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Secrets of Success

The Gift

Last fall I was preparing for rotator cuff surgery. I remember speaking to my friend Shane about the upcoming operation, the months of rehab that would follow, and the fact that I would miss most of the triathlon racing season.

He suggested that I look at the time away from the sport and my healing as “a gift.”

I was somewhat confused by what he said and during the first few weeks of rehab, it certainly didn’t feel like a gift.

And then I began to think differently.

I realized my body could use the rest from the hundreds of hours of exercise required in a typical training year.

I realized my mind could use a break from the constant demands training puts on my day.

I decided to embrace the rehab.

It has been almost seven months since the surgery, and I would not trade the experience.

My shoulder and upper body are stronger than they have been in years.

Instead of focusing on distance, I have become more focused on proper technique.

But was it a gift?

These days life doesn’t seem to be bestowing a lot of gifts.

People are losing their jobs, their homes, and their savings.

Where is the “gifting” in these tough times?

The three stories that follow may help you answer that question.

Laid off

John was recently laid off from his job in the financial services industry. He is very good at what he does and people began pursuing him almost immediately. If he chose to stay in the field his time without a job was going to be very short. Leaving an interview a few weeks ago, he realized he didn’t want to do that kind of work anymore. As a matter of fact, he didn’t even like doing that kind of work.

The truth is he had never really liked doing that kind of work.

He has saved some money and is taking the time to discover work that will make him happy.

He is more focused, more content and happier than he has been in years.

Was the layoff a gift?

Under arrest

A couple of years ago, the son of a client was arrested for selling drugs to an undercover agent. He was required to attend drug and alcohol counseling sessions, given probation and community service.

The son’s response: “I wasn’t going to stop.” “I was hanging around with the wrong people and was out of control.” “Getting arrested was the best thing that ever happened to me.”

The young man no longer is involved with drugs or the people that inhabit that world.

He is thriving in a job he loves and looking forward to a bright future.

Was being arrested a gift?

Losing business

Mary had run a successful business for years. Her income had steadily increased. And then the phones stopped ringing. She lost a client and her revenues began to shrink.

I shared with her some of the lessons I had recently learned from other business owners. They were keeping a better eye on their spending, they were shedding the people in the organization who were unproductive, and they were becoming more creative in their marketing.

Mary looked at her spending and found waste; she cut the hours of an assistant; and she contacted 30 of her former clients to see if they needed her services. The calls resulted in new business from three clients. She is now feeling more confident and more focused.

Was the downturn in business a gift?

I would suggest the surgery, the layoff, the arrest and the downturn in business were not in and of themselves “gifts.”

The gift was what those people had learned and taken from what had happened.

In each instance, these people chose to put the event in its proper perspective, focus on what was really important and learn from their experience.

Gifts, it seems, come in all shapes and sizes and arrive during good times and bad.

Look at your life with a fresh set of eyes and listen with a fresh set of ears. In the midst of struggling, there is much opportunity to learn and prosper.

What gift is waiting for you?

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CTS Consulting, Inc

3126 Berkshire Road

Baltimore, Maryland 21214

phone 410-444-5857

cell 443-286-2488