Haven’t We Been Here Before?
I have just finished working a 14-hour day. From the morning we’ve been trying to close some crucial deals that involve different sets of people in Canada, Dubai, USA, Nigeria and India. It started off in quite a relaxed way. Information needed here, a clarification needed there. A little give and a little take.
Then the pace began to speed up and we had to dig a little deeper. Cleverer diplomacy was deployed. More convincing, more cajoling, more calming of egos. Hardening stands defused. But always without giving away how much we needed the deals.
Then came the ‘stings in the tail’ — every deal has them. Just when you think it’s all done comes a surprise sting. Those were handled as calmly as possible without me screaming at the computer or losing my temper with innocent team members.
Now it’s 2.30 a.m. (remember everyone is at different time zones) and I could do with a cigarette or a few pegs of something.
Unfortunately I gave up smoking and drinking ten months ago.
Is the deal done? I think so. By the time you read this I’ll know for sure.
More importantly, I’ve done everything that I could do.
Every little, small, big, clever, agile, tiring, logicaling, thinking, blinking, researching, guessing, online, offline, searching, finding, coding, decoding, drafting, redrafting bit.
So what do I do now?
Let’s look at the options.
I can try and prepare backup plans — but there’s no one I can call or go and meet at this hour to start something, so that’s out.
I could run or exercise like mad — that is known to be a great way to empty your mind. But I’m too tired.
I could try and go to sleep but am too wound up right now.
If I was a different person I could just let it all go, saying I’ve done all I can, now I’m going to shut off.
But I’m not a different person.
So I’ll tell you what. I’m just going to leave you. I’ll finish this article after 24 hours and tell you what happened — what I did.
Bye for now.
So it’s 24 hours later and I have early news that the deals — actually there were three of them — have mixed results.
One seems to be on. Another looks positive. But the last one — and actually the least important one — doesn’t seem like it will happen.
OK. I can live with that.
But what did I do yesterday night.
I sat still and quiet and prayed.
Or rather sent a signal out to the universe with the question of unsurity and fear of the road ahead.
And I got an answer.
It was ‘haven’t we been here before?’
Meaning of course I and whoever was in charge up there had faced situations like this and come out of them.
We’d been in similar tunnels when the light seemed lost.
And in jungles where there seemed no path.
In oceans where there seemed no land for miles But navigated/climbed out/prevailed/managed. So remember when you feel lost.
You’ve been there before!