Dec 5th 2008
It takes a lot of talent to be a consistently funny writer for your whole career, but John Cleese has done just that. I was a Monty Python fan and watched the TV show every week. I quoted Python skits in high school (Say no more!!). I watched the movies and Fawlty Towers. And now, I have started listening to his podcasts.
When Cleese is just talking to the camera, he can be quite humble. In the video podcast I watched this morning, he talked about how fortunate he was to meet so many intelligent and interesting people through Python. Then he said, ". . . which wouldn't have happened if I'd been an accountant."
Them's fightin' words!
But before I bristle with righteous indignation at the callous insult levelled at my profession, let me state that I realize that no slight to accountants was intended. With all of his royalty earnings, I expect that John could truthfully say, "Some of my best friends are accountants."
But it does raise the question of what makes an accountant (or anybody for that matter) interesting.
Here's my take. (Feel free to agree/disagree in the comments below.) When I look back to all the people I have found interesting, the thing they have mostly in common is that they knew what they wanted and had the courage to go for it.
Actually, you don't have to start an international comedy troupe to be interesting. You could even be just an accountant. All you have to do is reach down deep inside you and find a cause that resonates. Find something or someone worth dedicating your life to. That will force you to dig deep and find the personal resources you never knew you had. That will force you to look outside yourself and look to others for assistance. When you have a purpose in life, the other things just seem to fall into place and when they don't, you will find previously untapped reserves of energy to take on the challenges. Then, I guarantee that people will find you interesting, but by then you won't care. You'll be too busy following your dream.
Like the accountant in the Monty Python skit who wanted to be a lion tamer . . . hey, wait a second. Maybe Cleese does have a thing about accountants after all!