It was during a period of intense travel when I was invited to meet and coach the legendary Quincy Jones. I had planned to rest and relax in NYC as the holidays approached, and the idea of flying all the way to LA on a moment’s notice seemed daunting.
As I sat there contemplating, I wondered when I would have this opportunity again. With my carpe diem mindset, it didn’t take me long to decide that I had to go, fatigued or not. This was Quincy Jones, winner of 28 Grammy awards, and, more importantly, someone who had seen and experienced so much in his over 60 years in the entertainment industry. This was someone I simply had to hang out with!
The details of our meeting will remain private, but it’s safe to say that I learned more from him about life than he did from me about chess. I love hanging out with older folks in general, but this 86-years-young man shocked me with his vitality, razor-sharp memory and zest for learning. It was an absolute inspiration to hear his many stories, and it made me feel like life for me was just beginning. The twinkle in his eyes as he smiled at hearing a little about my life journey was wonderful affirmation to me that I had chosen well the path of passionate living.
I left LA feeling happy and fulfilled. What a great decision it was to drop everything and make the meeting happen! They say you don’t regret the things you do, but the things you don’t. That certainly was not an issue for me this time. It was indeed an honor to meet such a great icon.