Learn More About Niall StricklandHave you ever had an event in your life that creates an epiphany that changes your view of your life and the world around you forever? It does not have to be something magical. It does not even have to be positive. In fact, most often it is something that you would never wish for. My personal epiphany came along unexpectedly while I was working in a financial institution in the early 1990’s. I was a reasonably contented corporate citizen with a good international business career and could perhaps have continued along this road to retirement. I was commuting from Dublin to London on a weekly basis back then, while managing the workout of a failed leasing company.
However, following a visit to my doctor in Dublin, I got a phone call in my London office one morning to tell me that medical tests revealed that I had cancer and that I needed to come home for a serious surgery. The fear that the “C” word manages to instantly instill is astonishing. Losing the fear is even harder. One becomes afraid to hope for survival while fearing the grim reaper is silently in pursuit. It makes you reluctant to create new beginnings for yourself because it seems so pointless when you no longer believe you have a future. The feelings of guilt you can feel, because you have not yet secured the financial future for your loved ones, can eat at your insides like another cancer. Without my family around me, I am not sure that I would have been able to pull through and develop a fresh and positive outlook; a belief that I could endure and be present to watch my kids grow up and develop into responsible and joyous young adults.
Following several visits from this silent killer over a period of 10 years, and having endured increasingly radical surgeries, I began to question my value system and started to zoom in on what is important in life. I discovered that life is not about climbing the corporate ladder but is really all about family and contribution. It is about doing things that give you great joy rather than swelling your bank account. The good news is that I am now cancer free for 6 years. I no longer work as a VP in a financial institution and for the past 10 years I have been working with small and medium sized businesses; teaching them how to run their business more efficiently and effectively. I make sure to take a month off each summer to spend quality uninterrupted time with my wife and kids. I live for today and try to anticipate positive tomorrows. I am grateful to be alive and I thrive on developing and delivering programs & products that benefit business people all over the world.