It was the end of a long week and I’d been working in my office all Friday. Everything seemed to be going wrong and nothing I put my hand to was working out right. I was getting frustrated with all I was trying to do and I started to become generally cross with the world. This happens to me from time to time and if I don’t catch it has been known to ruin the whole weekend.
I know this because my family have been very good at telling me! When I get caught like this I need something to help me get back out of the hole I’m sinking into otherwise I can often just start digging deeper and faster. For me the key is to spot that I’m in that place and to want to do something about it. Well I managed to spot it at about 4:30 pm as I came across one of my favourite poems on feeling good about yourself – no coincidence I suspect.
I re-read the poem and started to think about and see myself in a different way. The poem reminded me to embrace my life from the perspective of my best self. It is, for me, a story about reconnecting with the hopes and dreams you have always harboured.
Love after love – Derek Walcott
The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,
and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you
all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.
Leadership questions: What takes you away from you being your best self? What do you notice about yourself when this happens? And what helps you get back in touch with your best self? What would you need to see to greet yourself with elation at your own front door?
By Ian Lock
Learn more about the author of this article, Ian Lock