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The Travelling Companion

marielongserreAs a child all I wanted to do in the whole world was spread my arms and fly. I remember crying as Mother tucked me into bed because no matter how determined I was or how fast I waved my arms up and down I could not fly. Even as I grew to understand it was impossible, I am not sure I ever gave up that dream.

Early this year I travelled to a business conference in another state. The road to our airport was snowy and treacherous in the early morning darkness. I’d had little sleep and after making my way through airport check-in, security screening and boarding, I settled into my seat and promptly fell asleep. Shortly after take-off we hit turbulence and I was jostled awake. There I was sitting in cushioned chair in a large tube of metal moving through the clouds and in my half-conscious state I realized with sudden clarity, I was flying.

Given the usual distractions of travel preparation, in all the years I have travelled it had never occurred to me I was fulfilling my childhood dream every time I boarded a plane. The experience was not exactly as I had wished it to be but the realization made me feel as if my young self was sitting beside me smiling with delight.

Would-be entrepreneurs come to our Incubators and tell us they will work hard and sacrifice to have their dream come true – to build something, achieve a goal, be successful, bring helpful products to market, change people’s lives. They often don’t realize that in the midst of meeting the next challenge it is easy to forget how much distance they have covered, how much of the dream they have already accomplished. Because success never looks exactly like we think it will. Sometimes we need to be awakened before we recognize the dream imagined as the dream achieved.

A well-traveled gentleman told me a story about going through airport security for a very early flight. In a sleepy haze of routine he removed his jacket and shoes, took off his belt, unbuttoned his shirt, and proceeded to unzip his trousers. Fortunately, his nephew was there to intervene and he quickly roused him from his stupor and explained he was not getting ready to go to bed,

We too can act as travel companions who wake up our clients. We can help them realize they are not just endlessly passing through one more gate or confronting one more obstacle, they are also achieving their goals and dreams.

In my youthful fantasy of flight there was no baggage check, no security gates. Flying through was as complicated as simply willing myself to rise. I wish it were that easy now. When dreams fulfilled don’t come in the exact form imagined or are masked by complexity, they can be overlooked. But just as we, like quick-thinking nephews, can alert someone to a potential calamity, we can also help our clients realize when they are soaring.
Published on 26-05-2014 10:14 by Mariel. 275 page views

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