Time To Be Quiet
Popular author and speaker Ken Blanchard sometimes tells a powerful
story about Red, a corporate president who, as a young man, learned an
important and life-changing lesson. Red had just graduated from
college and was offered an opportunity to interview for a position
with a firm in New York City. As the job involved moving his wife and
small child from Texas to New York, he wanted to talk the decision
over with someone before accepting it, but his father had died and Red
did not feel he had anybody to turn to. On impulse, he telephoned an
old friend of the family; someone his father had suggested he turn to
if he ever needed good advice.
The friend said he would be happy to give Red advice about the job
offer under the condition that the young man takes whatever advice he
was given. "You might want to think about that for a couple of days
before hearing my suggestion," he was told.
Two days later Red called the man back and said he was ready to listen
to his counsel. "Go on to New York City and have the interview," the
older man said. "But I want you to go up there in a very special way.
I want you to go on a train and I want you to get a private
compartment. Don't take anything to write with, anything to listen to
or anything to read, and don't talk to anybody except to put in your
order for dinner with the porter. When you get to New York call me and
I will tell you what to do next."
Red followed the advice precisely. The trip took two days. As he had
brought along nothing to do and kept entirely to himself, he quickly
became bored. It soon dawned on him what was happening. He was being
forced into quiet time. He could do nothing but think and meditate.
About three hours outside New York City he broke the rules and asked
for a pencil and paper. Until the train stopped, he wrote -- the
culmination of all his meditation.
Red called the family friend from the train station. "I know what you
wanted," he said. "You wanted me to think. And now I know what to do.
I don't need anymore help."
"I didn't think you would, Red," came the reply. "Good luck."
Sorry, I don't know if he took the job or not. But Blanchard reports
that, years later, Red headed a corporation in California. And he
always made it a policy to take a couple of days to be alone. He went
where there was no phone, no television, no distractions and no
people. He went to be alone; to meditate and to listen.
The French writer and Nobel Prize winner André Gide reminds us to "be
faithful to that which exists within yourself." But how can we be
faithful when we don't really know what is inside?
The answer for me is to be quiet. To still my mind...and to listen.
I'll soon know what to do.
~ Steve Goodier ~
[ by: Steve Goodier -- Copyright © 2009 -- from Steve Goodier (LifeSupport@yahoogroups.com) ]
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