Here’s a doctoral dissertation on how to make somebody’s day.

It comes courtesy of Billy Joel, who did some Q&A in January at Vanderbilt University when student Michael Pollack asked the Piano Man flat-out if he could take the stage and accompany Joel on “New York State of Mind.”

Talk about guts. Watch the video:

Two lessons here:

  1. Most times, the easiest way to make someone’s day is to say “OK.” With those two syllables, a music legend gave a Vanderbilt student the thrill of his life. Seriously, can you think of a better word than “yes?”
     
  2. Being great means taking chances. Pollack has that one figured out. To quote noted hockey player and philosopher Wayne Gretzky, “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.”

What do you say we all be a little more like Michael Pollack and Billy Joel today?

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