You Can’t Buy Peace

“Tell me what you envision for your future.”  She wanted a better, more peaceful life. She had gotten caught up in the rat race to succeed. She has been running the race from her first waking hours till she closed her eye lids for the night. But she exhausted herself and was drowning in discontent. There was no peace to be found. So we talked.

“Tell me about…you,” I asked.

She described her beautiful home, her beautiful children, her beautiful husband. She described her successful business. She went into great detail about how her work makes a difference in people’s life.

It’s true; she is successful and makes a positive difference in people’s lives. “Sounds like you’ve gotten what most people are trying to get. Are you sure you need me to help you be successful, when you’ve already defined yourself as successful?” I was a little confused.

“But something’s missing,” she whispered.

Sensing her tone, it was time to help direct the process.

“Money seems to be good, in fact very good,” I smiled; she affirmed. “Your hard work has made you professionally successful.”

“Yes, but I’m not enjoying it. My family wants for nothing. We have so much, but I’m not enjoying it, and I’m tired.” She gave that long exhale that everyone recognizes, translating to a sense of hopelessness.

“So what do you want?” I asked.

“I just want to enjoy my accomplishments. I want to enjoy what I have… what my family has. I want to just enjoy life without the pressure of always looking ahead and worrying.”

“Ok, so your goal is to enjoy all your many blessings. Genuinely enjoy what all you have, including your family.”

“Yes,” she said, “including my family. I want to enjoy my family. If I could just be present with my family and they could be present with me. I would love that,” she said excitedly having put words to her feelings.

“Well then, let’s start there. Goal number one is to…write this down… ‘Enjoy My Family.’ Now, let’s work on the steps to get you there.  Tell me, what does it look like to enjoy your family?”

As she spoke, there I saw it…a peace in her demeanor, a peace in her voice. It was a beautiful picture she described. She didn’t need coaching to financial security or wealth. She had plenty of that which will pass down to generations to come. With all her wealth, what eluded her the most was ‘peace.’

A peace she could not buy because peace is never for sale. It’s simply there for the taking if you know how to get it.

Reflection Amidst Covid-19

Some coaches who are HR practitioners, like me, are trying to maneuver this unprecedented landscape too. I’m the small business HR strategic asset ‘on call,’ if you will. Having this hands-on knowledge and skill set helps me to do more of what I love – work directly with people to rise to the next level. But right now, the next level is a challenge.

As this pandemic challenges all of us to put our strategic planning hats on, I’m forced to sway my path a little more in another direction.  Right now we’re all forced to cope, to be flexible, to be resilient, to be a collective and help others wherever we can with what we have. So right now, I’m in corporate HR mode helping small companies with complex HR questions.

Like any good HR practitioner, I’ve set up my proverbial tent in from of the legislative door waiting to be the first to get any legislative news for my companies. I’m constantly tuned-in to Bloomberg watching for the changes in economic behavior in anticipation of the ‘curve ahead.’ All this vigilance is heightened in relation to our current way of life during the pandemic. We are all heightened and we are learning.

We will learn from this, as we always do. Next time we will be more prepared.  But as most of us are forced to be home, we can reflect on our life and career and what has mattered most. Think back to five short years ago. Are you glad you took steps to be where you are now? Or are you wishing you took some steps to elevate your lifestyle and financial security so that you are better able to storm this current crisis?

Let’s take a reflective moment amidst this Covid-19 crisis. Where do you want to be in five years, ten years or fifteen years when another possible unprecedented event may occur? Will you and your family be as secure and stable as possible while the rest of the world wonders what their next steps are going to be?