Dave Seeks Help

Dave had a friend from high school days, Sue, who was in business for herself. As a personal coach, she worked with people to help them become more successful in life. Dave decided to give her a call.


They met a few days later for coffee at a local restaurant. As Dave talked about the challenges in his job, Sue listened with interest, and thought about when she used to have a job. She was much more content now that she was working on her own.

“So, what are you going to do about it?” Sue asked when Dave had told his story.

“I don’t know. I feel so helpless! I guess I can’t halt progress,” was all Dave could reply.

“Try not to confuse what is going on at work with your actions. Downsizing is not a problem unless you choose to let it be. How you choose to perceive a situation is more important than the situation itself. Do you understand?”

“Yes, I think I do,” said Dave. He wrote down the following in his notepad and showed it to Sue:


An event is not as important as
how I choose to perceive it.

“Good! So, if you were to perceive your situation as an opportunity rather than a problem, what could you do with it?”

“Hmm, well it has given me an opportunity to think about things,” said Dave.

“You know, that is a very important insight you just made. Do you realize how many people go through life without thinking. It's like they are flying an airplane on autopilot. The result is that they miss so much of life that way. If your work situation has caused you to stop and think, then it presents a very good opportunity.”

“Wow! I didn’t see it that way. I guess I do now.”

“Tell me Dave, if you leave the airplane of your life on autopilot for much longer, where do you think you will end up?” asked Sue.

“I figure there is a mountain ahead. I will crash into it if I continue the way I am going.”

“If you were the pilot of an airplane and you saw a mountain in front of you, what would you do?”

“Well I would change course,” said Dave. Sue looked at him. He had a pensive look on his face, as he considered the meaning of what he had just said.

“You are the pilot,” said Sue. “That mountain is very real. You are fortunate to have the opportunity to change course. From what you said about downsizing in your company, many people did not wake up in time to see it coming. What you do next is very important.”

Dave said that he would like to think about it, so Sue left it there. She had planted the seed. Before he left the restaurant, he wrote down the following:


I am the pilot of my life.
I cannot remain on autopilot any longer.