I’m Outing Myself – The Positive Side

I’ve had more than a little problem putting this together – I intended letting this out on Saturday and I’ve had to put it back.

I knew it might be a bit difficult, and it has been.  I ended up writing a lot more than I intended to, and now I’ve put all that to one side and started again as I’m sure you don’t want to see something the size of War and Peace.  ;-)

I’ll get right to the heart of it.

In late 2002 (around about this time of the year), I was diagnosed with severe depression bought on by job related stress.

I know some people reading this will think that depression is just another way of saying you’re feeling a bit down.  And that’s exactly how I used to think of it until it was my turn.  ;-)

We all say it don’t we?  “I’m depressed…”

But feeling a bit down doesn’t even get anywhere near what depression is really all about.  And no, you can’t “shake yourself out of it” in much the same way that you can’t shake yourself out of any other life threatening illness, like cancer for example.  I know that one might be a hard one to swallow for some, but it’s true.

I sincerly hope depression never touches you.

Anyway.  I won’t bore you with the details, but I ended up being off work for two years and then finally leaving the company I was working for.  I later found out that at the time long term illness (due mainly to depression) within my business group was running at an incredible SIX percent – I think the industry standard is something like a quarter of a percent for ALL reasons.

The company had gone bad, and taken me (and a lot of other people) down with it.  I was in a bad way, and it’s left its mark on me.

So I left.  But I wasn’t idle for the two years I was off work.  You might say I was lucky enough to be able to spend that time researching and learning how to run my own business – under doctor’s orders I hasten to add.  Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) helps a LOT with depression.  For me it means “Keep yourself too busy to get any worse and hope you start to get better.”

Following that period, there were some rough times but we still did okay, and eventually I moved away from selling physical goods and into my first love of software.

And here I am today.

The depression *has* changed me.  I can’t say for good or bad, I’m just different.

I’m almost back to the fun loving and very sociable person I was over ten years ago, but it’s taken a long time to get here, and there have been ups and downs.  (I still have my grumpy days, but I don’t think I’m any different to most people in that respect.)

One of the changes now is I’m a VERY positive person, and I’ve also become a bit of a workaholic.  Although I still like to kick back and enjoy myself as a reward for my hard work.

The positive aspect of my nature is part of my defensive shield against future “issues” and it’s a good thing to have, but means I can’t and won’t tolerate any negativity or negative vibes from people.  My attitude is a little bit of “If you want to bring yourself down, that’s YOUR choice, now get out of my face.”  ;-)

It means that although I’m a much kinder more empathatic person, I will no longer “Put up with fools gladly.”  I now say if you want someone to blame for all your problems, go look in the mirror.

And that’s exactly how I lead my own life now.

If I have a problem, it’s my problem and I caused it.  Something I did, some choice I made means it happened.  And by accepting responsibility for everything in my life (the good things too) I don’t dwell on why things work out the way they do.  I already know it’s because of me and the effect I have on the world around me, even when it’s a bit unexpected.

And conversely, I no longer even try to accept responsibility for what other people do, and who then try to lay it at my door.  (I teach this to my children.)

They did “this”, then “this other thing” happened as a result, even if it was an accident or a freak occurrence – THEY made the initial decision, the responsibility is theirs.

“Don’t try to blame anyone else except yourself” has become a lifestyle for me.  And it’s both liberating and exhilarating.  :-)

So why the heck am I telling you all this for?

It’s important.  But this is already long enough, and so I’ll tell you in the next post.

Until then.

-Frank Haywood


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25 Comments

  1. Lynley says:

    Hi Frank

    Good thing is at least you worked through it all. Some don’t get that far.

    • Frank Haywood says:

      Hi Lynley,

      That’s very true.

      One of the saddest moments of my life since then was speaking to the daughter of one of my clients as her mother was out when I dropped in to see her. I’d never met her before, but I had a distinct feeling of deep sadness (that’s the only word) coming from her and I hesitated to ask if she was okay and could I help in some way, but the conversation moved on and I left.

      I later found that a few weeks afterwards she threw herself in front of a train. I was gutted and even though there was probably nothing I could do, there will always be that feeling that things might have been different if I could have taken control of the conversation and helped her in some way. I don’t know and never will…

      What I do know is that if I ever meet someone in that same state again, I’ll do everything I can to help them.

      With my own depression, I was lucky. I’m a strong person and I know that my family rely on me and my wife calls me “her rock”, so I’d never end it all knowing that I’d be leaving people behind who needed me. And even my mother (who is a retired psychiatric nurse and spotted the symptoms in me) said when I was a teenager “You’re clearly a survivor.”

      I am. I’m here and okay as a result. But sadly, many people don’t make it.

      -Frank

  2. John Mauldin says:

    Frank, first let me say “Thanks!” I bought a product from you the other day, my first. Since that time, I have had a couple of questions about the WP Autoresponder and you have given me the information I needed immediately and for that I am greatful. I am glad to see people in the IM arena who stand behind their products, it is becoming a rarity.

    As far as depression, I am (right now) sitting in a hospital room. I was told yesterday afternoon, I had a blood clot in my heart from my last heart attack on Saturday, my third in two months.

    I have had a wonderful life and though I am only 65 and do not want to say “Goodbye”, I decided a very long time ago I wanted to be responsible for my own life and not accept other people’s drama. I tell people I don’t want to drag any dead bodies along with me. So although I could be sitting here feeling sorry for myself, I am so glad I can still press some keys and keep in touch with the world, operate a successful business from afar and laugh every chance I get. All too often, we forget what we have in our desire for more. To be able to live today, to breathe, to enjoy interaction with others, to see today come to an end is a joy all should relish. IT will be gone soon enough. God Bless You!

    • Frank Haywood says:

      Hi John,

      Thanks for that and I sincerely hope you’re up and about soon. There is never enough life though is there? There’s no such thing as too long as even when things are really bad, experience tells you it will change eventually.

      I *love* that quote “I don’t want to drag any dead bodies along with me.” Some people thrive on drama don’t they? I just like a quiet life. :roll:

      And yes, I’ve had a good life too. I remember thinking at 30 that I’d had a good innings already, and done most of the things I wanted to do and would have been okay with it all ending then as I was happy and when it’s your time, that’s a good way to go I think (I used to take some silly risks too). But then I met my wife and it all got even better. ;-)

      Now I’m a family man with responsibility, I’m not so prepared. I mean, I’m okay if it’s time but I worry about everyone else. :roll:

      And yeah, every day is great, even the bad ones.

      -Frank

  3. NSK says:

    Frank,

    Have you ever considered trying EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) for the depression? It helps for me and many other folks. You can find info here http://www.emofree.com or try youtube, EFT for depression.

    Merry Christmas,

    NSK

    • Frank Haywood says:

      Hi NSK,

      I don’t really have depression any more. I know it never leaves you, but I’m lucky I guess. I recognise it when it starts to creep in, and I deal with it by doing little things like getting some fresh air, and telling myself not to sweat the small stuff and it’s all small stuff. ;-)

      If you’d met me twenty years ago, I’d have had you laughing your head off and enjoying yourself no matter what you were doing. That’s what I’m normally like. I’m a little different now, more reserved, but I still like to have a good laugh and “play up a bit” when I’m out. My eldest son is the same and we were both playing up last night at my youngest sons Christmas concert. The “last handclap” competition is so childish I know, but we like to do it. I don’t often win.

      And for example, I’ve always loved to tease waitresses, and it’s a terribly guilty little pleasure I know, but it’s just something that I’ve always enjoyed. Now I’m a bit older I try to keep my mouth shut when I’m in a restaurant… ;-)

      I still can’t resist the old classic though:-

      Waitress wanders over in a pub with two plates saying “Number 12? Number 12?”

      And I just can’t help myself smiling and saying out loudly “Is it paid for?” :roll:

      I’ll get me coat.

      -Frank

  4. Arnold says:

    I’m happy to have seen this trend develop where more and more people are revealing stories and personal details about themselves that up until recently would have only found their way into a personal diary, and kept under lock and key.

    I think it shows courage and strength, and I applaud anyone who has the balls (can I say balls? you can edit balls if this is a daytime blog) (has the guts) to share something personal by writing it up and actually presses the send button, knowing that it will be read by hundreds of people at once.

    So here’s one for Frank. (sound of applause… claclapclapclap).

    Thanks for sharing your story, and if the worldwide stats are correct, then a large number of people on your list will be able to relate, understand and appreciate that you are sharing this.

    • Frank Haywood says:

      Hi Arnold,

      Hey thanks for that. We’re talking about eyeballs right? :roll:

      It’s taken a long time. I used to think of it all as a weakness so I didn’t talk about it, and I’m certain at least two of my friends didn’t get it and thought I was trying to pull a fast one. I think I’m okay with it all now, and that’s why I can tell people. Confidence is the word.

      It’s not a weakness. No illness is ever a weakness. And illness can hit anyone.

      And yeah I’m sure there’s a lot of people on my lists that have been there, or don’t even know they’re there now. There’s so much glumness around sometimes, and it creeps up on you so slowly that it can be hard to identify. I think a good rule of thumb is if you answer the phone and think to yourself “What new hell is this?” then you need to consider the beginnings of depression. Catch it early and it’s easy to fix…

      -Frank

  5. Anne says:

    I’ve been to ‘Fairyland’ too. My husband said he never knew what he what he would come home to each night. I was ashamed and eventually left my teaching job in an independant school. Trouble is, I should have sort advise becuase i wrote that I was leaving for personal reasons thus saying goodbye to any compensation. This was before legal help was written in to Insurance Policies. I had even told the chilren what we would be doing next lesson. But tomorrow never came, that was 20 years ago and I’m now on one drug for life becuse my brain packed up making happy juice.
    Clinical depression isn’t easy to leave behind.

    • Frank Haywood says:

      Hi Anne,

      Thank you, and yes I’ve missed out the bit about chemical imbalance causing depression. I had it explained to me by the works doctor at the time that we all have “happy tanks” that sometimes go a bit low, and that sometimes they completely drain and depression occurs. For me what worked to fill them back up again (I am a naturally happy person) was to start doing work I enjoyed again. The job I used to love had changed, and the stress I was getting from it in its then incarnation eventually got to me and down I went.

      Afterwards I sought legal advice but was essentially told “forget it, there’s no case” as there was no re-occurrence of the event. i.e. If I’d been off work with depression, gone back in and was subjected to the same conditions and was out again, *then* I had a case. It’s bloody stupid logic when applied to depression.

      I’d gone so far down I couldn’t face going in, and I used to get VERY distressed when I had to go in for visits every few weeks to see the works doctor. Every visit made me worse when what I really needed was time away. Eventually I took voluntary redundancy and immediately started to get better.

      It’s just a damn shame you felt ashamed, and I hope someone then helped you see there’s nothing to be ashamed of when you’re ill. I know that because it’s “all in your head” that it isn’t always regarded by people as a real illness, but it absolutely is, no doubt about it. Support from the family helped a lot I found, and I began to see the logic (I’m very logical) behind seeing the best in everything and I started to get better. That seemed to work for me, but I know we’re all different.

      I did try some anti-depressants but I was very reticent about it, and had to stop after a few days because of the extremely disturbing dreams I started to have. I think they were making me worse. So I just did what felt right for me, and slowly I got better.

      -Frank

  6. Gareth Hogan says:

    “The depression *has* changed me. I can’t say for good or bad, I’m just different….
    It means that although I’m a much kinder more empathatic person……
    If I have a problem, it’s my problem and I caused it…. ”

    Hey Frank, listen to your self, that was not depression or a nervous breakdown, despite what the “experts” might have convinced you. That was a sudden spiritual awaking with an almost “unhealthy” dose of self awareness. Surprisingly, it is not that uncommon. Put these keywords in Google search and make up your own mind. “kundalini awakening depression”.
    or check out “Ian R Crane” of “Edge Media TV”, (he went through a hell of an experience).
    Look after yourself and stay positive, I worry about you sometimes but somehow I know you are going to be okay.

    best wishes
    Gareth
    P.S. Yes, I have been there as well!

    • Frank Haywood says:

      Hi Gareth,

      Wow! And thank you. I’ve just spent a few minutes reading up on it (I’ll read more later) and I wish I could have found that 8 or 9 years ago. You could be right. One of my friends said “mid-life crisis” but I knew that wasn’t it. This could explain everything for me, because ever since that all happened I’ve never been more sure of what I want to do with my life and what makes me happy.

      And as I said in my reply to Anne, the anti-depressants seemed to be making things worse.

      Thank you for letting me know about this – I have some reading to do tonight. And don’t worry, I *know* I’m going to be okay. :-)

      -Frank

  7. Art Leslie says:

    Frank …

    I hear ya buddy. I have a very close friend that is still suffering
    from Depression. It has been so bad that she is actually on
    Social Security unable to perform in a normal every-day job.

    I learned a lot from her because I was probably like the masses
    and felt that it was just a cop-out and was used to cover a
    severe case of being lazy. However, as you point out, it is
    indeed something more and something we should all try
    to understand.

    Kudos to you for handling it and for also sharing that bit of
    very personal information.

    Art

    • Frank Haywood says:

      Hi Art,

      I am indeed unemployable. In my case it was because I lost all respect for my superiors who were making dumb decision after dumb decision and ignoring all pleas (not just from me) to do otherwise.

      What that means to me is I can work with other people and I can take advice, but no-one is allowed to tell me what to do. That effectively makes me unemployable.

      As it turns out, there’s no great loss there as I quite like it. :roll:

      But I can understand how other people might be permanently ruined if they can’t find their own way, and can’t fill their lives with things that make them happy. Talk to your friend, see if you can find out what it is that she could do with her life from now on that would make her productive and happy (a difficult one I know). For me, being productive is part of my happiness and always has been. Until things went bad I was a good employee and always looking at ways to make things better without introducing too much change. I still do that now.

      And thanks for the kudos, that’s always appreciated.

      -Frank

  8. Christopher says:

    Well, Frank,

    When I saw the subject line, I thought you were going to tell us all that you had just launched a Facebook fan page for Judy Garland! (there are so many already, it’s not an easy niche)

    But it turns out you are not a friend of Dorothy after all (if that means nothing to you, look it up on Wikipedia!) but there is instead, a “Black Dog” in the room – that you have learned how to tame.

    (I had started to reply privately to this post, then realised that this was not what you had in mind by “coming out” and so I am keeping in spirit with your message of openness and hope to add something useful by sharing my own experience)

    Depression is something that many purport to understand because they think they have experienced it, although usually, if one digs a bit deeper, they will often tell you about a relationship that ended badly or a close relative passing on which led to a period of deep sadness.

    There is no doubt that if one does not pass through the essential phases of “healthy grieving”, the loss of a loved one can certainly lead to an ingrained and long lasting sadness that is sometimes called “clinical depression”. If anyone reading this has suffered a persistently low mood for more than a couple of weeks and has symptoms such as loss of appetite (or food binging), insomnia or even excessive oversleeping, then they should seek professional medical help.

    What makes some folk prone to clinical depression has been the subject of much research and as far as finding a magical cure, the jury is still out.

    Anti-depressants may help in some cases but can lead to a psychological dependence (if not a physical one) if taken for more than a few months. A short stint with an SSRI type of antidepressant is unlikely to do much harm and may give the lift needed to acquire some healthy habits that can propel one forward, but a lifetime on Prozac is not the real answer for most folk.

    Whilst I would agree that one may find that depression cannot be “shaken out”, there are some studies that suggest that it may be possible to bounce one’s depression away and the practice of spending just twenty minutes a day on a “rebounder” (mini trampoline) might just work for some folk (if they have the ceiling height to use it safely).

    Most forms of exercise are helpful in addressing depression and although personally Im not a huge fan of aerobic dance classes, there are extra benefits to be enjoyed by exercising in a group and I would certainly recommend that sufferers attend some kind of exercise class as part of their anti-depression strategy.

    Depression is often characterised by long periods of inactivity and some sufferers will take to their beds hoping that the world will just go away (it keeps coming back!) So I would suggest that if depression = inactivity, there may be a significant antidote to be found in ACTIVITY, whether this be just taking a long walk or a jog or something more challenging such as climbing.

    Your mention of CBT, Frank, is perhaps where the secret sauce can really be found…
    This particular approach to depression is one that I can personally recommend as I have also tried it (several times over the years) and found something effective there.

    Our ATTITUDE towards ourselves, others and the challenges that life brings is certainly key to how we can survive depression and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is a useful tool in helping to change attitudes. In my own case, I did not keep it up in the long term and I fell back into a depression that lasted for several years. This the catch with CBT and many other behavioural therapies; it is about developing healthy, positive thinking and that thinking can either become a habit that sticks, or it can become just a phase that passes.

    To benefit long term from CBT, one must keep revisiting the techniques and relearn them; most importantly, one must keep up the practice!

    Someone I worked with many years ago told me that she only needed three things to be happy:

    Someone to love, something to do and something to look forward to.

    We can all have that!

    If you dont think you have anyone to love, start by loving yourself!
    Find something to do if you dont have a job or project on the go.
    And very importantly, look forward!

    Write down your goals, plan a trip or arrange a meet up with someone you have not seen for a while. Look forward to that!

    In my own journey, I found that the key to overcoming* depression lay much deeper than positive thinking (which is practiced in the present) and I found some of my own answers in looking back to the past. Now Im not suggesting that this is where everyone with this affliction should look; for some it may be the worst place to go and I certainly believe that any therapy that relies soley on digging up the past can be more dangerous than just leaving it be.

    But there is one aspect of the past that we must visit if we are to be truly happy in the present; that is the subject of BELIEFS.

    Why look to the past for this?

    Because this is where the beliefs we hold today were usually formed and although we might have some beliefs we picked up along the way, many of our beliefs were formed before we reached our teens; some beliefs stem from seeds that were planted very early in life.

    So early, that we have no conscious memory of how they were formed.

    Finding the precise root of our beliefs is not nearly as important as simply uncovering those “unconscious” beliefs and these “discoveries” can pave the way to the first step in the essential process of “reprogramming” our beliefs or what is becoming better known these days as
    “belief entrainment”.

    Although I agree with much of what Frank has said above, I would advise caution on one aspect.

    It is of course essential to take responsibility for our own actions and where they take us in life; whilst blaming others for our misfortune or the resulting depression it may trigger is a popular and mistaken habit, it can be just as misguided to blame oneself for everything.

    I go along with taking responsibility, but self blame itself can become a path to depression, so please be careful when you are playing the blame game!

    It can become addictive and ultimately self destructive.

    So it is important when embarking on any journey into self discovery and personal development to remember this:

    Self Acceptance should always be the foundation for Self Development!

    ACCEPT who you are before you decide to make any changes. You may not like what you see in the mirror, but you must learn to be compassionate with yourself, in the same way that you would wish others to show you compassion. You must learn to FORGIVE yourself (and to forgive others).

    This is particularly important if you are prone to depression or anxiety, so please remember to be kind to yourself!

    Depression is, for most of us, triggered by a sense of loss. That is how many experience it, as a feeling of loss, emptiness and loneliness. It can be triggered by the loss of a relationship, a job, a home, a role or purpose. It can also be triggered by another illness or a disability, especially where there is a deterioration in physical skills or mental performance over a long period; this itself is experienced as loss. This explains why some people who were born with a disability can maintain a very positive outlook; there is no sense of loss involved if they have never experienced life with (for example) full mobility, hearing or sight etc.

    With this in mind, it could be argued that the real issue here is ATTACHMENT and as we all know, tthe remedy to attachment is to be found in God, whatever you believe that to be.

    For me, God is simply a higher power, a positive energy and an explanation for everything that I cant explain myself! It is inside you and every one else living on this planet; it is a force for good.

    Dont dwell on the past if doing so brings you down and dont spend your time worrying about the future; stay in the present and experience it fully!
    (tip: listen to your favourite piece of new or recent music to quickly access the present – stay away from music from the past if it is associated with relationship issues or other bad memories)

    “Practice” feeling GRATITUDE for what you do have
    (as opposed to feeling want or need for what you dont have)

    Consciously practicing gratitude (without attachment) is a natural antidote to negative thinking, anxiety and depression.

    If you are feeling sad and lonely, go out and look for someone who is in a worse place than yourself.
    (if you live in a city, you may not have to look too far) Show that person some kindness; if you dont have money, give them some of your time and your wisdom. Do something to show you care.
    It is important that you do not then phone your friends to tell them or boast about it any way.
    Keep it to yourself! (it will be recognised by that higher power!)

    You will probably feel much better for doing this and you will have taken yourself out of your head and away from the self indulgence that comes hand in hand with depression.

    So to sum up, if you are fighting a battle with depression, I would suggest that you try to keep physically and mentally Active, set goals to keep your dreams alive, investigate your Beliefs (and work on those that are holding you back) and save some time for spiritual awareness, “secret” acts of Compassion towards others and daily practice of Gratitude and Forgiveness.

    Love & Light,

    Christopher EYEN

    If you are interested to learn more about the subjects covered here, you may find the following books helpful:

    Happiness Now by Robert Holden
    The Feeling Good Handbook by David D. Burns

    Loving What Is by Byron Katie
    Choose to Believe by Alan Tutt

    The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
    A Course In Miracles by Schucman and Thetford
    (these last two require some serious concentration and a committed interest in conceptual thinking)

    * This is an ongoing journey; like Frank, I struggle with it at times. I often fall. I just keep getting up!

    ps. sorry Frank, I did not set out to write a book here, but this subject is close to my heart!

    • Frank Haywood says:

      tldr;

      Who invented that? Only kidding of course.

      If I didn’t get a comment from you about this post, I would have been very surprised. I’m still a little surprised as it’s such a long one, and a good read nevertheless. Thank you for the short book. ;-)

      I love this:-

      “Someone to love, something to do and something to look forward to.”

      For me, that’s nailed it. Happiness isn’t about having a million dollars in the bank or a new car every year or holidays all over the world (still nice though), it’s about those three things. Love, a productive life doing things we enjoy, and hope.

      And your comments about beliefs being picked up while you’re young are right on the ball and I already knew that. I’m trying to ingrain a healthy scepticism into my children about everything, and it seems to be working as my daughter will ask ever increasing and detailed questions about a topic until she’s satisfied. She very rarely accepts things at face value and I think that’s a great habit to have. Drives you mad sometimes though. ;-)

      Gratitude and respect are high on my list for being happy and getting on with people, and I’ve always tried to hammer this home with my kids too. They all now get it that “Good manners cost nothing and get you everything.” (one of mine) and the other one is that if they want respect (and we all do) then we have to show it ourselves first. Earning respect is good for everyone, and it always comes faster when you show it to other people first. That’s my experience anyway.

      You’ve got some good advice and kind words in there for anyone that’s experiencing or have experienced depression.

      Thank you.

      -Frank

  9. Roger A Coleman says:

    Hi Frank,

    Although I don,t or never have suffered from clinical depression, I have a close friend who does, and I think it must have taken some balls to talk about this so openly. Good on you for sharing this, and I hope you feel liberated by the experience.

    Roger

    • Frank Haywood says:

      Hi Roger,

      Thank you for that. It wasn’t as hard as I thought it woud be once I’d decided to do it – I’ve been thinking about it for a while now. What was difficult for me was not putting in all the detail I wanted to put in to get it all out of my system, but I didn’t think my initial meandering monologue was worth reading so I put it all to one side. It’s the right time for me to do this though, nearly 9 years to the day of first diagnosis to a point where I can say “Yeah I’m okay now.”

      I’m not totally okay though. Well, I’m not sure. Maybe I am… ;-)

      -Frank

  10. Nancy Boyd says:

    Frank you are a very brave man! I knew I liked you before — you always come through with the BEST products that work without breaking. But now. . . I have to admire your courage in admitting something that many folks would never admit in public.

    Your courage can give others hope — and I hope it does.

    I have known individuals who became almost completely debilitated by depression before they got it under control. I know it isn’t easy. So congratulations too on figuring out for yourself how to do that.

    And thanks for sharing your strength.

    Wishing you all the best, always.

    Nancy

    • Frank Haywood says:

      Hi Nancy,

      Thank you and you too.

      Having family around helps a lot, even though it must have been bad for them sometimes. Or a lot. If you’re single and depressed it must really be the pits. But things get better if you want them to, and there’s always hope if you look for it.

      -Frank

  11. Dear Frank,

    Unfortunately, my English is not good enough to write a book like Christoper’s one. ;-)

    Anyhow I want to make you notice that I love the way you’re doing business and helping us. I also appreciate your initiative of sharing your feelings. Experience in life, when driven properly, make us better persons. And, as a person, you shine Frank.

    Best Wishes,
    Diego

    • Frank Haywood says:

      Hi Diego,

      Thanks for that vote of confidence in me and thank you for the compliments. :-)

      As a bit of an aside, something I’ve noticed over the last decade is that people don’t thank each other enough on a personal basis. Most of us say please and thank you as a routine to keep social friction down to a minimum ;-) but I’ve noticed that *real* thanks and appreciation from someone saying thank you privately to other people seems to be on the decline. I don’t know whether that’s a social commentary on life here in the UK now, but it does seem like people don’t have enough time to just stop and say “thank you” and mean it.

      And yet that little interaction is something that makes both parties feel good. :-)

      I always feel good when I really stop to thank someone, as it’s nice to see the other person’s face light up when you let them know you appreciate what they’ve done, especially if it’s someone you’ve just met, for example a helpful shop assistant. Maybe it’s because it’s a rare occurrence nowadays that they get so much pleasure out of it. I don’t know.

      Anyway…

      Thank you for your appreciation of what I do and your kind comments. :-)

      -Frank

  12. Frank, I’ve known you as a very positive person since I ‘met’ you online all those years ago. I’d never have guessed this background given your upbeat personality.

    Well done for recognising what was happening to you and finding your own way out of it. You’ve done wonderfully well in working for yourself.

    You are clearly a ‘doer’ and a driven man. Plus I like your straightforward and down-to-earth style. And there’s not enough like you IMO!

    • Frank Haywood says:

      Hi Jonathon,

      Thank you. By the luck of the draw I’m a naturally happy and (believe it or not) laid back person – no credit to me there it’s just the way I am. Sure I have my doubts and uncertainties like everyone else, but since my illness I’ve learned to largely ignore them. I still have bad days though, usually when I’m tired.

      From experience I know some of that attitude I have can exasperate people a little until they begin to realise that the sky isn’t falling every other day, and that in the end very few things are unfixable with a little work and big dollop of patience. So I’m a great believer in the 80:20 rule and I try to teach that to everyone I come in contact with, and staff (and also my children). Things don’t need to be perfect from day one, they just have to be good enough to satisfy or almost satisfy, and then made better afterwards if needs be.

      That attitude allows me to do a lot of stuff, otherwise I’d think I’d get frustrated if I crossed every t and dotted every i. I have so *many* business ideas that it’s impossible for me to do them all, and some of them are bigger and I know I can’t do them on my own. I’d go bonkers if I didn’t get stuff done. For me ideas are things that have to be made real. (Everything you see around you started as someone’s idea.)

      The drivers for me are I want to help, I want to make things better and also to a lesser extent “make a mark” on the world. I like it when people pay attention to me and listen, but then don’t we all? ;-)

      As another aside, my biggest turn off is rudeness. I can’t say I’m totally innocent of that myself, but I try my very best to be polite and patient and discuss and work things out with people. However, verbally assaulting or insulting or arguing with me is completely counter-productive (and of course very negative) and if anyone in any situation starts that with me the conversation is over before it started (I very rarely bite, but there are always exceptions). I have a smiling but disapproving “look” I give excitably unreasonable people that usually makes them take a deep breath, smile and start again, but it’s difficult to do that online and with the written word. ;-)

      -Frank

  13. Don Hill says:

    Frank,

    First of all, I DID notice your absence from the scene, because you were (and still ARE) one of the few IM “gurus” that never triggered my internal “B.S. Detector” when I read your emails. I’ve always had the impression that you are a straight shooter, and this “confession” simply confirms my assessment of you.

    The comments by others afflicted with depression – and those who aren’t but have seen the effects up close – are very deep-reaching, and it goes to show that in the process of building an online business you will encounter and befriend people who will rally to causes other than those related to financial matters.

    I could go on to relate my own experiences with people who suffer from depression (clinical and otherwise), but I don’t want to dump any more negativity on you – after all, you had no influence or effect whatsoever on those situations, so what would be the point of telling you about them.

    I’m extremely happy to see that you’ve got a handle on your condition, to the point that you’re able to publicly admit to it and to pick yourself up and move on with your life. However, from this point forward, I’ll always have a deeper understanding of why you’re known in IM circles as “the Blue Guy.” I’m sure you didn’t consciously make the connection with your depression when you adopted that trademark/brand name, but I can’t help noticing the possible connection in light of your confession about your depression.

    If you’re up to it’ I’d like to invite you to be a featured guest on a half-hour internet talk radio program I co-host with my good friend Jim Cobb, titled “Google Me Talk Radio.” I can understand if you would prefer not to, and wouldn’t feel “rejected” if you declined the offer. However I believe that your candor about your battle with this silent but deadly disease would be well-received by our audience of over 80,000 listeners. No hurry – think it over before responding. You have my email address.

    Thanks again, and congratulations on your victory. For what it’s worth, I’ve discovered much the same things you’ve revealed as to how you’ve come to terms with your disease and how you deal with it mentally, by developing a mindset that focuses on other people and improving the quality of their lives through your business and personal mentoring.

    Keep fighting the Good Fight – Victory is sweet and it will heal the soul!

    Don Hill
    Fortuna, CA USA

    PS – My personal phone number is (707) 672-6557 if you wish to discuss the radio program or even just to compare notes or to “shoot the breeze.” If the phone doesn’t work for you, my Skype ID is digital.don.hill.

    Hang in there!

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