Making a decision and walking away from it
I recently met someone who inspired me with their story. I find people in general quite inspiring and am in constant amazement at how interesting and brave my friends are but this was one of those meetings that circled back to my heart and shifted my view of the world. It is most likely because he possessed a skill that I and so many others lack. That is, the conviction of ones own judgement and the bravery to make a stand again and again, even when the masses urge otherwise. Being a pioneer in this way is a lonely place to be. It's also exhausting to keep that faith in ones own judgement during the shadow moments when doubt sees an opportunity to creep in.
In his career, he had pissed a great many people off by insulting their intelligence, position and loyalty. He would be the first to admit that he was probably quite difficult to work with because he demanded something that is extremely hard to give. Not money, titles, prestige or power, it was a leap of faith into the unknown, based on a single minded idea. What made it even more difficult for him and, I am sure, those who did take the leap, was that he got it disastrously wrong sometimes.
I am deliberately not going into the specifics of what he has done in this post because they are conversations for another time. What I am fascinated by is his ability to make a decision and then walk away from it seemingly without so much as a backward glance. This is with regards to business decisions as well as people. I can be intensely nostalgic and find it hard to let go of anything that occurred in my past believing that what was important enough to shape who I am today must continue to play an important role in my future.
He described an instance where he had laboured for 18 months on a particular business project and thrown sweat, love and more into it. It had been a great success and it was a formidable piece of work; a pioneering idea and something that positively changed the lives of many people. However, it came to a point when it was no longer relevant and he, along with his colleague, made the decision to kill it within a few minutes of discussion. Their forseight and conviction was strong enough to know when it was time to walk away, and never look back.