Sometimes in life a gift comes along unexpectedly and exactly when you need it. It happened to me last week. Out of the blue, I had the answer to guide me out of a terrible funk I had got myself into. I was lost. And then I was told this- and it changed everything.
600 of Sydney’s most influential citizens, including Cabinet Ministers, the Mayor, rock stars, sports heroes – oh, and nine STW colleagues and I – filled The Star Hotel event centre last Wednesday night to help launch the Thomas Kelly Youth Foundation, named after Thomas who died aged 19 a year ago on his first night out in Sydney when ‘king hit’ by a drunk, anger fuelled stranger. I was distracted, thinking about recent feedback which I found unfair and bizarre. Then cricketer Matthew Hayden spoke, and quoted famed rugby league coach Wayne Bennett who had said to him, when Matthew had been failing and dropped from the Australian cricket team, these wise words:
“Don’t get bitter, get better.”
It was the perfect gift. Don’t get bitter, get better. I lifted my head. Grabbed a pen. Wrote it down. Don’t get bitter, get better.
I did not like the feedback. I thought it was really unfair. But that’s not the point. From the giver’s perspective, they were making a point.
So, I have a choice. Get bitter, stew over it, and then try to prove that I am right. Or follow Bennett’s wise counsel: focus on getting better. Focus all my energies on sharpening and evolving and tackling that ‘perception’. Get better. And better. And better. Do that, and everyone wins. Particularly me.
Don’t get bitter, get better.
It changed everything for me in a second. Write it down. Make it your home page. Tweet it. Write it on a wall.
Great bumper sticker. Or tattoo. Hmmmmmm. Now- there’s an idea……..