Watch Closely Now

Watch closely now
You’ll observe a curious exchange of energy
Are you a figment of my imagination
Or I one of yours?

Watch closely now
Are you watching me now?

 —Kris Kristofferson, Watch Closely Now

N ot long ago, I watched Barbara Streisand’s 1976 film, A Star is Born. The movie tells the story of the relationship between a rock star facing the decline of his career and a rising star he chooses to help in her ascent. The movie features a collection of painfully self-destructive decisions mixed with the fiery passions of the two artists.

The feature song of the movie is a rock anthem sung by Kris Kristofferson entitled “Watch Closely Now.” The lyrics of the song encapsulate the entire movie and are brought to life by the powerfully throaty voice of Kristofferson. Now you are asking, why is he writing about a song in a 40 year old movie?

For over 40 years, I’ve been fascinated by this song. The entire soundtrack is very well done but this song has resonated with me since I first heard it in 1976. On the surface, it is a catchy tune worth playing loudly in the car (or on your blue Panasonic cassette player!). But even before I could really understand, I sensed that there was more to it.

Now, with a bit more perspective, I find myself intrigued by the underlying message: watch closely, I’ll show you, I’ll help you get where you want to be, I’m here, you’re not a alone, we can do this. It is an offer, an invitation to walk together toward something more.

I recently spoke, to a room full of professionals, on the path to your best work in your peak years. I like to open this talk with the following statement: “Your purpose in this world is to be the best you can possibly be…for yourself and the world around you.

A major part of being your best self for the world around you is helping others become the best versions of themselves. Our job is to show others the way by our example. Watch closely now. Are you watching me now? Ask yourself: who is watching me and what am I showing them? Then, provide an example worth emulating.



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