I like to tell this story because it demonstrates how important it is to give life 100% every day.
When I first started my career in publishing, I worked for Look magazine, then one of the highest-circulation periodicals in the country. There were a lot of high-powered, creative people there, and every day was filled with deadlines and, consequently, stress. At that time I worked in the merchandising department, ensuring signs promoting ads in the magazine were placed in drug stores. It was a lot of fun and I got to travel all over the country attending trade shows and conducting promotions.
The department had one guy named Robin Diston, who was a bundle of energy and ideas. Some of the plans he hatched failed spectacularly, but others were sheer genius. Watching him at work was almost comical. He was very full of himself and took delight in concocting some outlandish plans. He was the subject of no little mockery.
One day the director of the department called all of us together. He had a great reputation in the magazine industry and was known for his creativity, ethics and mentoring. He told us how disappointed he was that we had taken such delight in making fun of our colleague, whom the boss described as one of the most enthusiastic individuals he had ever worked with. The supervisor said that he knew our inventive colleague had fallen on his face a number of times, but that every once in a while he had come up with an incredible idea that made the magazine a load of money. He said that he wished more of us had come up with ideas that were as beneficial to the bottom line.