When I was 12 years old my mother took me and my younger brother to Hawaii to meet my father who had been traveling in Asia with the Xavier Cugat band. We stayed for one week at a small motel in Waikiki. By now a fifty-story hotel has no doubt arisen from that same small plot of land.
While in Honolulu we toured the Dole pineapple plantation where I was treated to what felt like Christmas in April. Sweet, delicious pineapple. The sight of it. The scent of it. The taste of it in unlimited quantities. And it was all free.
There were fountains from which no water flowed, just pineapple juice. Not from a can that cost 18 cents, but from a pineapple juice fountain! Free. This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a fat, ravenous young boy who didn’t have nearly enough money to pay for everything he wanted. I ate pineapple. I drank pineapple. I bathed in the pineapple juice which covered my face, neck and sticky hands.
You can probably imagine what happened next. Thanks to my pineapple binge I couldn’t stand the sight or taste of that cloying tropical fruit for many years. Even the thought of pineapple juice chased my appetite to never-never land. At Dole I simply had too much.
Dole was generous. Too generous. They completely ignored the basic show business adage that you should always leave your audience wanting more. If you think they will sit still for 20 songs, sing 15. TED Talks are strictly limited to 18 minutes, not an hour and a half. If you’ve ever fallen asleep in class you know exactly why.
Ever since my pineapple binge as a 12 year old, I’ve applied my Dole lesson in many ways. If I think I would enjoy two weeks of vacation, I plan nine days. I eat at my favorite restaurant less often than I think I might prefer. I don’t turn on my TV set for every soccer game, though I took in more than a few World Cup games from Brazil.
Let’s have lunch once a month, not twice. When my children were young I bought them candy at the market, but not every time. Whenever I am tempted to overindulge I remember the Showbiz mantra. Well, not every time. Today I gobbled down two (small) hamburgers for lunch. I won’t touch another hamburger for a week or two.
In the interest of your own future enjoyment, you might consider showbiz wisdom and leave yourself wanting more. You might also leave others wanting more, including more of you.
Years ago I asked a Texan, “How did you like our three-hour dinner?”
“Waahl,” he drawled, “Ah feel like the monkey who made love to the skunk.”
He paused for dramatic effect. “Ah enjoyed about as much as Ah could stand.”
Enjoy yourself, and your life, in moderation.
Why do I aim to limit my blog entries to 600 words? To leave you wanting more, not less. This one is 511 words.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alan Fox is the New York Times bestselling author of PEOPLE TOOLS, a series of self-help books that give powerful advice on building happy and meaningful relationships. Alan has shared his wisdom with national audiences including the Steve Harvey and The Meredith Vieira shows.
In Alan’s latest book People Tools for Love and Relationships: The Journey from Me to Us (endorsed by Steve Harvey), he shares genuine advice that you can use to enhance your connection with your spouse or partner, your family and friends—in fact with anyone who is important to you. From learning how to talk about money with your partner, how and when to apologize, to increasing trust and intimacy, each tool addresses a specific issue and provides a simple, straightforward approach to happy living.