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Work Hard but don't forget to make memories along the way too!

Updated: Nov 3, 2023

For those who strive for career progression, it is easy to miss the beauty of the world around us everyday.

I was driving to work the other day, listening to a band called 'U2.' In 2011, Leeanne and I went to their 360 degree world tour show at Soccer City in JHB. That was my first live music event of that scale. When the song came on in the car a specific part of it triggered a memory so vivid that I could feel the vibrations I did that day, even now some 10 years down the road.

We had arrived quite early, as we try to do for most concerts. We are live music enthusiasts at heart, so much so that for Linkin Park we stood in the queue from the morning to evening, through rain and hail just so we could be two rows from the stage, the heat from the pyrotechnics felt more than seen. That particular effort paid dividends in the form of the bassists guitar pick that he had flicked into the crowd, and now hangs proudly on our wall at home inside a framed picture of the late Chester Bennington.

Returning to the U2 concert...this was a rather unique experience. The stage for the tour is what gave the tour it's monicker. It was a round stage, which rotated. Not only that, but there were no golden circle tickets sold! This was because golden circle was the inner ring between the outer and main parts of the stage with a bridge rotating between, that saw Bono, The Edge and Adam Clayton able to get closer to more of the crowd than most traditional stages. Sorry Larry, unfortunately the drummer is cemented in place on the main platform.

How it would work was once we were allowed in, if we were early enough to be in the lucky group that fitted into the golden circle, we would be in. So we were there super early with our general access passes, ready to run!

The part that hit me when I heard the song this morning was an experience that I had when we were still outside and the band was doing sound check. The first thing I remember was the THUD of that kick drum. Even from outside the stadium, I had never felt anything physically hit me in the heart like that before, let alone one man's foot at the helm producing the pulse. Then the shimmering crystal like guitar part that comes in at 50 seconds on the recorded version of 'City of Blinding Lights' washed over me. The Edge is a master of sonic texture with the guitar, and this moment was evidence of that. I will never forget that moment and to this day when that part hits my ears, my mind sees those blinding lights, and sparkles like stars in the sky. With it comes a wave of the save feeling of excitement that I felt that day.

The moral of the story is simple. That was a sliver of time in my life (thus far). Compared to the hours, nay years, of hard work that I have put into my career and academics, this is a tiny speck of time. Did I succeed any less for spending that time on joy? No! How many memories from my work life have had that significant of a positive emotional impact on me? ZERO!

Work hard, work smart but don't forget family, loved ones, yourself and most importantly the truly engaged times that you spend with them. Thats where the memories we want are made.

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