Last week I heard about a gentleman named Francisco… I had a few days where “I did not have anything to do” and decided to go find this guy. Alone, I drove for a few hours into the Ecuadorian Amazon rainforest, got into a boat in the Napo River and found his place.
Francisco, a successful banker, a successful entrepreneur, a successful ex-alcoholic, a successful ex-cocaine addict, a successful amended person, a successful recovered person; a successful humanist, was waiting there for me.
“Hi Francisco, great to meet you… like you, I have plenty of devils to deal with; I have been fighting with them all my life, it has been tough but slowly I have managed to deal with them, and what is even better is to learn how to control them!”
Boom, the ice was broken… he and I established a connection immediately. We began our talk at 6 pm and ten hours later we were sitting at the same table talking about our issues, our lives, our families, our weaknesses, our strengths and how with our little efforts we would like to change and influence people in a positive way.
The following morning as soon as I woke up I called my wife, my buddy, “you wont believe how much I learned last night, it was as if I was in college again. I met this great guy that has an incredible, patient, woman with him….” She said: “great, I am so glad that you went to see him…” period; no questions, no problems.
Wow... good wife, good woman, good friend.
Anyway, after meeting Francisco I decided that I should write about my own devils, about my own internal battle.
Anger is my battle, and euphoria brings it out. If I am partying and drink too much, my devil comes out. If I am in a business meeting and I get excited my devil comes out. If I am talking to one of my kid’s teachers I go strong…
Yet, with time, and after too many moral hangovers, I am slowly learning to control it…
When I'm in a business meeting I just listen, and listen, until it’s time to close the deal. I then jump in and close the deal or kill the deal, but it’s a well thought out jump.
Whenever I go out with friends, before I have a drink I remind myself: “remember you have a devil inside of you…”
The same with my kid’s school… I listen first before I go on the attack.
So here is my thought:
We ALL have devils that we have to deal with. Angriness, insecurities, weaknesses an so on… Yes, we ALL have them not all are willing to accept them; the majority of us are always pretending that they do not exist.
We disregard them, we push them aside, we blame other people but we are not willing to accept them as our own weaknesses.
To deal with our own devils, our own insecurities, first we need to accept them and we need to understand that they are part of us. Our weaknesses are a part of our DNA.
When we understand our flaws, we can learn to manage them and even use them to our favor and make them an asset.
I learned that my explosive character is a great asset during a crisis. I have learned to use it as a weapon. This strength allows me to focus, to aim and not get distracted. I do think that this fury has helped me to succeed.
My wife, the person that knows me the best, is the only one who knows how to use my impatience in the best way. When it is time to deal with a real issue, she calls me and says, “I think that it’s time for you to get involved, to focus on it.”
I have learned not to allow myself to get confortable and always to keep my devils in check. Before I have a drink, I always remind myself about my inner devils; if I have to discipline my kids or employees, I step back, breath, and then talk.
The funny part, is that my kids have learned how to keep me in check. If they see that I am getting a little annoyed they will say to me “tranquilo, tranquilo”, meaning relax, take it easy in Spanish. They definitely calm me and make me smile.
_Meeting Francisco made me realize that we all have a weakness, an internal evil but we are not weak. By looking at our internal evil in the eye we acknowledge its’ presence but we do not allow it to define us. Every single one of us has the power within ourselves to manage our evils and to build strength from our weaknesses.
It is not what you see that matters … It is what you do with what you see that does! Mauricio Fraga-Rosenfeld