Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 09/27/2021
Last week I ran one of my annual (except for 2020), elite events, By Invitation Only. We were at the Four Seasons in Palm Beach (we’re usually at an international exotic spot) and instead of the usual dozen people I had six because my Australian and European colleagues couldn’t get there.
I was determined to run it and felt it could be the high-quality experience it’s always been. I was right about that. One of my “veterans” told me he preferred the smaller group, and another told me she couldn’t “hide” among just six people. Everyone had “air time” to the max, like it or not. We also visited superb restaurants, had fine wine, and hand-rolled cigars for those interested.
The experience was so good that in 2022 I’m running two: One for the people who prefer the larger group, and one for those who prefer the greater intimacy.
It would have been easy for me to cancel, or apologize for the smaller group, or reduce the fee, or just give up. But I learned once again the importance of facing up to challenges and now I have another elite offering. I became an unlikely exchange student long ago because I refused to answer the competitive interview question, “How would you defend the United States traveling through Europe?” and instead used my time to explain, in an exhortatory manner, that the United States didn’t need a defense. Of 18 votes available for four candidates, I earned 17 and changed my life.
We tend to withdraw, “duck down,” and/or cede power every day. But for me, it’s always been and always will be carpe diem. We grow by embracing challenge, not running away. I ran track in school, and I learned very quickly that no one can run forever.
Life’s challenges are not supposed to paralyze you, they’re supposed to help you discover who you are. —Bernice Johnson Reagan
If I could talk to my younger self, I would just say that the path to great things is filled with a lot of stumbles, suffering, and challenges along the way. But if you have the right attitude and know that hard times will pass – and you get up each time – you will reach your destination. —Jonny Kim
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