Denial is not a virtue. No really, it’s not…
People often presume that, because of the nature of what I do (you know, being a professional speaker, telling people what to do etc), that I must have it all figured out.
That would be incorrect.
Here’s the deal.
We never stop learning.
That includes me.
It also includes you.
Two weeks ago in Canmore AB I crashed trying out my new skis. Not a major, high speed crash, but I came down solidly on my left ribcage (on the left pec to be precise).
It hurt. A lot.
Not enough to stop me skiing the next day, but enough to make me realise the day after that that skiing the next day probably wasn’t the smartest thing I’ve ever done.
Footnote: Although not my smartest move, I’m still glad to this day I did. It was kind of like a “screw you” to the crash; the kind of thing for some reason we seem to have to do as men. Reminds me of the time I shook a friends hand despite my broken finger, and had to explain to Margo as we drove away, me nursing my hand, why it had to be done…
But I digress.
The injury was one thing, but where the problem started was that I decided that what I needed to do was just keep going about my days, as best I could, and that my ribs would just have to get better. This wasn’t easy. Actually, moving at all wasn’t easy (make that, is still not easy). Try moving about without using your arms, or legs. See.
A full week later, I agreed to see a chiropractor.
The first thing she suggested is that I set about icing it fifteen minutes on, thirsty minutes off, fifteen minutes on; three or four times a day.
The first thing I realised is that this would have been way more effective if I’d started this routine straight away; say on the day after the crash; instead of going skiing…
So, I’m on the long road to recovery (with two subluxated ribs), all too aware (again) of the awesome power of denial.
Don’t do what I did.
Take time to stop, reassess and take action.
Kind of like I’m out to teach with The Solution Revolution.
Yes, we do teach best what we most need to learn…
I’ve had lots of people over the years tell me they’d love to climb Kilimanjaro, but that they didn’t think they could do it. My response is always the same.
1/ Decide to go. Make the commitment.
2/ Prepare. Put yourself in the best possible position for success.
3/ Enjoy it. Don’t turn it into a huge ordeal (see #2).
After all, if I could do it with no legs…
Well, the bar just got raised some.
Quadruple amputee and author of No Excuses Kyle Maynard just did it with no arms, or legs...
Now, I have to point out that Kyle’s is an awesome achievement, but that’s not why I’m writing this now.
Is there something you’ve always wanted to do, and have been making excuses?
Does Kilimanjaro seem just a little more achievable now that Kyle and I have done it?
Do you see your project now with a new set of eyes?
Good day Warren………….
A personal “thank you”!
I meet you 5+ years ago in San Antonio and you inspired me to do “Kili” – thank you!!! It’s been a bout a year since last I was in touch with Chris – but he seemed to be faring well!
This article arrived at the right time due to a few “physical” issues I’ve been dealing with (and not as well as I’d have liked). Thank you again!!!
What struck me was the “how we perceive” the event – (filter maybe) and then how we respond – with despair or with – “I’ll accept this bump and use it to grow and build that resilience – currency you spoke of.
Thanks again for the “hand up” my friend.
I hope you are well……………………………………….
Warren Macdonald says:
Great to hear from you and psyched you did Kili with Chris.
I need to check in on him also; it’s been a while.
Always amazes me the timing thing; how we get a message at a time we need it.
Of course it helps to be open to the receiving
Thanks again for taking the time to write; really appreciate it.
And all the best with the physical challenges.
Happy to have put some of mine behind me these last few years.
Of course there are more coming
Mary HH says:
I agree with your “New” stance. Sometimes you can’t expect the nasty things that get thrown at you. And what if it’s a situation totally “out of the blue”? Case in point… a younger friend of mine (in his late 40s) had a bad cold, which turned out to be a horrid case of pneumonia. He’s been in the ICU for over 3 weeks now, and is slowly recovering, but remains on a ventilator. He’s married, has two kids (10 and 6). In great shape, good lifestyle habits, nice guy.
Well, he and his family is ‘holding it together’ because his wife (what a champ!) is using this as a “learning experience” (my summary of her attitude). WOW!
On the one hand, you can say that having a loving family, a great support group of friends and age and good health would help him to “put resilience in the bank”. But really? How do you build resilience for something so totally unexpected that has had such a catastrophic result? You can’t…which is I think your point.
I guess then that BOTH views have a place in reality.
Warren Macdonald says:
Great to hear from you.
I agree, I think both positions have a place.
In your example, your friend absolutely changed the dynamic by how she framed the situation.
But it also helps if you’re already a person who isn’t afraid of hard work; who is already challenging his or her self in some way (I’m guessing two kids qualifies Staying in shape helps also).
The support piece is a little different.
I’ve seen people with incredible support not make it.
They simply couldn’t find the strength within themselves to get through their moment of crisis.
So support helps, but it’s not enough…
Thanks again for taking the time to comment; I really appreciate it