We Buried Him Last Week
By: David Freund, Chief Leadership Officer
“It was a chilly late spring morning. The leaves were just starting to pop as I made my way to the airport for a quick business trip. As I walked toward the concourse that would lead me to my assigned gate, I bumped into my neighbor Mack. After the usual pleasantries, I asked about Tom, our mutual friend. Mack looked puzzled and concerned. ‘Didn’t you hear? We buried him last week.’
I felt sick to my stomach. Tom had been diagnosed with cancer, and it was terminal. Just two weeks prior I had gone to his business to speak with him. Tom was busy with customers and I was in a hurry, rushing from one important task to the next. I went outside the store and spoke with Tom’s son to ask how his dad was doing and according to him, Tom was doing well and had been given a few months to live. I was in a hurry, so I left. That was the last time I saw Tom. Now he is gone and so is the opportunity to share with him the things I wanted to say.”
My father shared this account with me some years ago. He was shaken by the missed opportunity to speak one more time with his friend. It’s not that they were very close, but meaningful things needed to be shared and the opportunity was gone forever.
In my role as an executive coach and trainer, I hear the beginnings of so many similar stories, and I wonder, how many will have the same ending. Please allow me to explain. I can’t count the number of times I hear someone say “I really wanted to do it, but I didn’t have time” or “ I know that I need to complete this training, but I just don’t have time” or “I know I need to get coached on this, but I am too busy.” Please know that my intent is not to drum up coaching or training sales. I am very busy and thankful for it. I am sharing this with you because I am very concerned. How many things are you putting off? How many meaningful conversations will remain silent for eternity because the opportunity has passed? What personal growth will not take place because you are too busy?
It is said that success occurs where preparation and opportunity meet. Will you be ready when opportunity comes or will you fall prey to the Law of Diminishing Intent which says, the longer you wait to do something, the less likely you are to actually do it.
Please, for you own sake, do it now.