Pete Buckley shares with us a week which for him, may have been life changing.
What is the scariest thing in the world? Heights? No. Spiders and creepy crawly thingies? Definitely not. A broken heart? Maybe. Death? It’s up there. It is undeniable that these are all scary propositions but the scariest? Not even close. That’s because there is a commonality between them all, irrationality. Or simply, the fear of the unknown. Accepting this, it is easy to see that we generally fear death, for example, because we don’t know for sure what happens after the magic show of life ends and we, as a result, fear this because the magic show is full of bright lights, pretty colours and its fun, in it’s moments. Nothing ground breaking there. However, maybe things would be different if we had some knowledge about the…other place. If this were true would that fear suddenly vanish? I think so. Now, I’m not here to discuss a particular faith or the belief in a particular deity but I believe we wouldn’t need to if we had this little piece of knowledge, that is, if we knew for sure, that life on the underside was all rosy, cosy and utopian like the dusty books might want us to believe.
The same can be said for all things tall, crawly and fragile. Once we face our fear of the dangly, little cretins we gain the knowledge that they are, of course, more scared of us then we are of them and the irrational, becomes rational. Once we listen to enough Damien Rice or David Gray or Dr Hook we begin to understand that life isn’t over and the heart does, with time (and significant amounts of booze, birds/blokes and blowouts), mend, to be wiser, smarter, and more intuitive than before. Reborn, like a phoenix rising from the once obliterated remains, new, knowing that if faced with a similar trauma, it would cope, it would survive. So, if none of the above qualifies as the scariest thing in the world, what does? The answer is simple…a dream.
You must be aware, I’m not talking about any old dream here, not the daily, drifting, daydream or the deep, sleepful, peaceful dream but a dream with more substance, a dream with more meaning, more personal significance, this dream, is a dream you want to achieve in life. This dream is your magic show and it’s real. It isn’t irrational, it isn’t unknown because you know it, you feel it, you live it every second of every moment your mind wonders from one distraction to another, from productivity to reverie. It wouldn’t even become easier if you knew it would materialise. Once a dream like this forms, it’s immovable, immutable…unstoppable. It transcends the metaphysical and becomes as physical… as reality. It becomes synonymous with…you, who you are, what you believe in, what you stand here, centre stage, for. It is the realisation that this type of dream will become real that is scarier than creepy crawlies and broken hearts for it is our light, not our darkness that scares us most. We are powerful beyond measure and it scares us ****less. Who would blame us? Just think for a minute, what if you actually achieved your dream. What if, whatever you wanted most in life was suddenly real. The success, the glamour, the wealth, the eyes, watching you, following you, inspired by you, envious of you, waiting on you, ready to watch you fall. The duty to those who believe in you, the responsibility of those who trust you. It is all this, the light that has the power to turn the most courageous, inward. It has the power to turn arrogance into insecurity, knowledge into uncertainty and it makes your stomach churn and turn worse than a Pad Thai from a dodgy Thai street vendor.
Experiencing fear like this is rare. I mean, how often do people actually live their dreams? Quite a few, maybe, but how often is it that you find somebody who encourages you to live your dream? A handful at most. What about somebody who believes in your ability to fulfil your dream? Sadly, not enough. Rarer still, how often is it that you find somebody who not only encourages you and believes in you but will help you, even facilitate your ascent towards master magician? Almost never. Which is why, this week, I have spent most of my time curled up in the foetal position scarred ****less!! As I have found exactly that.
I am, for those of you who haven’t met me; blindly self-confident, Muhammad Ali would look like a choir boy in my presence. I truly believe I have the abilities to one day, rule the world. Literally, rule the world! My dream, is surprisingly simpler than this, humble in comparison; I want to be successful, influential even. I want to inspire people, to lead them, in business, in life, in accomplishing their dreams and this week, I have edged significantly closer to that dream.
This week I attended the TUI Educational Senior Management Meeting and I spent the few days surrounded by some of the most successful MDs and entrepreneurs that the TUI Travel PLC has to offer and my god, even my ‘Mourinho‘ like self-belief wasn’t adequate preparation for this. The sheer wealth of experience was dwarfing, between them, they control businesses posting tens of millions of pounds profit a year and most of them, either started these businesses from scratch or took on a failing business turning it profitable faster then the entire cast of Dragon’s Den could say return on investment!
In the few days I spent in Normandy, I learned more about the true inner workings of business, strategy, joint ventures and myself than five years, yes, five years spent in Higher Education acquiring a First Class Honours Degree and a year slumming it around the world with nothing but a backpack and an open mind. For once in my life, I am, completely out of my depth and I am… scared and it’s… exhilarating because here I have found a place and a mentor that will push me towards my dream, that will push me, centre stage…
…bright ligths and pretty colours at the ready, its time for my magic show to begin.