Today in my, ‘Time Management is Self Management’ class I shared an exercise I’d learned from my friend Vaughn. It made me think about our last encounter. A couple of years ago I awoke with a plate full of responsibilities, all important. I was preparing for travel, two presentations, and was in the middle of a home move having lived in that home almost 30 years. I also had made a lunch appointment with a friend which I was contemplating rescheduling, except for the fact that I had changed our appointment the week before. I didn’t want to change it again because I really valued the relationship and the service my friend was providing to me. You see, my friend Vaughn was consulting with me, mentoring me, sharing his vast expertise and knowledge with me. We’d met three weeks prior and then decided that we would meet weekly. After attending one of Vaughn’s workshops, I decided I could learn a lot from him. Additionally, he was only going to be in the area for another three months and was planning to leave the metro area for the next twenty years. He was a master at productivity and I wanted to learn from him.
Different Outcomes Require Different Input
I have realized of late that if we are to become different we must receive different input. My friends, I realized, were either at the same level of professional development as I, or not as developed. Yes, we supported each other on our journeys, but we were pretty much dealing with the same struggles. I realized that I needed to consult and collaborate with someone who had accomplished what I was attempting to accomplish. When I posed the question to Vaughn, he responded surprisingly, “So you think that I am more developed than you?” “Yes,” I responded, “in certain areas.” “You’ve got financial success. You’ve made millions. I want to know how you did that.” He agreed to work with me and commented how much he had admired me also.
So we made an appointment for the next week. We met at a little restaurant in Vienna Virginia. I arrived about twenty minutes early and went in and got seated. He arrived at about 12:55 for our one o’clock appointment. Seeing me already seated, he responded with, “I must be late!” We chatted for approximately an hour. He gave me some homework and scheduled our next appointment for April 13th. I called the next day and rescheduled it for April 20th realizing that my daughter’s Spring break was on the 13th. So our appointment was for a week later than it was originally scheduled. But, I’m was also preparing to travel to North Carolina in two days back then. Feeling overwhelmed, I decided to call Vaughn to consult about whether to keep the appointment or not.
The day of our rescheduled appointment came. Normally he would call the day before to confirm. But this time I realized he hadn’t. So I called his number, but surprisingly the number was disconnected. That was strange, I thought. So I checked the internet from a previous email to verify the number. The number was right. But, there was another friend who had sent an email out to a listserv we both belonged to who was also looking for a contact number for Vaughn. I called her; she informed me that Vaughn had suddenly died the previous week. If I hadn’t canceled our meeting the week before, we’d have had one last meeting. I learned a lot from him and would like to share a few of those lessons I learned from him with you. Continue article ‘Only Requests and Promises Produce Action’.