Welcome to The Epic! I am launching this blog as a manifesto for and a guide to living well. The title and motto of the blog are taken from the Epicureans, at least some of whom believed in the notion that not one minute of the future was guaranteed to them and that as a result they had the duty to live life to its fullest every moment.
I believe in discovering fun and pleasurable things wherever I find myself each day and I am told I have a knack for unearthing them. My hope is that by sharing in my pleasures and some of my ways of finding them you will begin to collect all the riches that lie in the moments of your life. They are there. Take them! All our lives should be.....Epic.
Wednesday, December 3, 2014
The Epic Bookshelf: Be My Guest by Conrad Hilton (1957)
Years ago, in a hotel room far away, I pulled open the bedside table drawer and found one of the most interesting books I have ever read. Conrad Hilton's autobiography, Be My Guest. It used to be in every Hilton Hotel room, everywhere. The book has disappeared from Hilton hotels but I highly recommend it to any Epic. To me, the best part of the book is Hilton's struggle during the Great Depression to keep his young hotel empire alive. When your housekeeping and maintenance employees walk up to you and hand you their life savings to try and help you out in a financial crisis that tells me that you have been the right sort of business mogul. And an amazing sort of leader. This was a man of tremendous style and accomplishment who tells his story with rare objectivity especially in regard to his personal failings.
The book also contains Mr. Hilton's rules for success in life:
1. Find your talent.
2. Be big; think big; act big; DREAM big.
3. Be honest.
4. Live with enthusiasm.
5. Don't let your possessions own you.
6. Don't worry about problems.
7. Don't cling to the past.
8. Look down on nobody and look up when you can.
9. Pray constantly.
In that Hilton hotel, many years ago, I picked up this book and I really didn't put it down until I had finished reading it. When I came to the rules for success I wrote them down on a small piece of notepad paper that I still carry with me everywhere I go. I also put the list on my phone. I look at it all the time to see how I am doing. To see how I am measuring up to this extraordinary man.
I looked at my copy of Be My Guest this morning and as I skimmed through it for the hundredth time I felt the way I always do. That I wanted to be more like Connie Hilton. The person and the businessman. If you go to Amazon you can pick up a copy of Be My Guest for one cent. Trust me, it will be the best penny you have ever invested in yourself. And when the time comes, you can invite me to the grand opening of your hotel...
P.S. I wrote about Conrad Hilton and Be My Guest earlier in The Epic archives. Looking at the book again today, I felt it was worth while to revisit the topic. Especially the nine rules of success. I needed the refresher course, even if you might not.
In my early 60s, widower, father and itinerant storyteller. I am a putative jazz singer, poet and novelist, dedicated to mining every minute of life for the veins of pleasure they contain. My motto is "Dum Vivimus, Vivamus"..."While we Live--LET US LIVE".