Get Ready for the Unexpected
In Leo Tolstoy’s work, Three Questions, the King is fed up with the poor advice of his advisors. Instead, he seeks the advice of a wise hermit. “The King went up to him and said: “I have come to you, wise hermit, to ask you to answer three questions: How can I learn to do the right thing at the right time? Who are the people I most need, and to whom should I, therefore, pay more attention than to the rest? And, what affairs are the most important, and need my first attention?”
NOTE: When you’ve had an important decision to make have you sought the advice of friends and family and come away still not knowing what to do? I have. What do you do when that happens? I recall having this experience early on in my career. I was offered a great job. I knew if I took it my career path was set. I wasn’t quite certain that was the path to take. I turned to a trusted mentor. I went to his office and explained the job offer to him. He smiled at me and said, “Ray, I consult with people in that position all the time and they have one thing in common.” I moved to the edge of my chair waiting for his words of wisdom. I said, “What?” He said, “They don’t smile.” I laughed and said, “You’re right. In that moment, his wisdom, simply stated, influenced me. I went to my office and made the call declining the job. Sometimes it’s better to seek wisdom from those detached from us. When we do, we’d better be ready to hear something totally unexpected.