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Andy Rooney, the Truth, and You

“That’s what a writer does. A writer’s job is to tell the truth.” – Andy Rooney

Andy Rooney

I was reading an article about Andy Rooney’s death earlier this week, and I came across that quote.  Rooney, best known for his curmudgeonly opinion pieces at the end of episodes of “60 Minutes“, is one of my heroes.  Granted, I haven’t worked my way through all 1,097 of his show-enders, but what I’ve seen consistently is a man who wasn’t afraid to speak his mind.  He didn’t hold back.

Sometimes he offended people, sometimes he caused an uproar, but he always spoke his truth.  He didn’t form his opinions by sticking his finger to the wind or consulting focus groups; he knew where he stood.  Whether you agreed with him or not, whether you like him or not, you got the sense that he was a person of conviction.

So here’s a question to ponder while you reflect on Rooney’s passing: can people say the same about you?

Speaking your truth isn’t always easy.  It’s not always popular.  It’s not always going to make people like you.  And it’s the most important thing you’ll ever do.

Of course, in order to speak your truth, you have to know what it is.  Are you taking the time to reflect on what’s truly important in your life?  Are you seeking to find your truth?  Or have you checked out and resigned yourself to living out the plans others have made for you?

I read this on Steve Hamm‘s Facebook wall earlier tonight: “Building a life by design, not by default.”  Yeah…that’s it.  That’s what I’m talking about.  Steve is spot on: if you’re not choosing your truth, designing your life every step of the way, then you’re building a life by default.  Usually those defaults have been programmed by someone else, and the default programs are typical not going to give you the life you want.

Andy Rooney made a career out of speaking his truth; there’s absolutely no reason your truth should be any different or less meaningful.  You just have to develop the audacious habit of standing in it, living it, and choosing to do so every minute of every day.  And that, dear readers, is the secret sauce to a fulfilled life.

Just for fun, here’s my favorite Andy Rooney moment:


How about you?  Do you have a favorite Andy Rooney-ism?  If so, or even if you hated him, share it in the comments below.

4 Responses to Andy Rooney, the Truth, and You

  1. The thoughts that come to mind with “building a life by design, not by default,” remind me of another quote that I read someplace or another: loved on purpose. The translation of feelings to action in our daily lives is a pretty effective deterrent to apathy.

    • Dude…you’d be *perfect* for Rooney’s job! “Have you ever wondered why some people insist on naming their pets such stupid things? I have these neighbors, and they named their cat Sexy…what am I supposed to do with that?”

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