There is perhaps no other street in America with the history and change of 42nd street. Until the late 1980’s, it was New York’s epicenter for grindhouses, or theaters that promoted exploitation films. The area attracted a rough crowd, including pimps, Mafiosi, gangsters, and anyone seeking thrills on the edge (the book Sleazoid Express details this time period in history quite well). At the same time, 42nd street is home to some of NYCs most famous buildings, including: Grand Central Station, Chrysler building, and the United Nations. So in the early 1990’s, the party ended and the city decided to clean up the area, kick out the underworld, revitalize the theaters, and make 42nd street (or what is now called New 42nd Street”) family-friendly.
MARKETING PLAN FOR LIFE
I had a therapist caution me years ago that even though I had a marketing plan for life, I should always build some flexibility into my plan. Life throws lots of unexpected curveballs, and living life from a rigid plan is a recipe for disappointment. My marketing plan really was a list of life goals, timelines, and accomplishments that I believed would make me happy and gave me the illusion that I had control over the future. It was right out of the self-help playbooks of the 1980’s. Right it down and it will happen.
Now more than two decades later, I understand much better the wisdom of building in flexibility. But even more, I have realized how so much of what I have chased is not really that important in the big picture of things. Sure, my accomplishments look nice on a wall, but I understand now that the essence of a life well lived is not to become who we think the world will like, but who we know ourselves to be.