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Bad decisions are like adorable mothers-in-law, they don’t exist.

April 9, 2019

 

With a blog title that that, this could go poorly, but stay with me.

 

Gratitude is something that so many people use as a force of good will and good spirit. Call it ‘paying it forward’ or Karma, the mindfulness of the power of gratitude and more so, the action of gratitude can have a profound effect on one’s wellbeing.

 

I think it was in the Oprah endorsed book/movie title ‘The Secret’ where I heard the phrase ‘If you’re not grateful for what you currently have, nothing new can enter your life’. It wasn’t profound for me to hear those words as much as it had provided some clarity or definition to how I had been living my life already up to that point. After all, my birthday is July 24 and my blood type is B+ so I’ve been unconsciously living the mantra of B+24/7 my whole life anyway.

 

Some people are viewed as confident, possibly overly so and invariably they are described by some as arrogant. I’m sure that some have thought of myself that way from time to time however, if only those people knew that the source of the confidence is not the underlying notion that those boundlessly energetic individuals think of themselves as superior, it’s the opposite actually, they have quite a few insecurities, they just don’t sit still long enough for them to be plainly revealed.

 

What these people possess is delusional optimism. The confidence that is so often misinterpreted is actually their comfort zone, their safety net and their security blanket and provides them with the ultimate confidence to know that whatever happens, it’ll be OK. No problem is unsolvable.

 

There are many of these sometimes-annoying people about and I personally know a few. But I love their spirit.

 

I was reminded of this recently watching a new original series on Netflix called LOSERS.

I am frequently heard referring to the phenomena of The Moment where, in the course of my job as an interviewer and active listener to people’s career journeys, achievements, mistakes, failures and bad decisions and whilst I respectfully acknowledge their stories and feelings, I encourage those I’m meeting to recognise that everything is necessary. All the shit we endure is 100% necessary.

 

If not for the decision to resign and leave a great job to move another employer with a new title and more money only for the business to pivot and make them redundant after 12 months, we would not be in the same place together and having this conversation about their hopefully positive future.

 

 

Every decision we have ever made at every age in our lives was the perfectly necessary decision for you to be reading this rubbish blog at this precise moment in time. One thing different and you would be somewhere else, with a totally different history of experiences and one decision differently for me, the blog wouldn’t exist for you to read.

 

The series uses the narrative of sport to convey beautifully edited interviews combined with really cool animation into a story of a sporting disaster that had huge and sometimes career ending impacts on the human subjects of each episode but is told in such a way and with the amazing clarity of hindsight that the devastating, painful, humiliating and brutal losses these athletes suffered were totally and absolutely necessary for their lives to have played out the way they did and in each case, they are so purely grateful for their excruciating experience. It’s uplifting and I’m wishing the series was longer.

 

About to enter into our fourth year at Puro Partners, I reflect often on the moment that my now business partner and friend who, back then was my former employer, walked up the stairs of my wife’s café where I was sitting at a bench drinking coffee contemplating how I was going to get us out of the hole we had dug for ourselves.

 

Two years earlier my wife had created an awesome little lobby café in a commercial building with all the promise of an amazing business. She was an expert at running café’s and the location was thought to be golden only it didn’t pan out that way and the expected foot traffic and tenants of the building were ruinously below what was promised. Forced to sell our house, pour our savings into the café’s survival and me having left my previously well-paid job that I loved had left my delusional optimism in tatters.

 

In walks James and without a hint of doubt as to whether it would work, he suggests we start our own recruitment and search firm. Optimism peaking, “I’m in”, and we’ve never looked back, except to see where we’ve come from and proudly face forward again. The café was sold for a considerable loss, the impact on my wife’s confidence obvious but the relief even more so and through it all, we are safe, comfortable, confident and ever so appreciative of the fact that it was all necessary and so is everything else that will happen - good, bad, brutal, exhilarating, sad, tragic or empowering.

 

We are all living proof that we are in control of nothing except our ability to know that each decision is the right one. 

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