Lots of people will ride with you in the limo. What you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.

Lots of people will ride with you in the limo. What you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.


Stress is a killer. On all fronts. 

It attacks us mentally and that breaks us down physically.

In those moments of stress, we are less patient and more likely to lash out at things in our world that are honestly benign because all we can feel is the stress of our particular moment.

The secret to having someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down comes with self control. It comes with the recognition that no one wishes to be the proverbial dog that gets kicked when you are having a bad day. (Author’s note: Never kick a dog, ever. Not today, not tomorrow. Never!) So if you want to have a bus partner, you must learn that lashing out at others serves no purpose. It accomplishes nothing. It allows for a tiny moment of stress relief and then, as quickly as it was expelled, it returns in the form of disappointment or regret that we allowed ourselves to be rude or belligerent to an undeserving party.

Oprah makes the point that every loves you when you are up. Your world is soaring, your life is accelerating and everyone attracts to that. It is easy to make acquaintances, some of whom actually become friends. Genuine friends.

But the test of that friendship is when things go wrong and your world is spiraling out of control and you are hoping, longing for someone to help you get through it. We are far less attractive in that frame of mind. We are open, raw, exposed, needy and not so fun to be around.

Usually, that is when you discover who is a mensch in your world. The person who stands up when you are disconsolate and offers the welcoming extended arm of help, however that might express itself. If you have ever been in such a low space that you cannot even calculate which way is up, then you can appreciate the benefit of being in contact with someone who has a clear frame of mind, and a determination to see you for who you truly are and help you to find your center again.

Conversely, if you are trying to be that mensch to another party who is going through such turmoil, you run the risk of making a suggestion that can send that person into a tailspin. Even if you know in your heart that this suggestion is clearly the right option for that party to consider and ultimately implement. This comes in the category of tough love. No one wants to give or receive tough love. We do it when we know the other party needs to hear it. But it is never fun, and you can get a door slammed in your face (metaphorically or physically) in the process.

I think this stems back to the concept I was musing about a couple weeks ago. When you are trying to be that mensch for someone who is in pain, is scared and is trying to hold on, I think the proper first step is to start with the question, “do you want comfort or advice?” Offering advice when it is not desired is like pulling a bandage off of a raw wound. It is painful and not pretty.

I have most certainly been in both roles that I am discussing today. I believe most of us have. Trying to find equilibrium in either is not desirable, and at best, a tenuous balancing act, waiting to avert disaster. 

Perhaps the key to both roles is to do a lot of listening without pretense or judgment. Finding someone who can appreciate you in your tough times, is a true gift in life, and opting to lash out at them in a moment of sadness or desperation can take a tremendous toll on your overall sense of self and worth.

Axl Rose said it best… All we need is just a little patience.

Happy Monday!


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Written by Brian Weiner
When I was 5 years old, I discovered that the lemon tree in the backyard + dixie cups + water and sugar and I was in business. I have been hooked on that ever since. In 1979, I borrowed $14,000 to create a brand new product... photographic greeting cards with no text on the inside, called Paradise Photography. That was the start of The Illusion Factory. Since then, The Illusion Factory has been entrusted by all of the major studios and broadcasters with the advertising and marketing of over $7 billion in filmed, live, broadcast, gaming, AR, VR and regulated gaming forms of entertainment, generating more than $100 Billion in revenue and 265 awards for creativity and technology for our clients. When I took a break from film school at UCLA to move to Hawaii, my mother did not lecture me. Instead, she took 150 of her favorite aphorisms and in her beautiful calligraphy, wrote them artistically throughout a blank journal. That is the origin of the Lessons from the Mountain series. Since then, on my journeys to the top of a mountain to watch the sunrise, I have spent countless hours contemplating words of wisdom from the sages of all races, genders and political persuasions, constantly accumulating the thoughts to guide me on my life path. I hope you enjoy my books. Please let me know your thoughts, as I highly value your feedback!