Imagine it’s Saturday morning 5.45 am at the airport and somebody runs to the line of check-in you are queuing, totally in stress asking out of the blue: “Until when do we need to be checked in?” Now I was looking at the men, about mid thirties, Mediterranean and so early already totally stressed and said: “if you board like us for London its about 45 min before the flight hence you have another 30 minutes” “Ush” was his response and he started talking to me about how late he worked the day before, that the mobile checking was not working …and so on and so on… Me not being a morning person but a good citizen was listening and gave him comfort by doing so. Our paths separate for security but we met again at the gate with a warm smile. “You made it” I said and he was happy smiling back and again started to talk: “I cannot go further in my life like that, it’s insane, I work hard and I have plans all the time and even on the week-end I do not relax but do things.”
Wow interesting I thought and I declared that he is talking to a professional coach and that I might see things a bit differently. He said his is waking up at night thinking of the entire tasks he has to do all day long and what he might misses. And that this is driving him nuts. But that he cannot change anything about it. There we are I thought, so I asked “Who thinks all those thoughts?” – “Hmm…I guess it’s me?” – “And who are you, who is thinking that?” “Oh, I’m an achiever!” he returned in a split second.
“Great” I said, “then you brain is exactly doing what you want it to do, to achieve things, to plans to be able to achieve. You are well on track with that – congratulations. Good new is, that if you want to change a few things, then plan them – you will achieve it as you are an achiever. For a start I just want to share with you that listening to a good piece of music, sitting and surrender while having a cup of tea is doing something as well!.” He looked puzzled, not really knowing what to say. But after a moment he asked: “So what are you doing so early on the plane on Saturday?” “Oh, I fly to Santa Fe, my second home base as I just open an affiliate there. Not so easy to work on 2 continents but that’s what I want to do”. ”Oh he said, “as long as it keeps you busy its will be ok, not”…”No” I answered, “as long as it keeps me happy it is OK.”
There was silence after that and I could see he was thinking: busy vs. happy. I’m sure he was not the only achiever on that plane as other passengers witnessed quite interested our conversation. While the plane took off, I thought about how my own life changed from being an achiever years back to now perusing happiness.