Monday, January 11, 2010


I conducted a workshop for the sales staff of an insurance company on their personal relationship to money. One of the interactive group exercises was designed to provide a personal snapshot of how the individual behaves with money and other people.

There was a post-exercise debriefing in which participants described their reactions to the instructions, the exercise, and their interaction to fellow human beings. They were able to see how they related to people when money was involved.

Then an interesting thing happened. One person dismissed the previous 20 minutes of the exercise as not counting because it really wasn’t his Life. Even though he participated, he did not see that twenty minutes as part of his Life. While others could understand that the way they engaged others during the exercise was how they engage others in their daily lives, this gentleman dismissed the exercise and said it did not count. When queried about whose Life he was living during those 20 minutes, if not his own, he still dismissed it.

That is where he stopped in his relationships. He made some count and others did not count. Some were worth his whole self and those that did not count were dismissed in his mind as not part of his Life – even if he was the one interacting with the person. He dismissed 20 minutes of his Life as well as his interaction with another human being: So much for compartmentalized thinking.

Here is a lesson from Life 101:
The final curtain will fall. When it does, even if everyone is standing in applause for how you lived your Life, there is no encore!

Dr. Ethel Drayton-Craig


  1. Hi Ethel:
    Thank you. Your "there is no encore" reminds me of "life is not a dress rehearsal" a philosophy part of the Life the Four Fold Way.

    My challenge is applying/doing what I know to be true and useful. So, thank you for the reminder. I will add this powerful perspective to my daily routine of articulating very specifically what I want from my day.

    Take good care.

  2. This is an amazing post. I was shocked at the man who said those 20 minutes hadn't counted -- and MORE shocked when I realized that I do the same thing -- when I am rushing and not being present, moving too fast toward a goal . . . And much as I hate to admit this, I have failed to SEE the person at the checkout or the pharmacy window, but rather remained intent on getting what I needed. So I am no longer shocked at the man who admitted what he did: I am impressed with his awareness and honesty. He is my teacher right now.

  3. This is the problem with how we interact today. All of a sudden we are not responsible for our actions. There is always some way we can justify our actions to ourselves, and could care less how we affected others.

    There are no encores and what we do now is the most important thing.

  4. This reminds me of the concept I was presented with in a Senn-Delany workshop, "Be here now". Every interaction we have with another individual deserves our full attention. Yet everyday we check emails while listening to conferences calls with the mute button engaged so that the other participants don't hear our keyboard typing. Or we are thinking about all the things we want to get done today while holding a face to face conservation with someone else at work. All of our interactions deserve our full attention.