What do you do after initial recovery from a major trauma?

You try everything but without a good coach, it can be difficult to persist.


So you have fixed the problem, now what

There are a number of key things that need to be addressed and need to be addressed with people that have practical experience.

  • Financial recovery both personal and business will take time. If you think this will happen quickly once you have passed the initial recovery stage, think again. In many instances, this will not be the case. We as a family are still carrying the financial scars caused by cancer thirty years on.
  • Decisions have to be made about the ongoing management of your business, your career or your personal life, how will you really cope with things as they will be different? At worst you become incapable of making rational and timely decisions. At best it adds additional stress or pressure to your life when you need it least.
  • Your self-confidence needs to be rebuilt, as your emotional wound heels. You will eventually change the way you do things, you will become less tolerant of incompetent people and you will find it is easier to make the tough decisions. After all, you now realise perhaps for the first time how frail life really is. Anything can happen to you in the next hour, so let’s make the most of this one. Consider looking at a fresh start to how you go about things in your life and your business.
  • The Placebo Effect or more commonly known as “mind over matter” can have a positive effect on your ultimate recovery. There is nothing like a sugar pill to make you feel you have had another dose of medicine. I was very fortunate that my wife was a nurse and understood this, I would be embarrassed to tell you some of the things she did to help with my recovery.


Look for the turning point

Look for the turning point, the point at which everything comes together and the whole system or business starts to work again.  Immediately following the cancer operation I was not allowed to eat anything until I had ‘passed wind’. I was still sucking ice after ten days, mind you the weight loss was handy.

On the tenth day it happened, I eventually passed wind. There was much cheering and celebrating when it happened, one of the highlights of my life. It was quite an amusing reaction to something that we all take for granted every day of our lives.


“You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have”.  Cayla Mills


What it meant was that my system was about to start working again. The message, look for your ‘turning points’. Look for the event, or set of circumstances, that will indicate to everyone that the business, your career or your personal life, will now start to work successfully again.

Reaching this turning point can take an excruciatingly long time and be extremely frustrating, but less so if you are actively looking for it. If you and your family do not apply yourselves and your resources to reaching this turning point it will take even longer, or worse still you may never reach it.


Other important things to consider

  • Implementation and propagation of your previous vision. Will it happen or is it time you looked for a whole new direction?
  • Succession planning. What if you had not survived? This is a wake-up call for you to get you affairs in order. Right now.
  • Trying to let your trauma go and put it behind you? Remember the trauma was and is a part of you, a huge part of your life, I see the scars every day to remind me.
  • It is not just a matter of putting it behind you. You need to firmly establish ways and means of moving forward in a positive way and dealing with each issue as it comes up.
  • How do you handle it with yourself, your family and others? The impact of a major trauma affects others almost as much as it affects the person with the trauma. You can not dismiss their feelings as unimportant, because they are, particularly so, if they care about you. Take the time to involve them in discussions with others, particularly the people providing you with experiential and or professional advice.
  • You the patient must continually assess your relationships and put extra effort in, in order to keep them on the right track.
  • Learn as much as you can about your problem. Talk to “The Cancer Line”. Talk to the Heart Council. Talk to the specialists. Attend workshops and seminars. Read some books about other people’s experiences. Do not think you know it all because they are learning new things every day about diseases and cures and the long-term management of them, just as we are learning more about your business and its long-term management and survival.
  • What counselling do you need? You will probably find you are not that tough after all and a little enlightenment goes a long way. This is something new and we must look at it in a positive way. Be open to a fresh start.
  • Use the experience to enrich yours and others lives. I only thought I was doing this until I actually experienced traumas. Sure I helped a lot of people cope with the problem that they faced, but I always kept my inner feeling to myself. In hindsight, these feelings were obviously the most important ones to be sharing. The feelings of someone who has been through it needs to be discussed with you.
  • It gets back to what you have learned in business, discuss your problems with someone who has had the practical experience, someone who has been there and done it, someone who understands what it is all about. The kind of expert advice you often need for your business and most certainly need for your life can not be learned from the theory.
  • Stress is a normal part of your recovery and in putting your life back together again. When you have passed one turning point look for the next one. Do not wait for life to come to you, it won’t.
  • You must be relieved of the stress of thinking that you are a failure. There will always be people who are less fortunate than you. Remember the definition of insanity “doing the same old things and expecting a different outcome”.
  • Surround yourself with positive people who are full of life, not the sit around negative and critical ones. You may even find the power of prayer is greater than you think.

Have you ever felt like you had too much work and not enough margin for you? If so don’t let yourself become overloaded again.

It’s so easy to let the busyness of life consume you and rob you of much-needed margins in everything you do. You have time now to sort thing out, and if it happens again, you have no one to blame but yourself. You might need to change your work habits which can change you and improve your outcomes going forward.

I hope these thoughts have been useful to you and you find, as we have, that life has many more good things to offer than the average person will ever experience. If I can be of help in any way please contact me, I would love to have your feedback, so together we can help others who are going through both health and business traumas.


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Personal Experience

You can be a victim of cancer, and have a lousy life, or you can be a survivor of cancer and live a wonderful life, a life you never knew existed. Check your mindset, it’s your choice.

During my health traumas, I wish I had known a well-trained counsellor with a lot of practical experience. And I wish I had known a well-trained advisor during my business difficulties. Both were few and far between in those days and I guess I learned some very important lessons because they weren’t there. I have watched well-trained people make such a difference too many people.

My problems weren’t with cancer they really came after the cure. As my wife often says the operation was the easy part. Many people find that it is difficult to think and do positive things when they are worried about their future or failure.

Well in my experience the fear of failure paled into insignificance after I had cancer. I have so much to do with my life that I no longer have time to worry about things that probably will never happen.

There is a definite relationship between the health and business. A healthy person equals a healthy business or is it the other way around, a healthy business equals a healthy person?

I would also seek out people who had been through similar traumas and seek their council and I would immediately retain the services of an experienced qualified counsellor. It was during my traumas that I coined the phrase “it’s too hard doing it by yourself”.

Am I pleased with the way I have handled my traumas? No, not in hindsight.  I feel I did not cope very well at all. If I had my time over again I would certainly do more research on the subject of what happens after the event.




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