Over the last 20+ years, I have been told three times that I was a walking dead man. The most recent event was just a few weeks ago. My wife had been urging me to go to a local health fair to “check things out.” I looked for a rational excuse not to go. I didn’t come up with one, so I promised her I’d go.

Things were going well until I approached the blood pressure station. The nurse was very pleasant. After taking the first reading she asked if she could take another reading with the other arm. She didn’t look pleased with the results and asked if I would go see the doctors around the corner. When I gave the results to the doctors, they looked at each other and told me to go directly to the emergency room at the nearest hospital. They stressed that it wasn’t a matter of “if” I was going to have a stroke or a heart attack, but “when”, and the “when” could be at any moment.

This was not what I wanted to hear. It was one of the first warm days of spring. I wanted to go spend the day at a local private airport, and besides I felt fine. Oh sure, I had ringing in my ears, and I was balancing several stressful situations, but wasn’t that normal?

Long story short, I spent the rest of the day in the emergency room. As they were conducting all of their tests, it gave me time to think about how I got there. Over the years I have learned that if I don’t pay attention to my intuition, I get into situations I don’t want to be in. So, what did I miss?

First, I wasn’t listening to my body. The ringing in my ears had been going on for a number of months. I had told myself that this was normal. My balance had also been off and I believed it was due to a little fatigue.

Second, I wasn’t paying attention to my mental state. I have always been able to balance many plates at the same time. For the last several months, a number of those plates had fallen on the floor. Again I rationalized it away.

Third, I wasn’t as aware of my productivity as I normally am. I was getting things done, but not as efficiently.

So what is the moral to my story?

Stop, look and listen. As a  Business and Money Coach, I know the value of paying attention to the little clues. When I didn’t, my body gave me a wake up call — which I’m glad I saw (with a nudge from my wife) before it threw the stop switch.  I’m still running at full speed and love it. There is nothing wrong with going for the gusto, except when the price you pay eliminates you from the party.

Live Long and Prosper

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