Some years ago, I sat in a hotel ballroom while a just-promoted colleague presented to the company. Having just engineered a coup of Herculean dimensions that had propelled him to a senior position in the company, he was explaining his modus operandi. His success, he claimed, was due to a Post-it note. That’s right, a yellow 3M Post-it note. Apparently, early in his career, he had written the title of the very position that he coveted – the one he now found himself holding – on one of these sticky notes and put it on his bathroom mirror. Placed there, he explained, for him to see every day as he shaved; a constant reminder of his over-arching goal.
Now, I remember as I listened to this, that my eyes had rolled so far back into my head that it was an hour before I could see properly again. Who was this guy with this Napoleonic complex talking such crap? Who would stand up there and gloat so?
Obviously, at the time, I ceased to grasp the concept. Masked as it was in a parable of personal gain, it all seemed so negative. And perhaps it was in this case. I still shudder to think how many peoples’ backs were trod on to get where he wanted to go. Yet, the concept – that of goal-setting and the power of positive thought – should’ve been my lesson.
Years later, I have come to understand this power, if not having fully availed myself of it. I have come to believe that my thoughts today will constitute my future. It is simply for us to determine what these thoughts will be.
Strung across my office in front of my desk, I have created an inspiration “line”. A wire line from Ikea on which I hang anything that inspires me. I have on there for example, my boat just waiting for the day for me to pick it up. A tent perched under the Northern Lights (in spite of her aversion to camping, even Sarah will accompany me for this one). And meaningful quotes. One of them from the Buddha says..
“We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves”.
I raise this today because you may have noticed a certain negativity that has slipped into some posts; bemoaning this decision of austerity this year. Today, I was in my office and I glimpsed this very quote. And it reminded me that, in gaining the discipline this year is certainly teaching us, it will help create our future. One that promises a few steps closer to the joy we all seek.
And, as I walk out my door daily, I must remember what a beautiful location we live in here in BC. How much we have been given that we can so easily disregard in the quest for that promotion, or yet another trip to a hot destination. I will leave you with a few images that speak to me. Taken, by the way, not too far from my front door.