Those Who Wish Me Dead

by Bruce Piasecki, author of Doing More with Less

That is the name of a new film in town, Those Who Wish Me Dead. I thought it a longish, but great, movie title. Usually, you know, movie titles are more abbreviated into banners even shorter than book titles. I assume Hollywood sweats over brevity to save space in ads to achieve both intrigue and a phrase that folks that remember over dinner chats?

I wondered what the movie might be renamed.

With shorter phrases, like Dance of Death, or Deathwish, or Death. Scarface is a model title for a film, or a book. But I decided on a short walk with my wife this morning, that I like “Those Who Wish Me Dead” as it is. It has a ring to it, and enough mystery that I may chance the film without a review.

That got me thinking. I asked “”who are those who wish me dead?

  1. At first I thought of the competition I outsmarted in my consulting or lobbying work — yet after short reflection, I felt no one would remember, or care. You survive decades in business by being frugal and diplomatic, not war-like.

2. I thought of one transparent college ex-lover, who I left due to her crazed intensity, but believe medications took care of her heat. She became a literary agent after Cornell, and then fell off the edge of the world.

3. I even imagined that there was some one out there, perhaps living in as strange isolated corner of the world on an Old Neck Lane or an Old Jail Road in Cape Cod, that they hated to death a few of my arguments that the world is a happy and self-correcting place. Then I laughed. I am not that effective.

Then I decided the opposite was true.

After writing so many books, there are people who tell me I am truly blessed. Little do they know how much of a hard ass you need to be to complete the thousands of hours it takes to write a book to completion, and then the tours, and ceaseless required self-promotions.

On the feeling blessed theme, I am enjoying listening again and again to Bob Dylan’s latest sound track, that ends with a ninth take called “Key West.” This is his reflection on mortality, and the death of friends, and what might prove lasting in his work. It is a mesmerizing song, like the title “Those Who Wish Me Dead.”

In this nine track masterpiece, Bob Dylan says that he works both extremes against the middle. He notes that he never pandered; never played the guitar behind his head. He notes he never took off his shoes, and threw them into the crowed.

Feeling the same, but in a much lower scale of impact and achievement, I guess I should be glad there is no identifiable answer to the “those who want me dead.”

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Bruce Piasecki

Dr. Bruce Piasecki is the president and founder of AHC Group, Inc., NYT bestselling author, speaker, advisor on shared value and social response capitalism.