If you have read the introduction to the book on the homepage you will have read a story of one man’s public meltdown.
Many people look for ‘signs’ to guide their life. For some it is synchronicity; a chance meeting; a crossed line on the telephone that leads to romance and marriage, or missing that bus meant avoiding a fatal crash. For me, it was the fizzling out of those synapses. The ones that were holding the presentation I was midway through delivering to those suits corralled round the boardroom table.
For many people, this would have just been a momentary memory block and quickly swept away into the humiliating moments bucket of the mind and forgotten. For me, on the other hand, it wasn’t just a typical symptom of work stress, it was a definitive sign. My brain was shouting; ‘Wake up Denis, WAKE THE FUCK UP!!’ and my consciousness was in full agreement. I knew I was walking through life – wide asleep.
This was the end of the line for me. Something had to give or this pressure cooker world of money men and ailing businesses would get the better of me. I had seen it before in the dead languid eyes of colleagues on their third marriage who had chosen money first and foremost. I knew that I was on the brink of making the best money of my life, but I was also on the brink of throwing in the towel.
I was a turnaround expert, but now it was my life that needed turning around. After years of high-stress work environments I knew it was time to make a big life decision. On one side was the knowledge that all my contemporaries were making the big bucks in their fifties and I was edging ever closer to that big number. On the other hand, I had raised a family that had now flown the nest and wanted something more for me. I wanted – I needed – to be free.
Being responsible for bringing big companies back from the brink was a real responsibility. Many jobs were at stake and many families relied on those jobs. My humiliation was nothing compared to the enormity of getting the reversal of company fortunes wrong. And yet it stung like a hornet and made me wince for weeks every time I thought about it.
I felt my time slipping through my fingers like fine sand and decided to ensure this incident became a life-changing situation.
Looking back at it, I realize that it was my vision that was humiliated. That vision of a successful businessman and father with enough money and complete freedom. Somehow, I knew that those disparate cogs would never fit perfectly together. That boardroom humiliation changed my life. I wouldn’t say for the better, but for something different which is what I wanted. A life with more intimacy and passion.