Every Day is ‘One Day’ – and ‘One Day’ is Today
I heard a great quote this morning:
“Man, sometimes it takes you a long time to sound like yourself” ~ Miles Davis (Musician)
What a great phrase, and how true is that? I’ve spent more years than I can remember wondering how I ought to look, sound, behave, do business or just ‘be’ in the world. I always thought others knew better than me and someday I’d learn enough to start; one day I’d be ready. It takes a long time to realise that every day is ‘one day’, and ‘one day’ is today.
I sent out a personal Facebook post yesterday saying I’ve decided to ‘step up’ and see what I can do – and thank you for all the great comments. Even though I’ve been self-employed for over thirty years, run a successful computer business, provided employment for more than 20 people, been a therapist, a trainer, a business coach, and achieved many ‘targets’ in life up to now – somehow none of that seems relevant any more. It’s all about being real and human and ‘sounding like myself’.
Things have changed for me in so many good ways in recent years, and I want to share the lessons I’ve learned with others who might resonate with this and therefore benefit.
I was always very sensitive as a child (well, ok, still am!), so found the world a challenging place. For much of it, just getting through each day was a success. I’m sure some of you can relate to that. Although I always wanted to run and hide, I found a way to dig deep and confront situations that were difficult. Putting yourself out there, raising your head above the parapet, is a risky business. Through school; through teenage years; through my first employment; through getting married; through becoming a father; through starting my first business and so on. It was difficult; it was painful. I used to think ‘If only people knew the pain I was going through’. It always took me a long time to recover and recharge my batteries after any of these many confrontations with everyday life. I used to think life must be great for people that don’t care. People say ‘ignorance is bliss’ and I longed for some of those feelings of bliss.
This continual ‘battle’ with the world took its toll. My business suffered. My marriage suffered and ended in divorce. I got to the point where it didn’t seem sensible to carry on. I did, for the sake of my daughter who had stayed in the UK with me. I wondered what would be an acceptable ‘sentence’ and at what age I could give up and wouldn’t be thought too badly of – maybe fifty, yes if I just get to fifty that would have been a monumental effort. Thing is, nobody really knows the pain you’re feeling. It’s not like a physical disability where people can see straight away. On the face of it you have everything going for you, people expect you to get on and succeed, there’s no reason why not.
On one level, that’s true – we just have to grit our teeth and get on with life. Grin and bear it. There are many, many people a lot worse off. On another level, that seems harsh and who can really know what’s ‘better’ and what’s ‘worse’. Never judge someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes, as the saying goes.
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One example, and I will share more in future posts. It was quite late in life when I decided I had to do something about my terror of public speaking. I’ve always got embarrassed easily and even speaking in front of a small group would have me going bright red and breaking out into a sweat – so I went and joined a public speaking club in Hertfordshire, where I lived at the time. It was just as terrifying as I’d imagined, but I kept going. It sometimes took me a whole fortnight to recover until the next meeting. I had to force myself to go again. It would have been easy to find an excuse, very easy – but I knew that giving in wouldn’t be the answer. The fears never went away fully, even though I went on to have some success as a speaker and trainer. I only say this to show what can be done when you do stuff despite your fears – I’m not special, any one of you reading this could do this too. But it would have been a whole lot easier if I knew then what I know now.
Gritting your teeth, overcoming fears, battling on, struggling – it can work, but it will wear you out, as it did me. But learning to sound like yourself, that’s a lot easier. Did you know, there’s not a single person in the world who’s better at being you, than YOU. Be the best you that you can be, but be you. Nobody is ‘better’ than you. Yes, of course, there are those with more skill, proficiency, training, expertise etc. in certain areas – but there’s things you know, things you can do, that they can’t! Trust me, I’ve seen it hundreds of times now. I remember a TV show where sports personalities had to compete against each other in unfamiliar sports, and I couldn’t believe how rubbish some of them were! They might have been world champion at their own sport, but hopeless at table tennis or football or darts or driving or golf or…. you get the idea.
So what are you great at? What do you want to do one day? Who do you want to be one day? Just be it, because ‘One Day’ is Today.
If you’d like to follow my story and read about more lessons learned, just pop your name and email address in one of the forms on this page and I’ll let you know when it’s available.
With much appreciation – and remember… Anything’s Possible!
Dave Smith – The Possibility Professor
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