Acceptance of what has happened is the first step to overcoming the consequences of any misfortune.
– William James
The smell of jasmine can be intoxicating enough to stop me in my tracks. The memory can be equally delicious and I can almost smell the fragrance just looking at the picture above.
We’ve been stopped in our tracks in the last month through a mistake (misfortune?) that was entirely my responsibility. It was a hard lesson, but one I obviously needed and now that I am on the other side of it, hopefully one that I won’t make again.
I’ve mentioned before that how conflict averse I am. I don’t have any problem standing my ground, when it is my ground, but challenging someone else, on their turf is a whole other thing, particularly in a professional environment. Strangely I can do it with friends. I have no issue telling a friend that I believe that they are making a huge mistake, but nevertheless, I will support them in whatever they choose to do, because it is their mistake to make and that’s what friends do – you have a God-given right to shoot yourself in the foot if you choose.
Business is a whole other ball-game. I have, on more than one occasion, allowed and watched people walk down blind alleys or over the edges of cliffs in a professional context because I didn’t want to speak up. This was based mostly because I didn’t want to create conflict; I didn’t thing they would listen/believe me; or most often because I didn’t want to cause what I believed would be irreparable harm to my relationship with them – people who don’t like you are particularly difficult to work with.
I am convinced, that it was this pattern of behaviour that prevented me from speaking up about how we were writing the book that was to contain the body of our intellectual property. Fortunately I was rescued from having to do this by a dear friend of mine who is a very good editor. She took one look at what we had done and then shot me down in flames. After the conversation I felt not just like I had been demolished, but like I had been destroyed by an AK47.
Painful though the feedback was, it was absolutely correct. One of the upsides was that we had a huge amount of material that just needed “remodelling.” The next version of the book went to the editor yesterday with a deadline of being ready in approximately four weeks.
The other upside, and this might have been the reason that things played out the way that they did, was that the new book is s-o-o-o much better. We have refined the IP in a m-u-c-h better way than we had before and the new book is something that I am really proud of (as opposed to tearing my hair out about how anyone was going to understand it.)
We wasted time, which I absolutely hate to do, but perhaps that was the point? Without making the mistake we wouldn’t have been able to produce the product that we have?