A little over a month ago, I renewed my commitment to my health and wellness and decided to not let good be the enemy of great, as Jim Collins puts in in his book, Good to Great! I set some goals in terms of my exercise program and the tweaks I needed to make in my diet and I set out to make it happen. I am happy to report that I have been consistently following my program and I feel great about resisting the temptation to go back to my old ways—as I have done many times in the past—but that doesn’t mean I haven’t had my share of challenges! One such challenge and defining moment is what gave me the inspiration for this week’s post.
Those of you who follow my blog or other posts on social media may have heard about our upcoming workshop retreat. You may have noticed that my team and I are very excited about it whenever we bring it up. Well, this is the week it happens. In fact, on the day this post is published, we will be at Serenbe Farms with 15 leaders, from six companies across six states, who have chosen to invest a day in themselves on behalf of their organizations through their pursuit of the goal of Transformative Leadership. The trust that these participants have placed in us is humbling and my team and I have been working tirelessly to ensure an extraordinary experience for them. It is our goal that they leave the event equipped with both the mindset and the knowledge to serve and lead others more effectively than they previously thought possible, enabling them to experience the joy and fulfillment that comes from making a greater difference in their organizations and communities.
A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of fulfilling my civic duty as a potential juror. This was the fourth time I had received a summons to report for jury duty, although the first three times I was excused before I ever made it to jury selection. But not this time. This time I ended up spending two days at the courthouse and, as many of you who have been there know, it involved a lot of waiting, which gave me the chance to meet some very interesting people from all different walks of life. I had the opportunity to get in the jury box and answer questions from three sets of lawyers representing the plaintiffs and two defendants in a civil case. I also got a chance to watch 47 other potential jurors go through the same process.
I grew up in Iran and came over the US on July 4th, 1978 on my own at age 16. When I arrived in the country, I didn’t know anybody here and I had extremely limited English language skills. I have come a long way since then; I have been blessed with a variety of experiences, including the privilege of having lived in four countries and having visited and spent a substantial amount of time in many others. The stories of my varied experiences, combined with my residual Persian accent with a hint of a southern drawl, tend to spark a dialogue and pique people’s curiosity about my background.
During the time we were living in Thailand, I remember shopping for a pair of jeans on one of our annual home leave visits back to the US and feeling overwhelmed and paralyzed by the vast number of options that had become available …