On Friday afternoon I led a conference call with some members of the department. They were upset because the senior management of the department is bringing in consultants to do the job they’re doing. So, naturally they feel threatened and discombobulated about the tactic and they worry about their jobs. I had to listen to 30 minutes of them imagining every possible negative scenario that might happen. Then after the maple tree of discontent and fear had been tapped dry and its sticky syrup rubbed to a nice protective lather, I asked: Is there anything positive that might come from this situation?
Silence on the phone. More silence. I refused to break it.
“Well, maybe,” one of the fearful said. “Perhaps management will get a better idea of the scope of our jobs.” Bingo. There is a possible positive outcome. And more of them came up in the conversation and the negative outcomes fell by the wayside. I’m not sure which will come true for the team when we bring in hired guns. I do know from experience it will never be as bad as some of them predicted. The sky won’t fall and lightning won’t kill them.
And I wonder how I’ve modeled this negative outlook over the years and now with cystic fibrosis. The belief that one can predict the future must come with the disease. And I’ve made the mistake that I can prognosticate all of CF’s negative outcomes. When I was young I predicted that no one would ever love me and I would never get married, and a child was impossible. Yes, one mother of a girlfriend didn’t want her daughter dating me because I had CF and no future. Yet somehow I met someone else who was brave, a fighter, and believed in a future with positive outcomes.
I also predicted I would never make it to 30. Wrong again.
I have a long list of predictions I’ve blown over the years.
So, today I wonder: What does the future hold for me now? My answer: I have no clue, and I’m not going to spend my precious time worrying about it today. I’d probably guess wrong anyway. History shows I have that talent.