Into your arms, Into your arms

There’s a very specific mental and physiological unity that occurs when a parent holds his or her arms out to their approaching young child.

If you’re a parent you know precisely this moment. I’ve dissected it:

The knees bend, the arms outstretch, the gaze is intensely focused on your approaching child, and you smile in the most natural and unself-conscious way.

Your mind, all the while, attempts to propel love and confidence and joy directly to your child.

Once in your grasp, your eyes involuntarily close, your smile widens, you don’t breathe, and you raise your child briefly over your head, open your eyes, and look intently into their face.

You then bring your child to you, close your eyes again, kiss the top of their head, smell all that is good in this world, hold them as tightly as you can without holding them too hard.

You note almost subliminally that time has stopped, put them down, and then breathe again.

The moment is really all about the embrace. What happens before and after, however, defines us.

What or who we choose to embrace defines us.

All the work we do — as parents, as partners to our significant others, as friends, as good business people as good artists — on either side of those all-too-infrequent embraceable moments define the quality of the embrace.

If we imagine what we want that embrace to feel like — and remember, it’s only an embrace if it’s emotionally and physically symmetrical — our actions, pre and post-embrace, improve.

In business we call this imagining a “Vision Statement.” You imagine, in the most granular detail, what you want your business to look like, and how it will lead to the accomplishment of your mission (I prefer “purpose” to “mission,” but you know what I mean).

So, as you think about your businesses, whatever they may be — from the investment banker to the folk artist — consider that moment of embrace. That moment when the deal works for everyone, when the audience and artist are unified, when a piece of prose or a photo or a song transcends and it’s no longer about creator/constituent, but rather about the intertwining.

Imagine, if you will, you as creator/business-person holding your arms out to your approaching constituent(s). Imagine that all you do, all you create, all the businesses you start, all the deals you make are made with the same hopes that every parent has: that their child will see these open arms and accelerate their gait and literally leap into your arms with shiny eyes and open-mouthed smiles.

Happy New Year, and thanks to all who read my blog. I wish you nothing but health, happiness, and accomplishment for the coming year.



  1. Anonymous’s avatar

    I’ve got to say, George, I absolutely love that photo, and the analogy. I hadn’t thought of business missions (or purposes) in those terms before. Thanks for broadening my perspective.nnHere’s wishing you and yours the very best for 2011!


    1. George Howard’s avatar

      Thank you very much, Marjae!rnrnGeorge


    2. Djosephbranch’s avatar

      Thank you for sharing. Since our friend Billy told me about you I have followed your blog. You have helped me in ways that I can find sufficient words to express the gratitude. So again, I will just say thanks and may the coming year be filled with peace, love, and joy!nndarrell xo


      1. George Howard’s avatar

        Darrell,rnrnThis means the world to me. I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment. rnrnAll my best to you. rnrnGeorge



Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *