Real Story Of The Week...
"I learned more about myself in the few hours it took me to review "my" book than I had in 53 years of living."
By Glenn Meyers - January 15, 2013
"Health, happiness and success depend upon the fighting spirit of each person. The big thing is not what happens to us in life -- but what we do about what happens to us." ~ George Allen
The Way It's Meant To Happen...
Dear E.R. and Kent,
My parents were lamists. My pop was a bigamist who committed insurance fraud to pay for my birth.
Life went downhill from there!
Fortunately, I was born with what my granny called "a bright and shiny mind". I made my way through school where I learned to program computers. I started my career in 1976 when programmers ran around in tennis shoes and were commonly left alone to tap on their keyboards hooked to massive computers. It paid well and there was always another job waiting if I became dissatisfied with the company or culture I was working in. If you became the goat at one company, you could become a hero at the next -- until you reached goat status again.
Genius was no longer enough.
The younger kids coming out of school had ten times the energy for work that I had.
They thought out of the box.
They had a lot more world experience at 25 than I had at 50.
Everything just seemed to work for them. People quit asking me to attend meetings and the bosses quit consulting me on major challenges.
In short, I had been put so far out to pasture that I couldn't see the barn.
It took a year or so of decline for me to hit the absolute bottom, which turned out to be a review that scorched me. No raise. The threat of probation. A remediation plan. The review of my year lasted 17 minutes and I emerged from my bosses office in shock.
How had things gotten so far out of control? Why was I suddenly failing so miserably? Didn't these people understand I had talents beyond mortal men and they were spitting on me instead of taking advantage of me? Me, the one they'd given every award to in my previous 5 years?
Me, the guy who had the answers?
Depression set in quickly after that. I doubted everything about me. My thoughts were consumed by all the failures in my life. All the "goat" times. I picked up the Yellow Pages and sought a counselor to talk to. I was up front with him. Told him of my rotten upbringing and rehashed the projects I had never completed and all the ideas I'd never brought to fruition. I conceived the idea of the CD and DVD player in 1976 and Tivo in 1977. I'd fleshed out several books and movies over the years. I made a lot of CEOs a lot of money with my ideas in 30 years. With the exception of my current employer, every company I have ever worked for was purchased by a larger company and the officers became wealthy men. I never saw a dime of it. I had my "goat" moment and left the companies before the rewards came.
The counselor was fascinated to meet with me every week. He continuously tested my intellectual capacity with long discussions of philosophy, religion and current events. I received a lot of praise and understanding, but no guidance. No challenge. No help. He never told it like it was, I discovered in hindsight. Eventually, I quit attending to save the $125.00 a week I was paying him to be his pal.
I turned to self-help books next.
I read all the biggies as well as devouring texts about business leaders, technology leaders, the best thinkers of our time about how humans operate and organize their lives. There were so many opinions in those texts. Nothing to soothe my battered ego and soul, though. I wasn't looking for success. I'd had that (or I thought I did) and I didn't like the noteriety that came with it. In six months, I'd read three dozen books and felt like I was still on the outside looking in. I turned to the Internet next.
I began visiting websites that promised insights. There were the religious zealots. The stop smoking and diet successfully places. The followers of Zen. How to organize time to live a better life. They all required a buy-in of someone's daffy theory on what life is all about. I'd buy their books and read their blogs, always hoping for that "Aha!" moment that would knock the scales off my eyes and let me see what I was doing wrong and what I should be doing right. I was 53 years old and drowning.
Link led to link led to link and I wound up on ThinkTQ.com one late evening. It was something different. Something new. It held my attention for an hour or so. I bookmarked it and went to sleep.
I went back there with my coffee the next morning and took up where I left off. It promised success and improvement. Nothing I hadn't been promised before. It was upbeat without exaggerating, though. I'd studied enough sites to know the buzzwords that represented promise without a guarantee.
TQ was different.
No quick fixes were promised. No t-shirts with pseudo-motivational sayings. No religion. Just words.
Now, I was drowning in words at this point in my travels. I wasn't sure I could handle anymore. But something kept pulling me back to this site and eventually I worked up the courage to test my "TQ".
Two days later, I had a book targeted at me. It pulled no punches. It didn't praise. Nor did it pummel. It simply showed me who I was -- and it wasn't pretty.
I learned more about myself in the few hours it took me to review "my" book than I had in 53 years of living. My "Aha!" moment had arrived. Lights started turning on all over my brain. I got it.
I'd tell you what it is, but it is different for me than it will be for you. I have no doubt the authors of TQ had no idea how applicable their data would be to the child of lamists. A fellow who never got a lesson in being grown up, and who had managed to indulge himself sheerly through wit until circumstances forced a reevaluation of what life was.
In the months I've been using TQ, I am reminded daily of the power of reality and honesty and humbleness and, most importantly, words. I'm using TQ to face myself with complete courage. It's private. It's complete. It's life affecting.
And growing I am!
Not all at once, but day by day. The way it's meant to happen.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart,