Live like you were Dying?

536 1

Knives Out is a 2019 American mystery film. Daniel Craig leads an eleven-actor ensemble cast (that includes the fabulous Ana de Armas)  as Benoit Blanc, famed private detective summoned to investigate the death of bestselling author Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer). It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. It grossed over $312 million (on a budget of $40 million).

I just finished reading Salman Rushdie‘s Knife: Meditations After an Attempted Murder. In Chapter 7, Second Chance, he ponders:

So the question was: When you are given a second opportunity, what would you do with it? I found myself thinking about Raymond Carver and his poem “Gravy,” which was about being told he had six months to live and then getting an extra decade of his life. That was a good way to think about it. Every day of life, now, was gravy.

Eliza and I decided that we would not think in the long term. We would be grateful for each day of gravy and life it as fully as we could.

The song that came to my mind as I was reading this was Live Like You Were Dying by Tim McGraw:

Asked him when it sank in 

That this might really be the real end 

How’s it hit ya, when you get that kind of news

Man what ya do

And he says

I went sky divin’ 

I went Rocky Mountain climbin’ 

I went 2.7 seconds on a bull named Fu Manchu 

And I loved deeper 

And I spoke sweeter 

And I gave forgiveness I’ve been denying

He said I was finally the husband that most the time I wasn’t 

And I became a friend a friend would like to have 

Well I finally read the good book

And I took a good long hard look at what I’d do

If I could do it all again

Like tomorrow was a gift and you’ve got eternity

To think about what you do with it

And he said someday I hope you get the chance

To live like you were dyin

Some of the suggestions towards personal conduct mentioned above are certainly worthwhile to implement, if for some reason, one is not already doing so!

My own view (as many of you already know) on how to also harmonize professional activities  is to:

Live via Transcendental Engagement

whose four pillars are: (1) Intellectual Enjoyment (2) Economic Vibrancy (3) Spiritual Nourishment and (4) Philosophical Reflections. A poster child for (3) for me is:

Making Death Enhance Life.

The 2024 POMS Conference is in progress as I post this, and so it gives me an opportunity to reflect on some of the POMS highlights from the past three decades (and recall the James Bond films that were released in those years!).

In 1995, POMS Conference was held in Pittsburgh, and that is the first one I recall popping in to.

GoldenEye is a 1995 spy film, the seventeenth in the James Bond Series produced by Eon Productions, and the first to star Pierce Brosnan as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. It had a revenue of over $350 million on a budget of $60 million.

In 2012, Tinglong Dai, Mustafa Akan and I won the Best Paper Award from the College of Healthcare Operations Management for our paper (but I did not attend the conference):

Imaging Room and Beyond: The Underlying Economics Behind Physicians’ Test-Ordering Behavior in Outpatient Services.

Skyfall is a 2012 spy film and the twenty-third in the James Bond series produced by Eon Productions. The film is the third to star Daniel Craig as fictional MI6 agent James Bond. It had revenues of over $1.1 billion (on a budget of $200 million). Adele won an Academy Award.

In 2015, I was invited to be a Keynote Speaker, in Washington DC, where my presentation was recorded, unknown to me  🤔 at that time by G.G. Hegde, on his iPhone, sitting in the audience. He later contacted me with a request to make it available more broadly, which I agreed to. Here it is.  Additionally, I participated in a session along with David Simchi-Levi, invited by George Shanthikumar.

In 2019, I was invited by Wedad Elmagrabhy to participate in a panel, also in Washington DC,  along with Georgia Perakis.

In 2021, I attended (virtually) a session commemorating Hau Lee and posted this:

Casablanca. Corsendonk. Como.

No Time to Die is a 2021 spy film and the twenty-fifth in the James Bond series produced by Eon Productions, starring Daniel Craig in his fifth and final portrayal of fictional British MI6 agent James Bond. It had a revenue of over $770 million (on a budget of about $300 million). Billie Eilish won an Academy Award (see 2022 Academy Awards). Ana de Armas was again fabulous.

In 2021, I also presented a Tutorial on Quantum Computing, invited (and introduced in the most laudatory terms, beginning from my graduation from Cornell, through SmartOps (Academic Capitalist: “Economic Vibrancy”) and OrganJet (Academic Philanthropist:Spiritual Fulfillment“), and now to Quantum (Academic Hedonist:Intellectual Enjoyment)) by George Shanthikumar. 😳

In 2023, we (Amin Hosseininasab, Willem van Hoeve and myself) were Runner-up in CHOM Best Paper award for (the previous version of):

Provider Network Selection and Plan Personalization for Health Insurance Design.

In 2024, POMS is being held in Minneapolis, where I own a Residence at The Four Seasons, about 10 blocks from the conference venue. I decided to pop in for a bit on Thursday where Nilsu Uzunlar was a Finalist at the Sustainable Operations Student Competition and presented our paper (with Alan Scheller-Wolf):

Greenness and Its Discontents: Operational Implications of Investor Pressure.

I also participated in the #edebate (invited and moderated by Tinglong Dai) on:

Will Generative AI become an enduring research tool and topic in Operations Management, or will it be a passing fad that will be forgotten in a few years? 

On Thursday, it was good to see Suresh Sethi, Karen Donohue, Mohan Sodhi (you may have seen our article in MBR invited by Kaylan Singhal on How Businesses can become Quantum Ready), Maqbool Dada and Karen Zheng, have dinner with Tinglong Dai and Hau Lee at the The Four Seasons’ Mara Restaurant and Bar, before swinging by my place upstairs for dessert (and more wine!). Today, it was great to hang out at our place with David Simchi-Levi and Michelle Wu,  and then with Jay Swaminathan, Vince Slaugh and Tinglong Dai.

Update. Monday night, Kathy Stecke and I found a cool Blues bar (Shaw’s), following cocktails at Mara.


1 comment

  1. Fantastic article! Your diverse interests and success remain to fascinate me (and I am sure others as well). Thanks for a great reminder – life being short. That’s perhaps one of the reasons why I am unable to settle in a “road well travelled” (so much to explore in one short life). That said, however, it seems I missed a lot of fun by not being able to attend POM 2024. And happy to know at least I beat you on one dimension – being the winner of CHOM best paper award in 2021 “To Catch a Killer: A Data-Driven Personalized and Compliance-Aware Sepsis Alert System. (with M. Ayvaci and Z. Mobini). No worries, you remain to be a role model for me!

Leave a Reply