When a single word changed my life.

I was having my annual review with my Manager, which I had been doing regularly for the last half a decade. After so many years of working together we were really close and open, able to talk together knowing that our conversation would stay between the two of us. I was pretty relaxed and expected the usual 30 minute review and 2 hours' chitchat. But not at all.

After a couple of useless points during which I could feel him kind of anxious, I asked what was going on. Despite our close professional relationship based on a mutual understanding of our positions, situations and points of view, my Manager truly opened up and talked to me directly without hiding himself behind some kind of "I heard that" or "People say this". And then he jumped off the cliff: "Laurent, what's going on? Your attitude affects me." When he said these two letters, this little word "me", everything blew in my face, outside and into me. Suddenly my eyes opened and I decided to change.

My glass was not even half empty. It was dry empty and full of dust. My attitude was the result of a long time of professional and personal frustrations generating bad thoughts, bad emotions, bad feelings, bad attitude. Everything that I was believing in had to be reviewed. My advice was not heard, even less taken into consideration. And even worse, I wasn't listening to the support of my relatives, despite all of their efforts. 

"Sometimes, YOU are the problem"

I was sad but didn't let the joy coming in. I was stupid but wasn't listen to the advice from others. I was ridiculous against the world around me, but instead of amended myself, I kept going and going. I was totally deaf and blind to my situation. I was lying to myself comforting in my own world where the others were wrong. Everyone except me.

"Event + Reaction = Outcome"

Following this electroshock, I analysed myself and decided to change. No, I will not fool you. I just give it a try. I tried to amend myself, to be nicer to others, to smile, to challenge the situation instead of just criticised it without any added-value. In the worst-case scenario, I would go back to the stupid angry unpleasant guy I was. But the world decided it differently and opened its arms large to me. My colleagues invited me for lunch and for drinks after work. They were even asking for my advice. My relatives and friends were shinier with me and called me more. Life gave me a second chance.

"Begin with the end in mind"

Since this positive astonishing reaction from my world outside, I decided to go deeper into this new road and work on my own improvement. From now on, honesty and trust are the foundation. A peaceful mind is a status. Understanding and reflection are one of the rules. The professional exchange with others is focused on the future and solution-driven. And the atmosphere is relaxing and filled with joy and happiness.

"Simple does not mean easy"

First things I had to do was to amend myself to everyone I had been, how can I say, unpleasant, unwise, awful, painful. Not an easy task as you can imagine, even more when it's the family and close friends, but it had to be done. After that, I had to clean in my own garden. I had to apologize to myself and accept sincerely my own apologies. I had to learn how to be nice to myself, how to believe in me, how to love myself. All of these are simple words easy to say. But years of past education had to be reviewed, amended, re-modelled. The idea, the goal is here. To me to action for it now.

"Go after the thing that you want."

I discovered a new world. Or perhaps I have just taken a turn many years ago which has driven me to a new challenging path, and I am back to the main road now. Who knows? What I know now is what I want.

I want to be in the driver seat.

I want to control my life. Not to let someone else controlling it.

I want to make my own decisions. To assume the consequences as much as the benefits and to be proud of them.

I want happiness. I want joy. I want clarity. I want a peaceful mind.

I want love, to love myself and to spread love.

And you, what do you want?