It’s amazing how the mind can distort impressions.
The daily vicissitudes of running a business can wear you down; especially if you work alone.
Last month an event showed me just how negative (and wrong) my thinking had become.
This story has a happy ending.
Highway to hell
My crowded inner-city suburb has more cars than parking spaces. Competition is keen, even ruthless.
So when the local council dug large holes at either end of the few precious spaces near me, I got very nervous.
‘What are they doing?’ I wondered. ‘Making it even harder for me to park?’
The next week it got worse, as large hoops of stainless steel sprang from concrete foundations.
‘The bastards!’ I muttered. ‘It’s definitely reverse parking from now on. So much harder. Especially in one-way streets, and at peak hour. And if I make a mistake, I’ll ding my car!’
I was so annoyed, I even thought of pushing the hoops over while the concrete was wet.
This surprised me, as I’m generally a quiet, law-abiding fellow.
Even when I’d calmed down enough to wonder if the hoops might be safety zones for pedestrians or chaining points for cyclists (both demographics to which I belong) I was still angry.
I couldn’t believe my hard-earned rates were paying to obstruct and clutter my already congested neighbourhood.
Imagine my shame, then, when I discovered the hoops’ true purpose.
It was dusk when I saw it: a beautiful row of shiny, trembling, native saplings.
Exactly what I’d wanted for years.
The council had wrought places for them in the bitumen and raised barriers to protect them from crazy locals.
Two days later, a newsletter told all. (Would that it had come earlier!)
Seven streets in the area were getting trees for the first time.
It was a plot alright … to improve my standard of living.
I trust you’re not so foolish, but table this story as a warning.
If you spend too much time alone and/or in your head, things can get out of whack.
Does this episode resonate?
Have you been so wound up that you totally misread a situation?
Or has some client or supplier misconstrued you?
I’d love to hear your tales.
It’s hard enough to go first.
So please don’t leave me alone here
way out on a limb.