Getting Broken is GREAT!
The idea that "Getting Broken is Great" is a bit of an oxymoron. But that's just what I learned when I decided to reconnect with an old friend and colleague.
I dropped my career, my contacts, and my life as I knew it when my son was born back in Sydney seven years ago. So, I was a bit nervous contacting my old friend Scott, as he was part of that old life that I had left behind. But Scott was welcoming, open and interested in talking to me as he too had gone through a huge life changing event.
Please Meet One of the Coolest Thinkers I Know - Scott Drummond
Scott's crazy hair and gorgeous smile almost bring me to tears, when the Skype Video comes up. Memories of long chats over copious amounts of coffee in Sydney's Surry Hills came flooding back. That was a time when I was me, without children and doing MY thing. Scott and I worked in the digital advertising industry in Sydney, building communities. I built a community of digital advertising executives and he built consumer communities for his clients. We shared a common interest in people, which is still prevalent today.
When I asked Scott what he'd been doing for the past 7 years and how he kept that mop on his head looking so good, he described a story of adventure, success, failure, heartache, and discovery.
Scott Works The Dream Job
After spending 10 years in Oz, Scott left Sydney. He and his wife headed back to the UK, where Scott is originally from, with their new baby boy, over land. Their adventure took them 6 months to complete. As they travelled, Scott was being followed by one of the top digital advertising agencies looking to hire him. And eventually they got him. Ogilvy hired Scott as the Head of Social Media in Jakarta, Indonesia. Scott finally got what he always wanted, the dream job. A salary larger than Texas, responsibility for a whole division, and a position he thought was perfect for him.
But Scotts story doesn't end there, in fact, his story begins here. He was miserable. The long hours, the constant meetings, the lack of fulfillment. He questioned whether he really wanted to lead? What did he have to GIVE in the role, to the staff, to the clients? He felt insecure, constantly asking if he was NEEDED. He didn't feel ready to be in this position but wasn't sure why. All he knew, was that it didn't feel right and he realised, this was not what he wanted.
As he negotiated an exit from his dream role, the questions began. What am I doing? What are my interests? Is this really what I want to do?
Reflection is Priceless
"You become very reflective when a life event knocks you over, don't you." I asked genuinely. "So, what did you do??"
"Now that my facade was cracked open, I was vulnerable to my own fears. I had to get a hold of myself before I could think any further."
I knew exactly what he was talking about as I had been doing a lot of this reflective work myself. Scott and I talked for two and a half hours. About Failure, Perception, Expectations, Success. Over those two hours I took away three insights that he learned throughout his journey.
The Three Insights
The power of Story is immense. Those stories you tell yourself. Those stories you tell others ABOUT yourself, about your family, about your life. They're really important. The more you tell the same story, the more it gets ingrained in your head. So before you say anything, be aware and conscious of how it's going to AFFECT you, the listener, and anyone else in the story. It's utterly important to make peace with your stories, be honest and truthful, be grateful and positive and be thoughtful because these stories end up becoming you.
Getting Broken is GREAT!
When you're broken, you have a reason to think and address all the mental blocks holding you back as a person. How did he do this? By starting a Gratitude Diary. This isn't a new concept and it's one that still works for Scott today. Every night he would write down 3 things he was grateful for. For example, "I'm grateful I'm healthy", "I'm grateful that the meeting went to shit today, but I kept my cool", and "I'm grateful the sun came out."
It's so easy to say just "BE POSITIVE", but when you're broken, that's ridiculously hard, if not impossible. A gratitude diary forced Scott to look for the good in everything and realise that life is ok... it's going to be ok.
Wear Your Purple Jeans Today.
Scott tells me a beautiful story of the difficulties of being a parent and trying desperately to not put any walls around his thinking. It's a story that hopefully Scott will share here on the blog someday, but the premise is, challenge yourself to be yourself. Let me say that again, CHALLENGE yourself... to BE yourself.
Throughout our conversation, I was inspired, amused, excited and motivated. There is so much I still need to get my head around. Thank you Scott for giving me a starting point filled with inspiration.