I am fortunate and privileged to be living by the sea.
I have a home office, where when I am not out meeting clients (I have just returned from such an engagement) I am able to see the cycle of the seasons revolve year after year, and watch the sun rise and reluctantly dip serenely into the horizon; staged majestically on the distant surface edge of the sea.
I do not take such views and such experiences lightly, or for granted. I know that at any moment, it could be all over.
It is the constant change of our world and everything mother Earth supports that compels me to accept that each day, and each moment of each day must not be wasted.
Must not be wasted on negativity, pursuing selfish aims, on routine, on hateful and acrimonious endeavors.
Just as the sun rises to share her unlimited love with us all, we should do the same for ourselves and others. We are not and never will be divorced from anything around us.
We smile at someone, they will likely smile in return, we see someone in distress or listen to a heartfelt tale of sadness, we too become affected and can feel that tender lump in our throat and our eyes fill with a salty tear. We witness an angry altercation, and our hearts will race to beat in time with those involved instantly; and our breathing becomes ever more rapid. Someone has an infectious laugh, it won’t be long before you start chuckling too!
We and everything around us are interconnected – do not imagine for one second or believe that what you do has no degree of consequence to someone or something somewhere, it does.
When I look back on the myriad of paths I have trodden, I am able to smile with a deep sense of satisfaction. The saying, Life Is What You Make It, rings truer than ever, and it really is more than just a mere cliché.
I love reflecting on how I am affected by and respond to different cultures, environments, adversity, words, behaviour (in the broad sense of the word), opinions, silence, mayhem, threat, kindness, appreciation etc.
In order to reflect, I have to make a conclusion or two, I will have to form an instant judgement of some kind to know what choice I should make next.
The more I experience, the more choices I am forced to make, thus the more I learn, and the more I grow from the inside as a human being.
Many of us live our lives in a comfort zone, routine, know what we like and don’t like and that’s all that matters thank you, never that keen to step outside of the subliminal safety of our oh so familiar cocoon.
If these people find themselves in a strange territory, around strangers, it can instil fear, panic, and in some extreme cases, loathing too. It is almost child like… you know when you take your young child to school for the first time, it is not uncommon for that child to be struck with irrational fear of the unknown, and becomes distressed.
It happens for many adults too; and this is a real shame.
You know, all our experiences are down to choice, everything we have learned so far, and everything we can and will learn in the future is down to choice! Choice.
Think about it, what if you decided to learn a new language over the next six months, you can do it now… there’s nothing to stop you; what difference do you think acquiring such a skill will make to the value of your life?
What about using this five letter word… SORRY! What will this do for creating harmony and understanding around you… you can say it, say it and mean it right now!
What about making that call, that approach, to that person you have always admired, always wanted to meet, have a silent sense that this person is THE one! What are you waiting for? There are two outcomes, Oui or Non. Isn’t it in your life’s interest to find out?!
We can go on to consider a host of other examples, but the real point I am making is, it is really time to throw caution to life, your LIFE.
This attitude to life is one I have embraced at an early age, it has led me to live through some crazy experiences, some bad, MOST quite wonderful. With these experiences I have acquired much; being at ease with strangers, in places I have not been before; seen a fair part of the world, but this is perhaps compared to those who stay cocooned in their comfort zone; and I am able to get by across time zones using more than my native language of English.
You now know from my an earlier blog post, that my now deceased parents could barely read or write, but they always encouraged me to make the most use of my talents, and never to limit my ambition.
I still have much to see and do, and those values drilled into me by my parents continue to burn bright and warm within. It is a message that I hope may allow you also to remove your outer garments and finally run free!
I happened upon this genuine email response to an exchange between me and a former client of mine almost exactly three years ago. I have chosen not to share what he wrote to me.
I have changed the name of the original client to Wilson for confidentiality reasons. When reading it, I was thinking, just how much I have grown both professionally and personally since this communication; I have chosen not to use the WP proof reader, as I want it to remain authentic. Well, see it below.
Oh, and there is a link to a site in my reply that you’re welcome to click through and use.
Wednesday 15, February, 2012
Let me address your open and candid note.
You are 100% correct, lying offers no long-term benefit. In the short-term it may disguise, divert, distort, deviate, deny, disrupt and dampen whatever it is you seek to achieve. In the long-term it will ultimately, and surely destroy many of the good things you have nurtured prior to CHOOSING to lie, and moreover any potential good, that is definitely heading your way.
Good things ‘definitely heading your way’ is worth repeating silently and loudly… only change the your, to ‘my’ and repeat it everyday.
We are the subjects of our up-bringing, our environment, our education, our social groups, but most certainly, our thinking!
Wilson, you have expressed how frequently you were beaten for lying, and for not lying, because as I suspect, after a while, trust between you and your father was literally beaten away. I won’t comment too much on this, as being beaten by a parent; right or wrong is a topic that requires much deeper analysis than a mere comment here.
However Wilson, those incidents cannot easily be extinguished, they are a part of who you were, but not necessarily a part of what you can and will become.
This as I am sure you are aware, is entirely your choice – you can let your past access your present if you choose, and subsequently sabotage your present, or you can use your past as a rock solid benchmark for your future – something you have wonderfully shown to be doing with your son.
So STOP BEATING YOURSELF UP; if you will excuse the pun, or hanging onto the pain from those events – it achieves little now, or into the future, unless you allow it to.
Take it from me, you have much to celebrate, and be thankful for – those events have led you here.
What I find admirable in you, is change is already fully underway, and you know it; this for me speaks volumes of who you are Wilson.
You know what your responsibilities now in mid-life are, and should be. You know that you have something remarkable and worth cherishing in your hands. You also know that in the past you have taken a left turn, when you should have turned right; and you can now reflect on why too.
Wilson, you just know!
What is particularly exciting right now, is that you are not stopping there. No, you fully recognise and accept that you have weaknesses; flaws that if left unchecked, can undo much of what you have gained in recent years.
The fact that you have sought my support, is clearly indicative that leaving it unchecked is not on your radar…
Wilson, I give my commitment, that as long as I am your coach, you will not be allowed to call on your weaknesses to dilute your strengths, it WILL NOT HAPPEN, but I must demand your total commitment too.
Not accepting and liking who you are, and what you represent to others is the basis for all LIES.
A lie is a MASK, it is nothing more than that. Deviance and the wish to gain unfair advantage is a false motivation for its use. Accept yourself, LOVE yourself, and others will accept and LOVE YOU, the REAL you!
This is what you deeply would have been yearning for as a boy, and Wilson, trust me, this is what you will want in old age – ACCEPTANCE.
Remember how were told, ‘Once a man, twice a child’?
I have accepted everything you have told me, it hasn’t entered my mind that you have embarked on another false journey, and I am a passenger along the way.
It’s because of your honesty and TRUTH, that success is profoundly assured. These three qualities are the happiest of siblings. Add to it, determination, a positive mental condition, humility, confidence, love, and the depth of character you clearly have to arrive at this very moment in your life, and there really is NOTHING you cannot achieve Wilson.
Wilson, I recognise your professional status matters to you; I will not negate the other important activities in your life, but will place greater emphasis with your permission, on your career and professional development.
Get this right, and I suspect, all else will fall into place.
As part of my forward planning, will you do do the following for me please… sign up to this site http://strengths.gallup.com/default.aspx complete the POSITIVE IMPACT questionnaire, submit for a score, and if you still wish to proceed with me as your coach, print off a copy of the report for your records or e-mail it to me for my confidential viewing please.
If you choose to go forward Wilson, I will require a private address to which I can post to you selected correspondence.
If you do not, this is fine, I will continue to make available words and writing of inspiration to the general public, and will always welcome your contact.
I have every confidence in you Wilson; I am extremely empathetic, and see a positive outcome for you, regardless of whatever method you choose to get there.
I wish you well and success.
John G. E. Frye, Assoc CIPD, Dip LC (Inst. LCI) AMAC