The Last Thing You Do
By Jeff Brown – Pres. CareerTrip.com
The title of this article comes from the title of a recently released single which in turn comes from a CD called â€œLighting in a Bottleâ€ that will be released November 20, 2006. As I listened to this song it reminded me of another song by Harry Chapin entitled â€œCatâ€™s in the Cradleâ€. Then as I was pondering those two songs I received an email from a defeated political candidate who quoted two stanzas from a poem by Rudyard Kipling entitled â€œIfâ€.
This monthâ€™s article will try to make some sense of those three seemingly unrelated songs/poetry for your career considerations and/or your search for a new position.
The full sentence from the song â€œThe Last Thing You Doâ€ is â€œwhat if the last thing you did is the last thing that you do?â€ I heard this at the Frank Brown International Songwriters Festival in Perdido Key, FL this past weekend which is in its 22nd year and has over 300 songwriters perform their works at 26 different venues over an 11 day period. As a further aside, the performer of â€œThe Last Thing You Doâ€ is an unknown by the name of Woody Bradshaw. I predict through the release of this single, his upcoming CD and another single that he co-authored titled â€œFrictionâ€ will remove him from the ranks of the unknown.
Some of the lines that are particularly appropriate for this article from Harry Chapinâ€™s â€œCatâ€™s in the Cradleâ€ are:
Iâ€™m gonna be like you, dad.
When you coming home, dad?
Weâ€™ll get together then.
You know weâ€™ll have a good time then.
When you coming home, son? I donâ€™t know when,
But weâ€™ll get together then, dad.
You see, my new jobâ€™s a hassle, and the kidâ€™s got the flu,
But itâ€™s sure nice talking to you, dad.
As I hung up the phone, it occurred to me,
Heâ€™d grown up just like me.
My boy was just like me.
Finally for your consideration are two stanzas from Rudyard Kiplingâ€™s â€œIFâ€:
If you can dream â€“ and not make dreams your master;
If you can think â€“ but not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same
If you can bear to hear the truth youâ€™ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stop and buildâ€™em up with worn-out tools;
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: â€œHold on!â€
In summary the above says to me: 1-Everything we do we need to think of the consequences. 2-We need to make sure that weâ€™re not so wrapped up in doing things that we loose sight of the true priorities in life. 3-In the course of life weâ€™re going to have defeats, particularly if weâ€™re trying new things, but we need to â€œhold onâ€.