A most humbling period

I have no fantastic insights to tell you about, just some thoughts to share.

The last few weeks have been a most humbling period in many ways, and it still is. It was a time of confusion and vulnerability, a time of breaking down and discovery. I have been silent here, as I did not know how to share what I was going through.  I do know, however, that these powerful learnings and stories will be shared in time to come, when I am ready and out of the tunnel.

Apart from that, there are two things which I have been pondering:
Sales and Legacy.

Sales

We are salespeople all the time, we are selling everywhere and in everything we do. In many of my experiences and achievements, I have built up the idea that I am pretty good a salesperson. People like me; I get what I want; People are impressed by me; I make things happen; etc.

Two recent, major (to me) rejections have shaken that self-image. On top of that, I watched how, there are these young people out there who are so comfortable in their own skin, sharing their truths, they are not even trying to impress at all. It came across as a very solid confidence running below the surface.

Am I really that good? Was my confidence actually arrogance in disguise?

I am coming into the realization that sales is not about being strategic; sales is not about impressing. Sales is about authenticity and vulnerability; sales is about relating and building connections.

In my interpersonal interactions in a project which I am now working on, I shed the glitter of a confident I-have-an-irresistible-offer-for-you skin, and allowed myself to be real and open. It felt natural and non-manipulative. Interestingly, the resulting response from the other person has been very encouraging and promising.

I am learning to not attach so much meaning to any gain or loss.

Legacy

In preparing for a presentation to a group of youth leaders held on this weekend, I sent out a request to my colleagues to share some of their thoughts to the question “How has the presence of a trainee, Hui Min, impacted you as an individual or the organization?”

The initial intention was to help the youths gain a broader perspective; for them to also hear from the organization’s point of view. What came back was more than that. I received responses and examples about how I have impacted my colleagues and the organization, and one colleague was shocked as she had misunderstood it as a farewell message. She expressed how my presence had made a difference, on top of a feeling of regret that we did not get to spend more time together.

I was deeply humbled to be on the receiving end of this feedback. That particular response got me thinking, how will it be when I leave this organization? Will this be a better place because I have been in it?

And as I walked home this evening, that thought naturally expanded to:

‘Will this world be a better place because I have been in it?’

‘Will I go to rest at night, satisfied?’

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