when a CEO friend speaks the language of the soul.

Friday, October 4, 2013

I am, by nature, by upbringing, generous, but lately I can't be all I wish to be. I push against every sleeve of every hour and there's still not time enough, there are still people I disappoint—many people, daily, it seems to me just now.

(I do see you. I do hear you. I am sorry.)

This morning, an old friend, one of those dear CEOs I've been privileged to know, wrote to me in response to a note I'd written him. I've known this man for a very long time. He knows who I am at my best times; he has seen me at my worst. He knows what it is to have the world tug at you, deplete you; he heard depletion in my note.

He wrote this:

Fatigue causes all kinds of problems because it affects your immune system - infections, cancer, etc.  Do something - you need a fundamental change in your life.  I do not know what that is, but you might.  At some point it will become too late.  Write a letter to yourself - don't state what is wrong, say what you want.  Read it a few times and then write another one giving yourself advice of how to get what you want.  Then do it. 

I was sitting forward in my chair when the note came in. I sat back after I'd read it through. Some tension in my whole soul lifted.

Yes, I thought. I will write this letter. I will write this second letter. I will do it.

I share my friend's beautiful words with you, because there is something here for all of us.

Thank you, M.E.


Sheila Boneham said...

Beth, and CEO friend, you have no idea how timely this is for me as well. Brilliant advice. I too plan to write those letters. Thank you.

Jennifer R. Hubbard said...

A wise person indeed.

Also know that when you say "No thanks" or "Sorry, I can't" to people, you are not letting them down. Certainly they would love to have you say yes, but only if you can honestly give what you're being asked to give. Saying no can even help people; for one thing, it models for them an example of how it's okay to say no, because most of the people you say no to are also struggling with time balance (I assume; because don't most of us struggle with that?).

You don't have to fill everyone's bucket; there are other wellsprings people can go to. Think of your friend in the chapter "Snapping" in your book about friendship, how she depleted herself until she could give nothing more to anyone. Nobody is obligated to get to that point.

KFP said...

Excellent, excellent advice.

Serena said...

this is sound advice.

Becca said...

Yes, please do it. Wonderful advice!

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