I Feel Better Now

“I once had a distraught young tenor ask to speak to me after class. He told me he’d lost his girlfriend and was in such despair that he was almost unable to function. I consoled him, but the teacher in me was secretly delighted. Now he would be able to fully express the heartrending passion of the song in Schubert’s Die Winterreise about the loss of the beloved. That song had completely eluded him the previous week because up to then, the only object of affection he had ever lost was a pet goldfish.” — The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life by Rosamund Stone Zander, Benjamin Zander”


Recently I spent a miserable day.

I had to endure a 24-hour stomach virus complements of my youngest granddaughter–Ruby who had brought the virus home from the nursery to hand off to the rest of us.

I often refer to my grandchildren as virtually perfect putting their perfection at about 99.5%. However, Ruby–being left-handed–is rated at 99.8%. (You can probably guess I’m left-handed.)

But even at 99.8, that remaining .2% includes stomach bugs. That’s the price I had to pay to get “Papa sugar” from one of the sweetest little girls in all the world.

Thankfully I’m feeling better…but that discomfort got me thinking…

In looking back over my life some of my worse decisions were motivated by wanting to feel better, not make things better.

In looking back over my life some of my worse decisions were motivated by wanting to feel better, not make things better.

Progress is usually painful.

Resolution usually requires confrontation (always painful).

Count on it, leading is painful–you will be questioned, misunderstood, and resented. Resources will often be scarce or missing. What to do next will be unclear. Yet to succeed you will have to keep take one agonizing step at a time and by the time you start feeling better it will be time to take another tortuous unknow path. That’s the price of leadership.

Ironically, feeling better is often like the 24-hour virus my granddaughter gave me. We have our pet short-term, temporary solutions that we run to when the stress level goes up but the next morning…there it is again…the pain.

Bottom line, we have to answer this question…

The ONE THING for today: Is our goal to feel better or are we willing to pay the price to make it better?

Three of my virtually perfect grandchildren (l-r) Rory, Ruby (99.8 perfect), Trinity.

Who could have imagined that that .2% included a 24-hour stomach bug!

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