Years ago a friend and I (Con, are you reading this?) backpacked across Europe, and we hitched a ride with a guy who took us behind the then “Iron Curtain.” We were absolutely stuck with him because he held our travel papers.
Only when we’d crossed the border into Czechoslovakia did we realize we’d enslaved ourselves to a madman. And among other things, we all had to share a room.
One of his (many, many) quirks was sleep apnea. His snoring shook the foundations of the house, and then like a miracle it would stop for 40 seconds or so, at which point I found myself thinking, “Thank goodness, I think he’s dead.”
And then the industrial mill fired up again, and the night dragged on.
We longed for the day that we’d be happy when we were finally free and rid of him for good.
Fast forward 35-ish years. I started last week speaking for a group in Montreal, met with several companies and leaders after that, and ended it on the opposite side of the continent in a room with my wife overlooking the ocean in Tofino BC. Here’s my view as I write:
I was so busy during that week and the one before that I found myself picturing what it would be like when I could finally slow down in Tofino.
This is a disease that you need to be inoculated against. It’s called:
This is the belief that you’ll be happy only WHEN
-you’ve got more money
-your health improves
-you’ve achieved your goal for the year
-you’re with the right person
-you buy the cooler car
-you get past the current crisis
-your circumstances change for the better
Yesterday is done and can’t be changed.
Tomorrow may not arrive.
Today is what we have in our hands.
So, enjoy the journey, and find meaning in whatever you’re doing today.
If it’s hard, embrace the learning. If it’s busy, find small ways to recharge. But don’t let your life be ruled by discontent.
I think it was John Lennon who said, “Life is what happens when we’re making other plans.”
Getting ahead is about getting started,