“She’d been preoccupied all afternoon, pacing back & forth, refreshing ‘Docusign’ every couple of minutes. The anxiety was killing her! Her colleagues tried to engage her in the usual office banter but even though she laughed along with them, her mind was on the 6 figure contract sitting with the client. It was the last day of the quarter and so much was riding on this big contract. Her team were depending on her. ‘Why hadn’t the client signed as yet?’ she kept asking herself as she performed some mental gymnastics in her head to double-check that she had dotted every ‘i’ and ticked every ‘t’.
Not too far from her office, her best friend was at the very same moment living a scene right out of Grey’s Anatomy. She was straddled across a patient on a stretcher performing CPR while 4 wardsmen wheeled the bed at a breakneck speed, navigating the corridors and dodging hospital staff as they desperately tried to get the patient to the OT in time. It was not looking good for the patient.
An hour later she called her best friend and they compared their day. While at the start of the conversation, she’d thought her problem was mammoth, hearing of her friend’s day and the patient who was fighting for his life, made her realize how small and insignificant her worries were in comparison.
She decided to stop fretting and re-direct her focus on other projects and clients! Suddenly the world seemed a happier place and about 30 minutes later she heard that familiar ping on her phone signaling an email notification. It was a mail from Docusign. The contract had been signed by the client and it was still only 4 pm. 🙂 She’d smashed her number and the team had crossed 100% of their quarterly target! Life was great again and it was time to hit the pub and celebrate EOQ together.”
This is a true story that took place early in my career. I was the one who made myself miserable that entire day, thinking the world was coming to an end, and for what? – a contract that eventually came in on time? When I look back, I realised I’d missed enjoying the office banter and was also probably not the most productive, until I spoke with my friend and heard about the patient. It was a wake-up call that set things in perspective for me. I realized that no matter how “hard I thought I had it”, somebody probably had it worse and needlessly worrying about things out of my control was meaningless and a total waste of time.
I learned a few important lessons that day