Recently I had the privilege of witnessing Sir John Kirwan deliver a key note. No one would disagree that he has an exceptional way of getting the message through. He’s real, authentic and not afraid of talking about depression. Sir John brings to the forefront that depression effects people who to look at you’d never in a hundred years expect. Doctors, Plumbers, Accountants, Teachers – Depression doesn’t discriminate – how ironic.
Someone I know well called me the other day. For privacy purposes I’ll call him Abe.
Abe is a typical middle aged person starting to question what life is all about. He wants to be passionate about what he does. He wants to have a purpose.
“You know I hate my job” he said. “I’m just going through the motions”. “The traffic’s killing me”. “An hour each way”.
“Why don’t you resign?” I asked.
“I’m so busy!” “I don’t have the time!” “I never seem to stop!”
Sound familiar? If it’s not you, then I’m sure you know someone close who it does sound like – right?
We all know people who are “always busy”. Living a life in chaos and moving from one crisis to the next.
We also know the alarming statistics related to stress, anxiety and depression.
Maybe it’s just me, but being paid a significant salary, given the tools, support and brand to enable you to add value to customers I see as an absolute privilege.
That’s right – an absolute freckin privilege.
Think about it – You’ve been given the opportunity to gain a deep understanding of your customers business and their industry. Sure, to do that takes time and effort but you’re learning all the way. If you’re learning you’re growing.
I had a situation recently where I was due to meet two ‘gentlemen’ (I use that description graciously); for a meeting arranged by their CEO – their boss. The meeting was scheduled for 10am. I arrived at 9.50am and signed in. The two ‘gentlemen ‘ I was due to meet knew I had arrived as the receptionist had called them. So I waited. At 10.10am the receptionist called them both again to remind them that I was waiting. And so I waited… At 10.
I know, I know; you’ve just got to wait a while before you do it. The timing’s just not right.
You’ve just got to wait until you’ve got enough money in the bank.
You’ve just got to wait until you’ve done two years.
You’ve just got to wait until the wife has the baby.
You’ve just got to wait until the kids finish primary school.
You’ve got to wait until you reach 40.
How you feel right now if completely in your control.
Stop for a second.
WHAT DO YOU SEE? WHAT DO YOU FEEL?
Do you see a freezing cold morning, and think of long winter ahead?
Do you see hideous traffic that you hate; silent strangers and another boring day in the office where they don’t appreciate what you do?
You feel exhausted, annoyed, frustrated.
Now stop. Close your eyes. Take a deep breath – listen to your breath.
Now open your eyes.
This week I experienced something that made me smile and feel really great. I mean really great.
All it took was a random act of kindness.
You see, this week whilst my good wife Mary was out and about, her car broke down. It wouldn’t start, wouldn’t turnover. She was stuffed. Stranded along with our littlest kid, Ava – Ava’s nine.
You could tell Mary was stressed.
Do you care that you’re not hitting your number, that you’re deluding yourself with a pipeline of lies and deceit? Do you care you’re not achieving what you’re capable of?
Do you care that you’ve got used to waking up in the dead of night, panicking, thinking of work, checking your phone and dreading the moment the sun rises?
Do you care that it’s normal for you to get home and to take it out on your kids? That you were too busy to play ball with our son and that you
Ted sits in the traffic which moves at a crawl.
He thinks of the boss man sitting just down the hall.
Then lip starts to quiver – Oh not this again!
Why do I do this when I know how it ends?
Ted’s phone starts to ring; it’s the boss man, its Ned.
The stress starts to flow and Ted starts to see red.
“Why do I do this?” you hear Ted think.
“When my life is so boring and my job is so stink.