Northwind Pharmaceuticals

In the Old, Find Something New


When you think you’ve tried every road
Every avenue, take one more look at
What you found old
And in it you’ll find something new
Depeche Mode – One Caress

Time has a unique way of rubbing the shine off of everything in our lives. The new car becomes the old car. The new job becomes the same old job. That new relationship now takes work. That beautiful family silver becomes tarnished. Alas, it is inevitable that the newness always wears off. For those that are blessed to experience long lives, long careers and/or long relationships, the challenge of lost newness becomes omnipresent, reappearing almost daily across every aspect life. As a society, we’ve even coined a phrase to reflect our penchant for searching out the new as we “chase shiny objects.”

In a world of bright, shiny objects how do we maintain focus and a sense of satisfaction when there is always something newer, sexier, more compelling, more fresh or just different to distract us? As a person who can now look back over a lengthy career, a lengthy marriage and a fairly lengthy life, I believe the key is in the quotation I shared at the beginning of this post. To make the most of it, we’ve got to look for and be willing to see the new in the old, the glint under the tarnish, the freshness in the regular and be willing to work to “shine that old silver.”

As with most of our lives, this process is a mental game. You have to be intentional and you have to manage the monsters we call “feelings.” They will come and go and we all know that the discipline necessary to reign them in can be quite challenging. However, by deliberately looking to burnish those old things in our lives, we get to the point where the time, familiarity and comfort appear and the inherent value of the old increases exponentially.

Think about it. You CAN fall back in love with old things with a little spit and polish applied physically and mentally:

  • You like your car more when its clean.
  • The old dog is more loveable when its been groomed.
  • The house can seem new again with some fresh paint or a few renovations.
  • You can find new motivation in your job with new goals, new duties, new management or even simply changing your desk or office around.
  • Your neighborhood can appear different just by driving around it in a different direction.
  • Your grocery store feels new if you start at the opposite end or actually change up your shopping pattern.

Taking another look at the old things in your life and working to put a shine on them will change not only how they physically appear to you, but how you feel about them. It is just how our minds work.

Relationships are an entirely different ball game. The same principles apply but the challenges, and rewards are exponentially greater. My goal is not to psychoanalyze your relationships but to challenge your thinking. There is no one answer and an infinite array of circumstances and complications. However, our attitude and effort generally produce proportional effects. In other words, we reap what we sow.

What is “shining the silver” relative to relationships?

  • Finding the good in the other person every single day.
  • Listening with intention at every opportunity.
  • Giving first without the expectation of anything in return.
  • Trusting first and forgiving first.
  • Investing your time, actions and thoughts in the other person.
  • Treating him/her as you’d like to be treated. Hmm, sounds familiar.

Rocket science? Nope. Nothing you don’t know yet some of the hardest things to do. Obviously, we can choose to chase the shiny objects in our professional and personal lives. In many cases, we need to. However, if you want to derive the most value from the things you possess, you must continually find ways to burnish them physically and mentally. In this way, looking again at what you found old may reveal something new; for both the object and perhaps yourself.

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