Last week in London, we pulled off our first conference. Pulling together something like a conference is a real feat of organization and hard work I can tell you! It also has a lot of stakeholders who all want something different from the event. The attendees, the sponsors, the exhibitors and so on. Pleasing them all is really tough to do and none of them really care much about how complex everything is or how difficult it is to pull off a complex event like this – they just want you to meet their objectives. To be honest, it reminded me a little of life!
In life, I think it is exactly the same way. People expect things from you and they are not actually in possession of the facts of how life is for you. I often read wise statements on Facebook about this and it is entirely true – when you criticize someone you do so without much if any knowledge of what sort of a day they are having, what’s on their minds and what challenges they are facing. In many respects, we have higher standards for others than we do for ourselves….
One lesson I have learned is to say NO. It is hard for someone like me to say no as I am naturally and have been raised to be someone who will do things for others. I am not praising myself here just being realistic that, in life, my biggest mistakes have been made by not having the guts to say No. Like everyone else more or less I often miss signals and/or am selfish in my outlook on life and do not do the things I should but if I am asked to do something or to take on a role then I do it to the best of my ability.
I think there came a time in the last 10 to 15-years when I suddenly realized that I had no life of my own. I was so busy helping make sure that everyone else’s around me was good that somehow mine seemed to have gone by the wayside. Money, brains, time and other assets and attributes were freely given and I discovered the more I gave of these things the more I was expected to give and the less thanks I received. I was being used and abused in many respects.
Polarity come into play here and trying to find the balance between the two poles of being there for everyone – abused and under appreciated – versus being there for no one by being so self-absorbed that no one else matters. Finding that balance isn’t easy though and I suppose some might even argue that one should be completely selfless and absorbed in helping others. I disagree because unless you find the balance, the value of what you are able to offer other people is eroded. So I started to push back. at first, this was ignored or even laughed at as if I were joking but eventually after shock, dismay, argument and so on, balance was restored. I still do have a habit of giving too much – smothering people in what they want to the point they get sick and tired of it, but it’s not as bad as it used to be.
The person to keep happy and to love is actually yourself for unless you are loved and happy, you really cannot help others anyway.
So back to that Conference. It went very well in the end but there were one or two moans as always. You can’t make everyone happy and these days, I think my attitude is that I won’t get upset by that. If I did my best then really, that’s all I can do. It also makes me think just a tad more about what others may be going through before complaining myself…..