Were Simone Biles and Ben Stokes right…?

David HollandTips & Inspiration, UncategorizedLeave a Comment

Find a Lemon

When did you realise you’d been sold a Lemon ..?

…for me, it was 14th July 1996 at around lunchtime…

Back then I was an Operations Manager for a successful clothing manufacturing company in South London – I had been an Apprentice Served Engineer, Production Engineer, Quality Manager, Technical Manager, and Operations Manager…

I’d been to college, got my qualifications, started my MBA, got the wife, two children, house, mortgage, company car, had a curry on a Friday and holidays in the South of France…

I was a walking advertisement for middle England…

Then Lynn bought me a book…

Specifically – this bookFingerprints of the Gods, by Graham Hancock…

Fingerprints of the Gods book image

Inside the cover, she simply wrote…

Happy Birthday, I hope you find what you are looking for…

It wasn’t the specific content of the book that inspired me – I was of course fascinated with the Piri Reis map, the evidence of water erosion on the Sphinx, and how the precession of the equinoxes had been known about 1000’s years ago…

It was the simple idea that someone dared to look at things differently, challenge the norms, and accepted history – this was a revelation…

I remember being in the school Physics class when I was 14 being told that the Triple Point of water was 4 degrees Centigrade. I put my hand up and questioned this – how can water exist as a solid, liquid, and vapour all at the same time if it doesn’t freeze until Zero degrees…?

Don’t ask stupid questions, Holland – just go with what is written in the textbook…

I had been asking “stupid questions” all my life, but there was a book that showed that it was OK to think different, challenge the status quo, offer alternatives and dare to be different…

What changed that day was, we decided to build ourselves a dream, not just have the safe career, little box house, curry on a Friday sort of life – we chose to go a different path…

We realised we’d been sold a Lemon…

So, I’m writing this article in the walk-in wardrobe of the French Farm Cottage we are renovating in Eastern France – in a few minutes we are off to Germany to buy some sand for the path we built yesterday, we’ve collected the eggs from the Chickens, fed the rabbits and the dogs are asleep under the desk…

What was the Lemon…?

It was this…

  1. Get a trade, get some qualifications they can’t take off you…
  2. Find a safe secure job…
  3. Buy a house with a Mortgage with an Endowment Policy…
  4. Work at the same company for 40 years…
  5. Retire and die…

Whilst I always “knew” this didn’t feel right until I read that book, I hadn’t realised I was not alone in thinking the Lemon tasted bitter…

The Sword Life Cycle, which is School- Work-Owe-Retire_Die

So we decided to go our own way, “quit” living up to the expectations that were enforced on us and start living for ourselves, choosing our own path.

Since then we’ve started our own companies, travelled the world, lived in the USA, and now live in rural France working remotely doing what we love with people we like…

There are a few other Lemons out there too…

My job is to enable people to achieve their dreams, personally and professionally.

It doesn’t matter whether they are a Business Owner, Manager, or Executive – most come preloaded with Lemons…

Here’s an overview of the top Lemonesque baggage and patterns I come across

  1. Don’t quit – keep going…
  2. Success is hard and failure is not an option…
  3. Winning is EVERYTHING…
  4. Identity is associated with being the “best”…
  5. Suck it up buttercup…

Now, whilst of course, it’s good to win, come first, achieve excellence and get the Award – it depends if the cost is worth it, and for whom it is achieved…

Seeing Simone Biles put herself first and remove herself from the Olympic finals in Japan drew heated debate in the media, much rolling of eyes…

Ben Stokes chose to take an indefinite break from cricket to focus on his mental wellbeing, again triggering the media and Lemon sellers everywhere…

Toughness, grit, and resilience are key determinants of success and achievement, however, looking after yourself first is probably the most important.

So if you need to quit something, walk away from a situation, remove someone from your life; you owe it to yourself to do it…

Don’t quit life, just quit the situation…

I see too many people defining success as Money, Promotion, Power or Status when in fact the real success is happiness on our own terms…

So maybe Simone and Ben have simply taken the right decision for them and are not worried about what other people think or say – this is probably the most powerful strategy for real success there is…

Have a great week,

Cheers

Dave

PS – remember to book your FREE 30 min Strategy Session with me – click HERE to make a date…

Check out our upcoming events…

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