A little boy was there when Baboo, the family dog, came to the end of his life. The vet explained to him that dogs have a much shorter life than humans and that Baboo had had a lovely life.
The little boy replied, “It’s not surprising he died before us! My
parents told me that we’ve been put on earth to learn how to love
unconditionally. Baboo already knew how to do that. He used to wag his
tail every time he saw us! He gave us an enthusiastic welcome every time
we came home! He sat next to us when we were sad. Baboo knew all that
already. There was nothing left for him to learn.”
What if we followed the example of dogs? By enthusiastically welcoming everyone who comes home, going out for some fresh air every day whatever the weather, and consoling someone just by being there?
My phone rings while I am skiing. My friend asks what we are doing on Saturday night. Without thinking I tell her, « We’ll be back from holiday at half past six, we’ve nothing planned and as our fridge is empty, we’d love to have supper at yours! »
My husband says: “You’ve got a cheek.”
I later found out that my friend had called to invite us and she’d thought it was lovely that I’d shared my hopes with her without any false modesty.
A week later, she called me again and asked the same question. As I already had something else on, I said I was sorry. Then she told me she’d really love a gin and tonic made the way only my husband knows how.
I invited her for drinks and we went to our dinner afterwards.
When we sincerely express what we would like, there is a good chance the other person would like to give it to us to bring us pleasure.
What about you? What would you really like to ask for?
I was dashing through the airport with my phone to my ear. A passenger pulling his wheeled suitcase called out to me “Do you speak English?”
I stopped, always ready to be of assistance. He asked me if I could help him out with 20 euros. He had run out of money at the airport and didn’t have anyone he could ask for help. Lots of things ran through my mind, I was in a hurry, I wondered why he’d picked me, I didn’t totally trust him and in the end I told him I didn’t have any cash on me. By way of reply he flung at me, “Why don’t you just say you won’t help me instead of bothering to dream up an excuse?”
I went off feeling a bit ashamed at my lack of charity. I told myself – later, obviously – that I could have asked him for his story, given him something towards his 20 euros and in return got a nice warm feel-good glow.
Two weeks later I once again heard a voice calling out “Do you speak English?” It was the same man, with the same little wheeled suitcase. I smiled at him and replied, “You ran out of money last week as well!” Surprised, he turned and fled. And I got my warm glow after all!
I had not believed the man’s story the first time I met him.
“Use your equipment! – get down on your knees! – turn your upper body!” There is no shortage of advice, yet I thought I was a good skier. Doumé makes me think about the soles of my feet – confined inside my boots – or my eyes which are supposed to be gazing into the distance….
I grumble, try, challenge the advice, try again nevertheless and in the end accept the tips and realise that my technique, which was already good, has considerably improved by the end of the week.
I realise that my way of learning or improving in any field follows the same pattern. When somebody suggests an improvement in the way I do anything from cooking meat to running a seminar I first resent the advice, then I try it, then ask for further explanation and in the end I accept it!
Now I realise the way I operate, I’ve decided to give up the ‘grumbling’ stage. After all, it only wastes everybody’s time!
What about you? Which stage could you give up to make progress even faster?
Clinging onto the climbing wall, I hesitate to launch
myself at the next hold. I don’t want to take flight (or fall, as a novice
would say). I am on a route I can handle, and I have a harness and a rope and
I’m insured. So I could do more or less anything but being so careful suits
me. I do sports that involve risk but I
take care where I put my feet.
And that’s what I do in every area of my life. I am
self-employed yet I prepare, train, check, ask for recommendations, weigh up
the pros and cons and minimise the risks when I take decisions. All that helps
ensure I get no nasty surprises and lets me progress through life with
What about you? What does the way you do sport say about
the way you live your life?