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July 18, 2008

On Toughening Up

I presented to a senior level team in the rail industry once about a decade ago. For some reason, which I can no longer remember, I was extremely nervous. (I used to suffer greatly with anxiety in my younger days)

The slide show was painful, the presentation didn’t hit the mark, and we left. My company had continued work there for a while after that, and I was no longer involved in the account at all until much later.

Anyway…about three years after this I was having a meal with a good friend of mine who I had also met in the rail industry. A long term contact who I remain in touch with even today.

After a while he mentioned this meeting that I had all but forgotten about. Apparently it has become part of the myths and legends of the industry and I had managed to severely offend the main guy in the room.

He was so offended that he had told his story to anyone who would listen, in a near manic state according to my friend, and still livid over what went down.

I could barely remember it…

I have no clue what I did to offend this character…

And I have absolutely no recollection of what his name was…

Within 5 minutes of leaving what for me was a disastrous meeting – I had moved on mentally and emotionally. 

The other guy, however, did not…using up a lot of energy in fuming over whatever it was that occurred.

This is the essence of what I am talking about when I say Toughen Up.  Instead of brooding, worrying, and exciting myself any further; I was able to put my energies into my family, my career, and my hobbies. No waste, no problem.