My brother is a lawyer. (One of my brothers. I’ve got three in total.) His job is intense and he works really, really hard. He works for a firm here in NYC and his area of specialty is called Private Equity. I throw this term about with the slight fear that someone will ever ask me what it means. Recently my brother was coming up for partner in his firm, and when he made it, I congratulated him. I was excited for him not only because he’s such a dern bigshot, but because I thought it meant he would get a break. I figured he’d paid his dues and now he’d get to hang out more with his family and play hockey. (He loves hockey.)
My brother explained, though, that that’s not quite how it works. Apparently there is a oft-quoted analogy among lawyers involving pie: Becoming a partner is like winning a pie-eating contest, and the reward for it is . . . more pie.
This got me thinking about pie, which I love, and winning in general, which I admit I also like. I think it’s also true of my job-and probably most jobs-that the reward for success is getting to do more of what you already do. The better I do at writing the more writing I get to do. Which is a lucky thing because I love to write. (Except for the times when I hate it.) If I liked winning more than I liked writing, then the winning would be hollow indeed. As would be the writing, I suppose.
So my thought for the day is this: whatever contest we enter, we should do it not because we love winning, but because we love pie.
I should add that my brother is funny and nice and a great lawyer, so if you are ever having trouble with your, er, Private Equity, you should give him a call.