Today I'd like to welcome Allan Cox, author of “Change the Way You Face The Day” to The Thursday Interview.
Before we get started, a quick intro!
Allan Cox advises America's CEOs, Top Teams, and Boards of Directors, to help them reach their highest levels of achievement and personal satisfaction. His work serves as a catalyst for trust and candor among these three groups; his process uncovers sensitive issues and generates superior options for action. Working with leaders from Fortune 500 firms to smaller companies, he stimulates the creation of strategies for dealing with seemingly insurmountable difficulties. Allan's problem-solving clarity focuses on facing and conquering the tough new challenges in corporate America today.
OK - HERE WE GO !!
No.1 Would you break the law to save a loved one? .. why?
Yes. Stealing a loaf of bread for a starving family is an old story that makes the point well. Had my loved one shown habitual disregard for meeting commonly understood communal obligations and values and also proved careless with past forgiveness (shattered the ties that bind) then my answer would be no. Life is seldom that cut and dried, but that’s my answer for now.
No.2 What is the difference between being alive and truly living?
Having a sense of purpose. Knowing that purpose is as unique to you as you are to the world. Nobody’s quite like you and no purpose is quite like yours. Understanding that purpose is not always clear and takes time to unfold. This boils down further to claiming a sense of destiny and living by your soul’s code. You better know your central goal because in life the parts exist in anticipation of the whole whether or not you know what that whole is.
No.3 What motivates you to write?
I wrote about my first trip to the dentist in an English class my second year in high school. The teacher singled it out among the others submitted by my fellow students and read it to the class. It was a riot, even as I heard it aloud read myself. I never gave any thought to that minor triumph, but it occurs to me I’ve never been hesitant to express my thoughts orally or in print. Many years later, I actually went through a self-directed personal exercise wherein I said, as into a mirror, I want to be heard!
No. 4 Why do humans want children?
Of course, not all do. It seems to me that those who really want children, and can have them, in our time, enjoy--all hardships, disappointments, and possible grief considered—lives of love and sharing they anticipated. For those capable of giving and receiving great abiding love there is no better experience in life. For the parent in such cases, the final test of such love is letting go.
No.5 What was the biggest challenge in creating your book?
Let’s talk about my last book; that is a departure from most of my earlier books. They were prose about business and leadership. The current one is poetry, and why in Hell did I go there? It’s the economy stupid! Poetry conveys significant information in the shortest amount of space. I think of it as the Cliff Notes of human understanding. So why not go there? Some years past, I felt I could write poetry but didn’t have the courage. Then one day about four or five years ago I wrote a poem and then kept writing one daily as if under a spell. The problem for me as a reader was that so much poetry was enigmatic. But when you come across a line from say, Twice-Pulitzer Prize winner Carl Sandburg, the fog comes on little cat feet, you really have something. The challenge is making poetry relevant and accessible. In the book I join my poetry with my photography, reflections on the poem and discussion questions for both personal or group reading.
No.6 What is the most important thing you have learned in life so far?
I’m repeating myself: Know my central goal, claim it, live by it. Nurture it. This makes me appropriate to the cosmos!
No.7 How did you come up with the title "Change the Way You Face the Day"?
Once i got comfortable with the poetry I was writing, and believing in its economy, a few notions emerged. If people could appreciate the poetry for the life insights it provides, they might get into a useful rhythm with it. So why not come out with a series of small books that they might love and even share with their friends and family in discussion? So I sought a series title for the book that would be a good launch and serve as a theme for future titles in the series.
No.8 How do you handle personal criticism?
Better all the time. Not so well at the beginning of my writing in the early years. I believe in what I’m doing. And I understand why a lot of people are turned off by poetry. I can recommend a book besides mine for such people. It’s Good Poems, compiled by Garrison Keillor. The poems in it are simply great and I split my sides reading the introduction.
No.9 Why should people read your book?
What do I say to that after all else I’ve said so far? I believe my poetry offers clarity and insight, a way to spend a good short time, and encourages readers to share their useful ideas with others in their orbit.
No.10 Why is there something rather than nothing?
God made it this way.
Thank you Allan for taking the time to answer my questions & the best of luck with your new book!
“Change the Way You Face The Day"
The ever-insightful Allan Cox, best known for offering discerning counsel on understanding the difference between work performed at a job and one’s life’s work, is sure to delight his loyal readers with his new book, Change the Way You Face the Day. In it he demonstrates more than ever the importance of integrating one’s personal life with work that is a calling and therefore a life’s work. He shows how everyone—whether a bricklayer, a Wall Street banker, a waitress, or the first woman governor of Virginia—can learn to see every event, no matter how small or momentous, as a priceless piece of a mosaic that depicts the whole of life itself. This short book is the first in a series designed to be read and discussed in small groups.