ImageHave you ever taken a look at your career and wondered how those first steps have lead you to a place which is remarkably unlike what you had envisioned?  Probably the only people who do this are in mid-flight or those that have self-employed.  I am fairly certain that the “leaders” of the world have not and probably will not reflect on this because after all they have attained a level in which an alternative would probably be a major let down.  So in short when you are at the top.. why bother (or should you?).

I would have to say that I have done ok.  I have been able to exist, gaining a bit of fame, a bit of fortune and a bit of luck along the way.  On the flip side there are many mistakes and injustices that have been made.  The question, as we all have heard, is whether we have learned from these.  Without a doubt YES, but this does not rectify those that may have been affected in one way or the other.  Even the common apology does not easy the pain and in some cases it might actually inflame the anger all over again.

In a forward thinking manner I look at transgressions, good or bad, as having a positive effect.  Even when it is professionally, socially or personally wrong the other parties are apt to receive value.  Either they will say “I won’t do that” or maybe they will do that and learn the lesson first hand.  The difference is that actions are not intentioned to be educational, they only turn out that way.  It makes me wonder whether education needs to be more about actions than about talking the story.  I think we have all heard stories of different ways to train a child not to reach for the top of the stove.  Yelling, slapping and even allowing a mild exposure to the heat…. but being a believer in rational behavior I chose to use a different form of punishment.  For my eldest son bad behavior was met with a pencil and an ‘x’ on the wall.  Each time he started to misbehave (vs. after the fact) I would place an ‘x’ on the wall in which he had to place his nose.  It wasn’t long before the mere sight of the pencil cause an almost instantaneous positive correction.

Early Effect

I attribute my cynical nature to my earlier work years as an auditor.  It was this work experience that developed my inquisitive nature, analytic abilities, deductive reasoning, and solutioning talents.  Sometimes people view the cynic as a person who is never satisfied, Imageand I can certainly see this perspective.  I too question why I seem to always be critical of conditions, often because others don’t see them and this sparks an incendiary reaction in defense of the common practice.   Sometimes I wrong, but often its not and as a result the ultimate realization is far too late to make corrections to.  This has included topics ranging from global economic conditions, to business direction, project outcomes and even professional matters at a personal level.  Thank goodness the one character trait that I have not embraced is the use of “I told you so”.

The Final Chapter

It was once said that “when writing the story of your life, don’t let anyone else hold the pen”.  But in response to this I feel that they (others) always hold the pen of opinion and that not until you pass will they see truth (or falsehood) in what has been written about you.  HowImage can we turn this to a purposeful end?  I believe that the key lays in critical evaluation and respectful understanding.  Don’t be too quick to judge, gather insight and to be respectful.  Its far to easy to follow paths of popularity and end up with complacent outcomes.  My journey to the forum, despite my age, is far from over.  I’m not sure exactly what is in store for me but that is okay.  It’s okay because what I thought would be the path and the outcome has become something remarkably different.  The journey has been wonderful, with both heartache and jubilance, and I expect that acquired wisdom will continue to grow and add to the book about me.