It was 11:10 AM on one of the first few days of January 2024. At 11 AM someone who’d contacted me wanting to talk had failed to show up for our Zoom meeting, so I left them a message, hoping everything was ok and asking them to contact me if they’d like to rearrange. I was a ‘bit miffed’ (which is a British term for feeling mild frustration) about this no-show, especially as the call was only arranged the previous evening. But, things happen, plans need to be changed, and it’s no big deal. I now had an empty hour to do as I wanted.
I went into my ‘To do this week’ list, adding some ideas I’d had that morning and some things I’d forgotten about since December 20th, the last day I’d been at work.
My phone rang. It wasn’t a number I recognized, but I answered anyway, thinking it was the person who didn’t show up for our call.
“Good morning!” I said with a chirp after I pressed the green icon on the phone’s screen.
“Hi, is this Wyn Morgan?” said a male voice, “My name is Monty, Alice Franklin gave me your number”
“Yes! Hi Monty! Good to hear from you and happy new year” I said, remembering he and I swapped a few emails in December and he told me he’d be in touch in the new year.
He shared his summarized life story, what Alice (one of his most trusted and fast-progressing team members) had told him about me and why he wanted to talk with me. His story: exceptional at school, rose through the ranks within a major law firm very quickly, now was the head of 2 law-based businesses and the non-executive director of 3 more, has a wife and 4 children just outside London whom he wants to spend more time with. He said he was often stressed, not sleeping great, feels like he’s spread himself too thin and is overworking.
He asked me a bit about my own life story, so I shared: similar to his in many ways, different in its form. Same in that we had both been looking for external validation for internal thoughts, feelings and beliefs. I went on to say a little about what I’d learnt about human beings, about me, and about stress, anxiety, self-esteem, happiness, peace of mind and the fact that I now enjoyed being me.
I paused, and I heard a sigh down the line.
“Yes, that’s why I thought it might be a good idea to meet you,” he said.
“So tell me” he carried on to say “What do you say you are up to?”
“To enjoy my life,” I said
“Ok, that’s your personal goal, what are you up to with your work?” he said
“To help others enjoy theirs,” I said. There was a pause, and an audible exhale.
“That sounds good,” he said with a slow and deeper tone.
“What I’ve also learnt” I went on to say “Is that people do better, produce more results and are better in every aspect of their work life and personal life when they are enjoying it”
“That’s true, I know that for me. How do you get others to see that?” he said back to me.
“I get them to look for themselves. I think, deep down we all know the truth of that. We just get lost in thought, and what we think looks real to us. And we can think that work is tedious, stressful, do-or-die and a part of life to be endured. None of which is true” I said.
“OK, I wanted to just have a quick chat, and maybe meet for coffee sometime. Can we make that lunch instead? We have an office in Shoreditch, East London. Can you come there to meet me?” he said.
We looked at our calendars and scheduled that lunch. A 2-hour lunch for Monty, I know, could be life-changing.
Pleasantries and goodbyes were shared, the call ended, and I sat back in my chair.
Two thoughts came to me.
One, I was now glad the person who I was scheduled to speak with at 11 was a no-show and how funny it is that things can turn out like that. Second, how much I enjoyed the chat with Monty and the truth of what I now see.
Enjoyment is what exists before I think. Maybe it’s more accurate to say that involvement is what exists before I think. Either way, I don’t want to get lost in semantics. The feeling of enjoyment and involvement exists as the default in life before I think myself out of it before I go into the feeling of what my head makes up.
The feeling of enjoyment takes no effort on my behalf.
And because it takes no effort, it doesn’t take a toll on me.
I’ve also always known, as I shared with Monty, that when I feel like I’m enjoying something, I do a lot better than when I’m not enjoying it.
What took longer for me to realize, is that the feeling of enjoyment does not come from the outside. OK, I have preferences in my life, many of them strong preferences: what I eat, drink, sports, physical activities, entertainment, work tasks, seats on planes, airlines, scents, other people, other people’s behaviors, animals – the list goes on, and on.
Yet they are my preferences. Happening within me. Causing the variable level to which I’m in the feeling of enjoyment.
Some things I used to enjoy, I don’t anymore.
Some things I do enjoy now, I have not always enjoyed in the past.
Some things have stayed in their Wyn-imposed camp.
And all from me, to me. An internal, independent ecosystem.
The things that are in my ‘do not enjoy’ camp, I have also noticed that when I’m not resisting the feeling I have towards them, I am at peace with not feeling enjoyment. Queuing is less of a problem. Traffic delays are less of a problem. My favorite sports teams losing is less of a problem. Things not going the way I want them to have become less of a problem. The energy of that feeling moves on, when I’m not fighting it.
And at some level, being able to feel anything is a gift, a miracle dare I say.
Every time I remember this, the feeling of enjoyment bubbles up within me.
With love and gratitude,