Thoughts on Navigating the Post-Inspiring-Event Blues

Roberta Ryan June 21, 2019

After returning from the 2019 Leaders Forum, I’m am doing things that tell me I just might be on my way to becoming the person that I have long imagined I could be. For example, in the last couple of weeks, with very little forethought, I sorted through papers that have been stacked up for over a year, began reading a book that I have been waiting to read until I had “free time,” and spent an afternoon cleaning up the plants on my patio, a project that I thought I would need help doing.

Why the change?

Because I left the Leaders Forum with an inkling that I had found a community that shared both my concern for the state of the world and my understanding of the crucial role business plays in improving our world.

At long last, I felt like I had found my place ⁠— and it was thrilling!

As I settled back into my life, this hunch fueled expansive daydreams. I began to envision myself as a core part of a vibrant professional community. Whether collaborating on projects, referring clients, or contributing articles ⁠— each of us would be doing our part to ensure that the world becomes a more compassionate place through the conscious actions of business professionals.

Then, quickly, with little warning, an all-consuming funk hit. And it hit hard.

Maybe you have had similar “hangovers” from inspiring events. Suddenly, all I wanted to do was sleep, while my mind was consumed with negative chatter:

  • “There you go again, daydreaming about what is not attainable.”
  • “Maybe before you take on more stuff, you should finish what you started!
  • “Careful, big dreamer! This is how you get overextended, both financially and physically.”

Of course, this hangover wasn’t comfortable, but I noticed that it wasn’t debilitating either.

I found that very curious.

I noticed myself watching it all with compassion and curiosity. This wise inner part did not challenge the chattering voices, but calmly, non-verbally reminded the whole of me to find the common ground between the conflicting stories.

Inside my head it felt a bit like intensive couple’s therapy. While my optimistic inner voice planned the international launch of a program that is not yet developed, my practical side anxiously yammered about cash-flow concerns and looming client deadlines.

Thankfully, my mediator self was fully on duty. She listened intently to what was below the surface of each inner part. Threads of agreement began to surface.

For example, “we” agreed that it was important to:

  • be highly organized and efficient
  • take exceptional care of myself
  • keep agreements

These, and other, slender threads took shape as the foundation of a truce. I began to relax. As the funk lifted, insights emerged.

I recognized my current reality in relation to who I imagine myself to be within the community. I not only saw myself the way I am now and the way I want to be, but I also saw the path from one to the other ⁠— the mindset required, the changes to make, and the tasks to accomplish.

In many respects, nothing about the changes I felt I needed to make was new information for me. Yet, “tasting” the potential community had affirmed that what I have been seeking not only exists, but that with consistent effort, I, too, will be a part of it.

The experience has been a game changer — shifting my perspective and motivating me to take action.

So, now what?

Well, quite simply, I will continue with all the current practices in my life and keep checking off tasks toward my goals. And at the same time, I am uplifted by the reality that I am becoming an active member of an interlinking, international network of professionals who share my commitment to creating a more compassionate world.

Equity and Inclusion / Stakeholder Capitalism
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