In life I have always believed I should seek professional help whenever necessary: doctors, dentists, accountants, mechanics, coaches and psychologists too. My father always said, “If you don’t know what you’re doing with what you think you are trying to fix, go see someone who knows what the hell they are doing—you have no place messing around with it.” He was a master auto mechanic and he was mostly referring to the cars that people had brought him after they tried to fix whatever was wrong and inevitably made it worse, much worse.
So I have a similar belief, do not mess with it if you do not know what you are doing. The key word here is “know.” Many people think they “know” and that can lead to bigger problems. My trip to the psychologist was a gut reaction to the programming I had: I have a problem and I need some help before it really gets out of hand.
The best advice I can give to anyone going through a rough patch is to never be afraid to ask for help. ― Demi Lovato, Stay Strong
So. I had just left my career as a hotel executive. Thirty-one years invested with the same company and I walked out the door. I was not sure that I had done the right thing. I did what was in my heart. I did what I felt I had to do given the circumstances. But still I was questioning myself.
Johanne asked, “Why not see someone to talk about what you’re going through, a professional?”
After a few days of being home and having some really dark days I took a look online with my health insurance and found the nearest psychologist. That was my criteria location, not gender, not name, but could I walk to the appointment. The address was less than a quarter of a mile away. Across the panhandle in NOPA. I made an appointment. Craig was a transplanted Michiganite who had the most eclectic Indian art collection and a very friendly and overweight pug.
I went to see Craig four times. I explained how I felt and thought about losing my job. The sessions were 50 minutes and each one was good. I was able to articulate my feelings and mostly he just listened and had the occasional question or two.
I vividly remember our last session, when the lid came off. I was telling him that leaving my job was like a river and its strong current was sweeping me away. I really felt like there was something so much stronger than me that was taking me in this direction.
He asked, “What was it that was taking me in that direction, away from what was so familiar?”
I explained my dream of creating a business around financial leadership, my workshops, my idea to become a coach and change the way an industry leads its managers financially. He asked me why I needed to do this, what was compelling me, and what came out of my mouth was an amazing statement, one that I had no idea was in me.
I answered, “I guess I get to decide what I do with the rest of my life.”
I was stunned, shaken to my core and flying all at the same time. Who was I to say and believe I could decide what I wanted to do for the rest of my life? We don’t get to decide these things, do we?
The session concluded and I had such clarity and peace in my mind. On the walk home things looked different, clearer and vivid. The smell of the cypress trees in the panhandle was so intense. The sounds of the kids playing in the park was so energizing.
“There is a tide in the affairs of men.
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat,
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures.” Julius Caesar Act 4, Scene 3, 218–224
Things happen for a reason in life. That is what I believe. If we fail to see the why and we get hung up on the obvious and misleading misfortune, we miss an opportunity to live the kind of life that is truly an adventure and one that is larger than life. We must be willing to look for and seize the upside.
It is always there, you just need to look for it. If you cannot find it – get someone to help you find it.
If you would like a copy of any of the following send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
- EFTE and Productivity Exercise
- Hotel Financial Policy Manual – Inventory of “Sections”
- Hotel Financial Coach “Services Sheet”
- F&B Productivity Spreadsheet
- Rooms Productivity Spreadsheet
- Financial Leadership Recipe F TAR W
- Hotel Financial Coach – “Speaking Sheet”
- Flow Thru Cheat Sheet – Enhanced
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