Why I Stole Your Sign and the Mysteries of Your Life

The Tau of Steves: What You Don’t Know Could Fill a Book

My 1-Year Experiment

Consider this 30-day summary a pawn ticket to sketchy things I’ve learned from stealing your sign without doing the time. I feel so guilty about it that I’m willing to sell it back to you.  

“5”  Steve Howey, 42:If you could go back in time and warn your younger self, what warning would you issue? What diversion would you suggest?” Cancer

Howey, how did you know?  I’m sketching out a memoir about lessons I’ve learned following “The Knowledge Path: Live. Love. Work. Play. Invest. Leave a Legacy.  It’s about making a life for yourself in your own way.  

One of the many warnings is about sensing when one job or career is leading to a dead end.  And what to do about it.

But there’s so much more.  What about the collision with artificial intelligence just over the horizon?  Or the type of world our children and grand children will inherit?  Will it be inhabitable? 

And, what is the half-life of wisdom?  

How fast do the tried and true rules of thumb and lessons taught to us by our mothers and their mothers no longer make a difference today and in the near future?

Who knows best?  Which lessons stand the test of time? Especially in these ever accelerating times?

This is what animates me and why I’ve been reading and taking notes on autobiographies while tracking future trends likely to upend our sense of normalcy.  

It’s an approach that addresses a life well-lived but leaves a legacy for others.

And, if I’m honest I couldn’t have done it if you weren’t so distracted with your own life that you left your Holiday Tau unguarded.

“5”  Steve Carell, 57; Steve Martin, 74; Steve Wozniak, 69: “The world has its tools for assessing one’s success, but they’re impersonal.  You get to choose the metrics by which you judge yourself.” Leo

My leap of faith into this 1-year project forced me to figure out some thingson the fly.  

On Day 4  patterns emerged that just didn’t feel right.  

Maybe I should back up a little.

My sign (and Emma the Baroness’ as well) is Scorpio because we were born between October 24th and November 22.  

On those days, when I felt our horoscope, the Holiday Tau (named for its source, Holiday Mathis) just didn’t provide anything of value, I had a decision to make.

I still wanted to feel motivated, inspired, and at least a little bit wiser so I scanned through Holiday’s remaining 11 horoscopes and stole the ones that I could use. Thank you for your’s.

I’m not proud of the fact, but it is my life after all. Confessing about it up front helps set the highest standard of truthiness for the rest of this year. Think of it as a code of honor among thieves.

Neither of the Holiday Taus for the Steves I’ve noted so far today were meant for me and Emma the Baroness, and yet they illuminated my path ahead.

So, if our Holiday Tau sucked, I grabbed a few others which spoke to me.  And sometimes I kept ours, but included others too.

Are you with me so far?  

Now back to Day 4.  I found myself grabbing half of the available Holiday Tau.  Is that too much?  What does it indicate about me?  What does that foretell about the outcome of this 1-year experiment?

By Day 10 another pattern emerged. Maybe none of the available Holiday Tau for the day rose to the challenge, but if you tried hard enough you could weave a theme that could be created by combining three or more. The sum is greater than the parts, ma would always say.

Was that kosher?  Is that the kind of precedent I wanted to set?

On Day 22 it finally dawned on me how brilliant the Holiday Tau for Carell, Martin and Wozniak from Day 4 actually was.  So brilliant, full disclosure, that I actually backtracked, before it was too late and the task became so burdensome, and scored the wise bits of  Holiday Tau — TauBits of Wisdom — and ranked each.

“5”  Steve Carell, 57; Steve Martin, 74; Steve Wozniak, 69: “The world has its tools for assessing one’s success, but they’re impersonal.  You get to choose the metrics by which you judge yourself.” Leo

Yesterday I wrote about how ‘disappointed’ I felt when we missed out again on the Holiday Tau.  But, I’m thinking about stealing 6 or 7 or more TauBits that could apply to me and ranking them in a range of value from ‘1’ (hardly worth the mention) to ‘5’ illustrating off-the-charts relevance. Is that diluting the value of this experiment? Is it too early to draw conclusions about the ideal number I track?  If it isn’t, maybe I could pay attention to just four or five Holiday Tau.

But, continuing on and not feeling content to leave well enough alone I recorded Smithy’s.

“5”  Steve Smith, 30: You’re struggling against what you want.  Maybe you’re worried about how others see you. Dig deeper for enlightenment.” Gemini

It stopped me in my tracks.  Smith’s TauBit of Wisdom nailed me.  Isn’t this whole thing a stupid waste of time, I thought. What should I do?  I am worried about how others see me.

What a difference a day makes! 

On Day 23 I acknowledged that selecting too many Holiday Taus in one day says something about how desperate I must be to recover from yesterday’s downer message. Honestly Day 22 marked how volatile a day can be from a high to a low. Turn, turn, turn …

Yes, I don’t really need to steal anyone else’s Holiday Tau when I’ve received one of the highest TauBits already today.  And yes, I was complaining that too many TauBits might be too much to absorb.  But check these out.  This might be the single best day in the “Tau of Steves” history as we know it — well, so far during this one-year experiment. 

I’m listing all six so you may steal them from me if they will brighten your day:

“5”  Steve McQueen (1930 – 1980): You’re fall of ideas, and they’re not just coming from your brain; your heart, stomach and body will generate wisdom worth acting on.” Aries

“5”  Steve Smith, 30:When you’re stuck, change any sort is improvement.  That will be enough to help you wiggle free from perceptive limits.” Gemini

“5”  Steve Howey, 42: Admirers will tell you that you should market yourself widely. As you further develop your talent, it will speak for itself.” Cancer

“5”  Steve Greene, 34; Steve Guttenberg, 61: “If there’s one thing you can do to improve your life, business and relationships, it’s to see things from another person’s point of view.” Virgo

“5”  Steve Aoki, 41:You’ll use your talent for matching people with fortuitous opportunities.” Sagittarius

And, finally I stole Mr. Harvey’s Holiday Tau for its humor and profound insight.

“5”  Steve Harvey, 62: You are seldom more creative than you are just after being truly, deeply and profoundly bored.” Capricorn

Skipping ahead to Day 26 I continued feeling my low self-confidence and sinking self-esteem. 

Today, I’m back to second guessing why I’m running this 1-year natural experiment.  Shouldn’t I just be noting my Holiday Tau — the one I share with Steve Zahn, Henry Winkler and Emma the Baroness?  Shouldn’t the TauBit knock my socks off?  Maybe, I’ll be coming back to the topic after the first 30 days.

And yet, look what happened:

“5”  Steve Zahn, 51: “Remember the time when the unexpected change shook up your perspective and then something truly positive came out of it? You’ll get more of the same.  Scorpio

Finally, finally, a Holiday Tau meant for Zahnny, the Fonz, Emma the Baroness and me!

Here’s what it triggered for me:

In my original field research about ‘work’ which I tested in workshops and advising sessions with hundreds of Executive MBA students I’ve been exploring disruptive change — as driven by a specific type of organization named ‘Paradoxy-Morons’ and at a specific stage of growth when companies feel either desperate enough to enter or innovative enough to bake it into their Organizational DNA — reinvention.

But wait, that’s not all.

“5”  Steve McQueen (1930 – 1980): “You can see patterns that others won’t notice.  To see such a thing emerge brings profound satisfaction.”  Aries

So over time I believe thinkers (introverts, ambiverts and extroverts) open their minds and viewpoints to see new knowledge created and patterns that signal solutions never tried before to address complex challenges from a different angle. Take the ‘why’ of curiosity and test it with the ‘what if’ of experimentation.

Over the last couple of days now at the end of first month of my 1-Year Natural Experiment, how did the Holiday Tau hold up?  Should this experiment be terminated or extended for one more month?

Even though our Holiday Tau is easy to dismiss as a commercial for Coca Cola — which I did at first, but now I’m reconsidering it as a short and sweet guiding principle.

“5”  Steve Zahn, 51: “Find the real thing. There will be no good substitutes.”Scorpio

It just seemed to sugary.  But then I reflected on what had so dominated my time on that day.

“Here I am working my way through my knowledge bank of articles saved and curated for my website, ‘Knowledge ATMs: A peak behind the scenes of self-publishing, crowdfunding and working for yourself,’ for which I’ve had to sift through an avalanche of what turned out to be bogus or at least iffy stuff on the Internet.  So I assembled a list of major topics that I need to get up to speed on:  Self-Publishing (duh); The Book Authoring Process Itself; Writing as a Living; The Business Side of Writing and Website Design.

“5”  Steve Howey, 42: You don’t have to be the best, brightest, most creative, quickest, coolest or anything else.  What you really need to be is finished with this deal so you can move on.  Cancer

Howey’s Holiday Tau pulled me back to reality from Zahnny’s Top of Sugar Mountain as a counterpoint so necessary for me to stay on task.  Focus, prioritize, finish.

And, finally on Day 30 even my Holiday Tau agreed with Howey’s from the previous day. Is that a sign?

“5”  Steve Zahn, 51: “When a project or goal seems stalled, it’s usually because there’s too much else going on.  Spend time prioritizing.” Scorpio

Is there an easy way to prioritize?  Thank you Mr. McQueen. Here are two topics I’ve been struggling to write about for a manuscript. This one is about the reinvention process at the intersection of a) different organization types and b) at a growth stage.”

“5”  Steve McQueen (1930 – 1980):You have much to invest — heart, time, money, effort, hopes and more.  Choose two and see what happens.” Aries

But, let’s leave the last TauBit of Wisdom — maybe the most accurate for me — to Greene and Guttenberg for what happens next after you prioritize and invest …

“5”  Steve Greene, 34; Steve Guttenberg, 61: When you’re alone, your mind will race to ideas that are ahead of the times.” Libra

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Inspired by Holiday Mathis – Creators Syndicate