Catalyst | noun | cat·a·lyst | ka-tə-ləst | An agent that provokes or speeds significant change or action – Merriam Webster
About a month ago I was humbled when someone who had attended one of the workshops on my book Your Oxygen Mask First shared with me how the book had impacted his life – had actually, he said, saved his life.
As I saw the emotion on his face I realized there was more to it.
Carmine had been very successful entrepreneur who’d recently sold his business. He realized that he had got himself into a very bad place, mentally, from all the challenges and excitement of building and running a great company, and had done some damage.
As we talked he could see that he needed to do something about it and get to a better place.
One of the gentlemen in the workshop told with him about a great 10-day program where he could go and really look in the mirror, do a personal re-set, and come back with a better mindset.
Note: If you want to learn more about these types of programs, let me know – there are many great ones out there.
A Change Catalyst
The second part of his story is that he’d had very damaged relationships with members of this family, particularly with his mother. He had only seen her once in 25 years and the last time was more than 10 years ago.
No wonder he was excited to send me a photo of him with his Mom, and his son – her grandson who she was meeting and getting to know.
I want to be clear that I’m not taking credit for this. The book was a catalyst for him to get on this path, to make things notably better. And most of us need a catalyst to open our eyes and hearts, to realize we need to do something differently.
Here’s a direct quote from Carmine:
“I heard Kevin speak about his book soon after the emotionally charged sale of my company, and the timing could not have been better. After completing his Resilience Self-Assessment, it was clear I had some work to do on dealing with my emotional junk – and so I did. Your Oxygen Mask First provided the catalyst that has led to profound changes in my life, and in my personal relationships and, for that, I am so grateful. Thank you, Kevin!”
How do we get there?
We often find ourselves in situations that we tolerate – that become ‘normal’ over time – when we are super-consumed with all the demands of running a business, and a life. We convince ourselves the situation is not that bad and slip into accepting dull mediocrity – or outright pain – because we don’t have the bandwidth to take on one more thing – especially fixing something that doesn’t work, and so we put up with it, and take the path of least resistance.
But if we don’t deal with the Issues, they become great, big, ugly toads (chapter 5 in my book) until they smother us and affect our well being.
- If there are things in your work, or your life that you are tolerating, or are bothering you, you need to know there’s a solution for everything
- If you are stuck, reach out. We know many people who can help in different ways.
The challenge most of us have is that we accept the dull pain in the back of our head with a belief that it’s the way it’s supposed to be. There are lots of challenges and many things, in life, that are hard. But there are also things you can influence or have some control over.
It’s a conscious choice to put up with it – or improve it. It’s up to you.