Journey of Life

the place formerly known as control your destiny

Monthly Archives: December 2010

Happy New Year

Wishing you all a wonderful and prosperous New Year – See you on the other side!

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Snow travel

As much of Europe seems faced with disruption due to adverse weather condition, I am beginning to realise just how lucky I am to have escaped all of this.

I left the UK for Denmark Friday afternoon and following a few delays, I arrived here safe and sound Friday evening.

Saturday morning I received a phone-call from a friend in Oxford who rang to tell me that he’d woken up to a good 30cm of snow Saturday morning resulting in chaos, at least from a travelling perspective.

Had I decided to travel Saturday instead of Friday I am pretty sure I would have joined the thousands of people who have been stranded at Heathrow, (and various other airports around Europe) unsure of whether or not I would make it back for Christmas. I also know how frustrating and hopeless they may feel at the moment as I would not have dealt with this uncertainty too well as evidenced by my journey back last year.

I am extremely grateful for having made it here and for the ability to write this in cosy surroundings and to the sound of a crackling fire. At the same time, however, I am not forgetting how easily I could have been stuck at Heathrow airport at this precise moment.

The above picture is taken just outside the cottage in which I am staying and I lit it again this morning in the hope that everyone stranded will make it home in time for Christmas.

What’s the worst that could happen?

It has taken me 10 years to finally realise and admit to myself that, the only reason I chose to stay in a job I never really enjoyed doing, was to satisfy my ego by keeping a job title it could be proud of!

I started in financial services 10 years ago, not because I particularly wanted to work in this industry but a job ad persuaded me to apply and from there, I very naĩvely got myself sucked into the “promise” of making a lot of money with a title and status to match.

Reality turned out to be a hell of a lot different, at least for me, much to the disappointment of my ego who’d already planned out exactly how to spend the abundance of money soon to come our way!

What got in the way was a desire to do what I felt was ethically and morally right, even at the expense of a large commission cheque! Looking back I realise what a useless salesman I really was (and still am) especially compared to some of the people I started out with, who did manage to make a lot of money.

During my time in financial services there was an internal battle raging between my ego and my desire to do the right thing for whoever happened to be the client at the time. I went through countless sales training courses and, interestingly enough, I did extremely well within the training environment when practicing the various sales techniques but as soon as I was back in the real world I failed miserably at using any of the techniques I’d been taught because, to me, it felt manipulative and simply wrong. From a “successful” sales point of view this was to become my downfall along with my stupid and stubborn idea of treating people how I’d like to be treated!

As I am preparing to close this chapter of my life I realise that, from a sales point of view, I was a complete and utter failure – mediocre at best! However, during this time I have managed to go to sleep at the end of each day safe in the knowledge that I never sold/mis-sold anything for the sake of personal financial gain. Perhaps if I had, my life would have turned out to be a little easier for me!

Whilst the promise of abundant wealth failed to materialise (largely due to my inability to park my conscience at home) I did have an abundance of lessons thrown my way along with encounters with people I would have otherwise never experienced.

There were times at which I hoped and prayed for a better and easier life especially during the past 10 years, which has been the most difficult part of my life so far. I have no power to go back and change anything nor would I want to. I have also come to realise that everything has a price and in my case, the price for my desire to do the right thing turned out to be the loss of my job disguised in a forced resignation. However, I am inclined to think that this may actually turn out to be a blessing in disguise and a much needed wakeup call for me to move on. Time will tell.

As I am approaching the final pages of this chapter of my life I am filled with mixed emotions. I am slightly anxious at the possibility of being without a job soon but at the same time there’s relief of finally breaking free from the claws that has kept me in this prison for the past 10 years.

It’s a leap into the unknown and whilst I am no fan of Dr Pepper – “What’s the worst that could happen?”

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