My coffee is warm but the eerily still air outside, not so much. As I always do each morning, I asked the nice lady on my cellphone what the temperature was outside. At this point, I am unsure why I do this daily ritual as her answers always seem to make me respond the same. Typically, before a borderline curse word is spoken, I then shake my head and ponder the date so as to assure myself this madness we call winter is almost over. Today was no different, so I bundle up and type reflectively upon the week just passed. I had thought about this entry for most of the day yesterday but wasn’t feeling the right emotion tones to do so fairly. So, I put it off until this morning, fresh start to a fresh new day.
When you do professional speaking, writing, coaching, and give workshops for a living; travel becomes your best source of continued strength, and at times it can also become a poor source for emotional grounding.
I introduce the concept of grounding in my book, and I practice it regularly. When you are alone with 14 hours of windshield time, you tend to think. You tend to think, a lot. Whatever emotion is ruling the day, takes center stage, and remains there until the man in the lighting booth signals it is time to wrap it up. When you travel, it becomes easy to get caught up in those thoughts. Sometimes a bit too caught up for me. This week was truly a doozy in that respect. By Friday, I had been to both extremes of my worked up and constantly processing mind. It is rare to have such a high/low week of this magnitude for me, but it happened. Perhaps it had been long overdue.
I drove almost eight straight hours on Monday headed to Western NY for my final destination to give a workshop on adversity and a photoshoot for my upcoming book. I had a one night stay in Syracuse due to my almost sheer exhausted state. When I tell you, it was “Miller Time”, I can say with all conviction…it certainly was. Ten minutes from checking in, I found myself on a very comfortable barstool which conveniently had my name on it.
After having spent the previous eight hours in my automobile contemplating my upcoming book launch, my coaching business, two stage events in March, a huge one back home in April, a special appearance in Jersey, and the knowledge my marketing folks were in the midst of promoting my book tour to over 200 locations… excitement ruled the day. On the surface, it all seemed to be flowing well as we started this year, but as I had been driving, I questioned my mission ever slightly.
Was I trying to do too much, does anyone really care about my endeavors as much as I do? My entire life now is about giving back and trying to help people who are facing tough stuff in life. “So many people, but only one of me” I had considered. “Was I truly making a difference in the way my mind had been assuring me”?
I made small talk with the friendly bartender and staged a few quick pictures with my book before any business crowd came down and took over the bar completely. There I sat in the middle of two nice gentlemen, each with a barstool separating the two of us on both ends. Plenty of space to keep to oneself if needed, but it wasn’t necessary that evening. I felt particularly social for some reason.
The man to my left shared his personal life words with me, his reflection, his perspective, and an inspiring message of his medical journey. It was amazing to hear some of the same points spoken back to me, which I planned on speaking about on stage the next day. We both had a similar message, two different stool sitters with the exact same perspective. Also, it had been a reminder to which I tell everyone…” each of us has a story to share”.
The gentleman to my right was a pleasure to speak with too. When you travel as much as I do, there are times when you wish to speak with no one. Simply desire to melt into a stool and breath. Tonight, was not one of those occasions. We spoke for a bit, shared small pieces of our respective lives, and finished our beers. The man gathered his things and said something to me which turned my day back onto the correct axis.
His words were “thank you for what you do”. I was caught off guard, and a bit humbled. If a stranger in a bar could sense my passion to help others, it convinced my mind what I had known all along. I am definitely making a difference in this crazy world. I even went to bed feeling a slightly renewed sense of purpose in fact.
The next day I found myself working on great things, and meeting many spectacular folks who appreciated my energy, my message, and my commitment to helping others. It was one of those days when you just feel really accomplished by the conclusion. Miller Time on this night, was most certainly going to take place with a smile.
I had looked forward to seeing the same bartender who always seemed to have a bright outlook on life. He doesn’t know my name, simply my face because I have been there so many other times to the Niagra Region and chosen to stay at the same hotel while there. My bartender had not been working on this evening.
Upon hearing the news of his recent medical struggle, I had quickly been taken back down to earth from the previous highs of the day. It was just another reminder for me to forever remain grounded. Fate, timing, and life are all so random. When you deal in the adversity space for a living, it keeps you in check when you drift away from those realities.
On my way home, I also found out my critically ill child was being taken into the hospital in the morning. Within 24 hours, I had been high and then crashed back down to earth with tremendous force. It is what I do… I made the commitment to give back and be there for others. You simply never know what tomorrow may bring.
This week was just a unique reminder, I guess.
( As my blog community continues to grow, we are roughly over 170 strong now who read my words every other week. Follow me on our new social media links now too. Take a moment and give some positive vibes out there for my bartender friend who for the purposes of this blog I shall call “ Barry”. Stay strong my friend, I have a book for you. )