Was the title too intense? I don’t mean it literally… like-Juliet-sharing-the-same-fatal-poison-Romeo-drank-literally.

romeo and juliet black white
William Shakepeare's Romeo and Juliet (1968), directed by Franco Zeffirelli, Juliet kills herself with Romeo's dagger when she discovers that he killed himself after he thought she drank the fatal poison

Two days ago, I was at my local 24 Hour Fitness Gym doing my normal routine. After getting my heart rate up, I always end my day with 10 miserable minutes in the sauna. For the record, I don’t think I could live near the equator.

While dripping in sweat, I overheard a conversation about a guy starting a floral business. Things were tough from what I understood. He just moved here about a year ago and the business has yet to pick up. Surprisingly, he was optimistic that the economy will hockey stick…eventually. And I guess that’s when everyone will need flowers!

Alas, I don’t believe in optimism alone as a formula for success nor was I going to chime in. So, I nonchalantly listened to more; past my normal 10 minutes in dizzying heat. There was a moment when I sensed it…like a splash of ice water. I knew that he was going to succeed.

Before we examine, let’s read this poem, the lesson of the moth by Don Marquis, in “archy and mehitabel,” 1927.

i was talking to a moth
the other evening
he was trying to break into
an electric light bulb
and fry himself on the wires

why do you fellows
pull this stunt i asked him
because it is the conventional
thing for moths or why
if that had been an uncovered
candle instead of an electric
light bulb you would
now be a small unsightly cinder
have you no sense

plenty of it he answered
but at times we get tired
of using it
we get bored with the routine
and crave beauty
and excitement
fire is beautiful
and we know that if we get
too close it will kill us
but what does that matter
it is better to be happy
for a moment
and be burned up with beauty
than to live a long time
and be bored all the while
so we wad all our life up
into one little roll
and then we shoot the roll
that is what life is for
it is better to be a part of beauty
for one instant and then cease to
exist than to exist forever
and never be a part of beauty
our attitude toward life
is come easy go easy
we are like human beings
used to be before they became
too civilized to enjoy themselves

and before i could argue him
out of his philosophy
he went and immolated himself
on a patent cigar lighter
i do not agree with him
myself i would rather have
half the happiness and twice
the longevity

but at the same time i wish
there was something i wanted
as badly as he wanted to fry himself


Ephemeral Existence

Archilles (Brad Pitt) in Troy (2004) quoted it so eloquently.

I’ll tell you a secret. Something they don’t teach you in your temple. The Gods envy us. They envy us because we’re mortal, because any moment might be our last. Everything is more beautiful because we’re doomed. You will never be lovelier than you are now. We will never be here again.

The beauty of being doomed is parallel to that of the moth’s philosophy. What is life if there is nothing that we want so badly?

it is better to be happy
for a moment

than to live a long time
and be bored all the while


In life and business, it’s quite the same. I knew that my sauna-mate would be successful because of one word – passion. It doesn’t matter if he does not make fistfuls of money. Flowers is is his passion; not money.

He could have the best business and marketing consultants, but customers can sense passion. This weekend, I bought some butter bars and bath fizz balls because Stephanie from Lush was so passionate about feeling soft; now, I will too.

lush soaps

What’s next…

We could live, day to day, passionate about something or

…live a long time
and be bored all the while

[with] half the happiness and twice
the longevity

“Failure, to me, is not trying. Failure, to me, is the idea that unhappiness should be a permanent part of life.” Passion is not only a strategy for life, it is a strategy for business. And it’s infectious.

  1. If you think this post will help others, I encourage you to share with Retweet and Facebook buttons below
  2. Comment whether you would rather (a) die for something beautiful or (b) have twice the longevity
  3. Oh, and there’s no right answer… Happiness and success are defined differently by all of us

Happy hump day,

Lawrence Chan

P.S. Jaime Lauren Fenwick left me some nice words –

Recently discovered Tofurious and purchased your e-Book…read it in one fell swoop! Definitely got my wheels spinning.

Tofurious, the online-home of the legendary photography marketing guru Lawrence Chan… If you’re looking for some clear-cut answers and strategies to help market your business, it’s chock full of great tips. Hey, if it helps get prospective clients turning heads and purchasing your products, it’s all worth it right?

Bertrand Hui too –

…bought the creative packages book btw and love it!

P.P.S. So, I used some bath bombs and fizzes and it looks like a Smurf blew up in my bath tub…too bad I can’t just call house keeping like in Las Vegas.

P.P.P.S. archy is a cockroach in a series of newspaper columns. He was unable to use the shift key on the typewriter because he had to hop from key to key, which is why the entire poem is in lowercase.

archy cockroach