instead.

Designing your life is about thoughtfully making choices that will sustain your happiness and fulfill your needs in both the short and long term.  It’s about doing what’s best for you–the things you love.

A well-designed life is one rich in purpose, community, and calculated risk.  It’s trademarked by deep and enduring relationships, constant personal growth, and gratitude for the present.  But most importantly, when you design your life with love, you make it more shareable and memorable–even beyond your years.

Are you living a decorated or designed life?

Are you surrounded by friends who really know you, work a job that brings you joy, and regularly prioritize those little life experiences that actualize your fantasies?

If yes, congrats.  You’re a f**kin’ winner.

If no, it’s time to stop decorating your life and start designing.

It’s worth it.

Here. We. Go.

Love, Jmw.

 

There are a lot of unsatisfied people running around disguised as if they are living on top of the world.