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?
In sports clubs GCSE students rub shoulders with university post-grads. Once their rackets are in their hands, sport is the only thing that matters to them.
Sports activities seem to erase all trace of social, religious and racial difference.
The same phenomenon happens in business, which takes place where there is a common objective. Ending a strike or developing a customer/supplier relationship are two objectives that make it possible to do business.
As soon as we have a common objective, we look in the same direction and our common interest makes it possible to work together.
What about you? Who do you share a common interest with that can open the door to partnership?
Benjamin got up and announced that he
was going to smell the weather …
I watched in surprise as he went out of
the room. When he came back I asked him what kind of weather he
had managed to ‘smell’? He replied “Weather that’s full of light after
three days of rain, bathed in the first rays of the spring sunshine” … Aah.
That poet explained to me later that he
experienced everything through the sense of smell. I know most of the
population is visual, so here I have a rare specimen indeed. Apparently, he
often gets teased about his olfactory experiences.
Ever since then, I wonder when I go out
what I will sense in the air. It doesn’t come naturally to me but sometimes I
feel a sensation that would otherwise have passed me by.
Do we fully use the antenna we have
available to be a bit more open to the world?
What about you? If you stuck your nose
outside, what olfactory experience would you have?