Meditation expert and scientist Jon Kabat-Zinn once wrote:
"Wherever you go, there you are".
In a recent podcast with Michele Delagado as part of her Hartmetrics series on "Resilience" I shared my recent stories of loss and how I was forced to start over.
One of the things that became abundantly clear is that through it all, and even coming out the other side - there I still was, with all my foibles, weaknesses and bad habits. So much for going through adversity and being a better person for it, I thought!
And it's made me think and ask: "Do we ever take the time to stop and take a look at ourselves, who we are and what we are doing?"
We can change our uniforms, our roles, or our locations. But we're forever accompanied by ourselves.
Our victories and blunders. Our routines. Our eccentricities.
These aren't just fly-by-night companions; they are with us for the long haul.
Hospitality Means Change
As hospitality professionals, we are often hailed as "masters of change".
New guests and customers come and go, and yet there we are, still here.
What am I getting at?
Pure and simple: We cannot hide from ourselves. We cannot run away from ourselves.
A change in uniform, job title, or property might make for a pleasant diversion, but beneath it all?
Raw, real, imperfect us.
Our idiosyncrasies, our weak spots. These enduring unwelcomed guests, staying with us in this hotel we call our lives.
Are We Looking At This All Wrong?
But are we wrong to regard them as unwelcome? Perhaps we are looking at this the wrong way.
Could they, in fact, be conduits to personal growth?
In Buddhism, for example, the Buddha taught that all experiences, positive or negative, are temporary and changing. He taught that people can recognise and accept negative thoughts as passing events rather than fixed realities, reducing their impact and control.
Facing ourselves can be a daunting journey. It's no walk in the park.Owning up to our frailties, spotting recurring missteps, is a rough road to tread.
BUT recognising them is a good place to start. Then comes acceptance.
Only when we start to see this personal baggage can we discover the room for growth.
When we take responsibility for our pitfalls, we can build resilience.
I am learning, that once we take responsibility for our shortcomings, we become stronger.
It's not about eliminating our faults but understanding them. Embracing them. Accepting them as part of who we are.
That's when we can start transforming them into stepping stones to improvement.
You only have to listen to Timothy put the Kettel on podcast episodes with season 2 guests Laura Willis, Lynne Maltman, Paul Cook and more recently Michelle Righini to hear their stories on change to see how this is true.
Each one found themselves at the centre of their story and had to take responsibility for change to happen.
Putting this into a Hospitality setting, hospitality is about service. In order to serve others well, we must first serve ourselves.
So let's accept, let's learn, and let's grow.
Because wherever we go, there we are. We can't change that. But we can accept this.
And then, this is where we can start making a difference to our lives, and ultimately to other peoples.
Please share your thoughts and comments below.