This week a colleague and friend of mine came back to work after being out on FMLA for cancer. He shared stories of his trials and tribulations over the last couple of months. He’s been to hell and back again and not done with his journey. The thing is he has maintained his spirit throughout his ordeal. I asked him how he did it. He talked about maintaining a positive attitude but I pressed him on the topic. From his stories and our discussion, I learned he used his sense of humor, finding the fun and finding the connections with the people who helped him. He even indicated that the hospital was a “neat experience.” I think he’s the first person, I’ve heard refer to multiple hospital stays in that manner.
One thing he did do was to apply social grease to his situation. He kept a light heart. He flirted with the nurses whether they were male or female. He joked with people despite being in pain and suffering. He shared his feelings when it was appropriate. Being in and out of the hospital, he made sure to learn and refer to people by their names. He got to know people. He had nurses confide in him about other patients who took other approach of complaining about their situation and generally making the nurse’s jobs more difficult than need be. He had assistants fly him through the halls on beds that rolled easy. When people would ask him what he was doing back in the hospital after the second time, he indicated he just wanted to see the friends he made. He maintained his spirit by finding the connection with others and having fun with his situation.
This does not mean he avoided reality. He also shared his thoughts about dealing with the difficulties of his situation. He’s been dancing with death in the last few months. There were times he thought he may not make to see the next day. He thought about what would happen if he would pass. He made plans to deal with the various contingencies. He accepted his situation for what it is and how it is changing on a daily basis. He became aware of the essence of his situation, but did not allow his attitude to be affected by the suffering. He did not allow the pain to define him.
How does this relate to the business of you. It’s an example of someone managing their business by applying the three basic principles of our personal business: finding the essence, finding the connection and finding the fun. He utilized one of the primary resources available to him. His health was significantly impacted. He had time on his hands, but instead of wallowing in misery, he maintained his biggest resource, his spirit.