On Monday morning I received a call from a man I have not had any contact with for several years.
Last Saturday I belatedly posted my weekly blog on habits as I had forgotten to do so the previous Wednesday, and somehow my blog was forwarded to this man by a mutual friend.
He called to invite me to join him for lunch and told me he had an interesting story to share.
Naturally the first half hour or so of our time together in the restaurant was spent reminiscing about the good old days and catching up on what each other had been doing since we had last been in touch.
He then told me the real reason why he had invited me for lunch. He had come to work that morning knowing that he might have to lay off his few remaining staff members. Shutting down his 18-year-old business was a distinct possibility and yet he also had this strong feeling that something wonderful, something miraculous, was going to happen today.
He explained to me that the last few years had been extremely difficult for himself and his business. Time after time he had submitted proposals and quotes to potential clients in the hope of landing new clients only to be told that the work had been awarded to one his competitors.
As time went on all his resources became depleted and he was dipping into his personal savings and investments in order to keep his office doors open. And last week he had used the last of his savings to meet payroll and to pay the rent on his office space.
Throughout this time his family, closest friends and advisors constantly advised him to pack it in. And yet he knew, he just knew, that if he be hung in there and kept trying and faced each day with the positive expectancy of something wonderful happening, that sooner or later something wonderful word, in fact, happen.
He told me that he had been raised by two parents who embodied the very meaning of the Habit of Optimism and while their own lives were filled with challenge and adversity they greeted each day with a warm smile and unshakable belief that good things would happen if they just kept going.
He inherited that doctrine and through all the dark moments of these past few years he worked hard on “focusing on the light.” He had an unshakeable believe that his business would be salvaged and would prosper if he just “kept the faith” and, as his parents had taught him, remained convinced that “good things will happen.
So Monday morning as he was preparing to tell his remaining staff members that the company could no longer afford to pay them he received an email from the senior purchaser of a company from which, several months earlier, he had received a “Sorry to inform you that you weren’t successful” letter.
This email was to inform him that the company that had originally been awarded this contract had not been able to fulfill their obligation and the client company would like to award a new contract to him.
As the impact of the email hit him he realized that not was he now able to keep those who depend on him gainfully employed, but that this contract was by far the biggest, and most lucrative, his company had ever undertaken.
His first response has been to call his 92-year-old mother and thank her for the gift of the Habit of Optimism that had kept him convinced that “something good would happen” if he just kept trying. Then, remembering my blog from last week, decided it was time to renew our acquaintance over a meal.
I cannot describe how joyful it was to see this man sitting across from his me relishing in his happiness. The self-vindication from “just knowing things will get better if I just keep trying” was a delight to observe.
The Habit of Optimism is indeed a gift. And it is a gift that we should all claim for our own. With this gift all barriers are removed, all challenges are met and all adversity is overcome.
I know I won’t allow this man to become a colleague from my past again. His infectious optimism is far too valuable a resource to keep anywhere but close at hand.
Let’s make a habit of meeting like this.
P.S. My book Life Sinks or Soars – the Choice is Yours now has its very own website. Please visit us at www.lifesinksorsoars.com and let me know what you think.
My company, Strategic Pathways, recently introduced our newest Personal Coaching experience called Boot Camp for Your Brain. Please click here and take a peek at our Ebrochure
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– Robert French – an accomplished author – recently posted a flattering review of my book, Life Sinks or Soars, the Choice is Yours. Please click here and take a moment to read it.
– Here is another review of my book by Actionable Books.