Think About This: Be comfortable and dead, or risky and possibly rich

Don Draper (played by Jon Hamm in Mad Men) of ...
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I’m a Mad Men Fan.  Often it is I regret that I didn’t just sell off what I had when I finished my days at Auburn and head to NYC to make it or break it.  But alas, with that mental fool’s errand I come to the reality that I’d not have my three biological girls and my lovely 6-year-old daughter who thinks of me as her dad.  I would not have had the rich, rewarding experiences, nor would I have endured 2010 as it has been going.  Maybe the lessons I’ve learned this year would have manifested themselves earlier, but each day I thank God more and more for the way things are  and the delicious air I deeply breathe.

One of the best lines I got from season IV of Mad Men, (and as I’ve so noted, there was a lot in Season IV that I related to) was the message Don Draper (John Hamm) gave to the swimsuit company fearful in 1965 of showing the girl in the bikini top with the slogan–“Built so well, we can’t show you the second floor!” As the men were balking, Draper gave them this solid words of advice:  “You have two choices: Be comfortable and dead, or risky and possibly rich.”

So today’s thing to thing about is simple.  I’m in the midst of wrapping up my seven-day Treatise on Life in 2010.  How will it end?  Well, I need you to read three more days of material to answer that.  But here’s what to ponder:

In your present day life, are you being too comfortable?  Are you taking ANY risks?  Is your idea of life still all about working in a job and hoping some day for a gold watch?  What bold actions have you taken today?  Yesterday?  The past week?  Okay, the past month?

Go ahead.  Take a few seconds to answer.

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This is an image of the tree line from the new County Road 510 Bridge near Marquette, Michigan.


  1. Brett

    I’m not going to lie… There’s been some maintaining over this past year due to (excuse alert) stage of life: 2 yr old twin boys and a 3 1/2 yr old daughter.

    I have a bold more or two in store prior to the end of the day to day–revolving around work accountability and a new approach to my job. I have other bold moves planned in other areas for next year, but since the question is about the past, I shouldn’t answer yet. I appreciate the challenge I felt in those questions.

    • Donny Claxton

      Well, don’t look at it then in its entirety of a question about the past. You’re right, I should also have phrased it in a way about what are we GOING to do. Brilliant observation and suggestion. Best of luck. Let me know how I can support you.




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Donald J. Claxton | The Timberlander, a selfie from camping for 13 weeks in 2022 on the Claxton family land in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, northwest of Marquette.

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