A Life Lived Well…

Having had the pleasure of meeting with so many of you, of focusing on and trying to help you gain entry into the career you have worked so hard to prepare for and are determined to achieve, I have been given a surprising gift by you – and that is to ask what’s really mattered in my life BEYOND “career.”

Actor?  Production Crew Member?  Producers Personal Assistant?  Writer?  Producer?   Executive Producer?  I have been all of these things, and have – like you – an ever evolving resume and bio that tells this tale.

But who am I other than my work history?  More to the point, what part of that journey is always left out by the studio or network publicists who post the requisite blurbs whenever I am fortune enough to get a movie made?  

 “…The father of two and a proud grandfather, Howard is married to Studio Executive, Disney Imagineer, and Film and Television Producer, Donna Burkons…”

Even though this reference’s Donna’s professional credits, my “people” find my marriage and children and grandkids too personal, off point, and thus inappropriate.  Heck, I even left this out in my “About” page for this blog.

But what I am, what matters most, is that Donna has blessedly been “with” me for 44 years and counting.  Our friends, extended family, and most of all our adult “kids” and now grandkids, are our life.  

So it came as a pleasant surprise that I stumbled on this TED talk to share with you this AM, one with a message I hope you will file away and take with you as you pursue and achieve all of your career “dreams and aspirations.”

What Makes a Good Life? Lessons from the Longest Study on Happiness | Robert Waldinger | TED Talks

Published on Jan 25, 2016

What keeps us happy and healthy as we go through life? If you think it’s fame and money, you’re not alone – but, according to psychiatrist Robert Waldinger, you’re mistaken. As the director of 75-year-old study on adult development, Waldinger has unprecedented access to data on true happiness and satisfaction. In this talk, he shares three important lessons learned from the study as well as some practical, old-as-the-hills wisdom on how to build a fulfilling, long life.