The Fall – Part 2

Missing just one day I returned to work. That’s the advantage of falling sick on a holiday weekend – minimum impact to one’s work schedule.

Having had my share of bumps and falls from running, cycling and sports I’m used to the less robust style you adapt to as you wait for your body to return to form following an incident. The things you can’t do.

So I used the recuperation phase to review the way I was approaching a few things at work.

The next week I was to make a presentation about OD to a diverse group. This crowd of 100 or so had little knowledge of OD is so my plan was to outline it in concrete terms as I explained my role – I enjoy public speaking because I like helping people learn

My downtime let me think more about OD’s power and less about the ‘presentation’ factor.

As talks go it was pretty successful: then the mike gave out five minutes into it.

I never stopped. Or got excited. Or looked back

Anyone who’s made speaking a part of their career has learned to deal with all manner of interruption – you move on or the interruption defines you.

When a defining moment comes along you define it or the moment defines you – Roy McAvoy/Tin Cup

Not having a microphone tied to the front let me walk around the stage more. Use my hands more. Move my body for emphasis. Not having that prop helped me deliver a better message.

Not having an audience who knew my topic forced me to parse my thoughts down to their essence and deliver them in an accessible way. “Not” forced me to do a better job.

Not being able to write on a tablet forced me to go over the key points and sequence in my head until I knew it cold. Not compelled me to respect the audience more and give them the best I could.

Not being able to work one day gave me tine to think about what I really cared about – my relationships to others. It was a gift.

Not being able to eat anything gave me a chance to reexamine how I was treating my body holistically. Sleep? Nurtition? Exercise? Was I doing all I could?

“Not” is valauable

Not doesn’t equal can’t.

Not means do it differently.

Not means find another path.

Not means be resourceful, create alternatives, try something we hadn’t before.

Not tests us: it doesn’t crush us.

Sometimes not having what we want is actually a benefit. It forces us to dig a little deeper and when we do so we find there’s more depth to us than we imagined. More strength than we knew.

Not takes us out of our comfort zone teaches us to find and use that depth and strength.

Not isn’t the end.

Its a different beginning.


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