Last week I attended a celebration of life service for a very special man. It was a sad, sad occasion. Even though it was stated by a family member that the service was to be a celebration of life, I didn't see anyone celebrating. I saw (and felt) sadness, grief, pain and loss. Even though I didn’t know the person well, I knew what a gifted individual he was. Listening to his friend share a tribute, a story unfolded of a remarkable individual who had been given a truly extraordinary gift…the sort of gift some compared to a renowned virtuoso. The speaker continued his tribute by saying “then life got in the way.”
As I drove back to my office, I noticed I had written “life got in the way” on the celebration of life leaflet. The words made me think of the countless number of clients I’ve met through nearly three decades in private practice – clients whose otherwise stellar careers were humming along until one day, life showed up and
…alcohol got in the way.
…bankruptcy got in the way.
…gambling got in the way.
…drugs got in the way.
…getting picked up one too many times for drunk driving got in the way.
...getting kicked out of college got in the way.
…telling the boss to go "bleep yourself" got in the way.
…watching porn at work got in the way.
…performing unethical business practices got in the way.
…surrendering a professional license got in the way.
…falsifying credentials got in the way.
…embezzling got in the way.
..._________________ (fill-in-the-blank) got in the way.
As the New Year approaches, perhaps there’s no better time than now to consider what, if anything, I am allowing to get in the way of being my best self in 2015.
What, if anything, is getting in your way in pursuit of excellence?