That awful feeling is good for you
BUSINESS MATTERS BEYOND THE BOTTOM LINE - Francis J. Kong (The Philippine Star) - March 16, 2019 - 12:00am

I got a call. For me, it did not seem urgent and I had just got off from doing heavy training for a client. I was in my car catching my breadth, recuperating, and mentally preparing myself for my next client engagement. The tone of the voice from the other end of the phone suggested something urgent and important. “Sir Francis, I hate to disturb you, but I need your help and advice.”

The young achiever, an entrepreneur who earn an eight digit income yearly, has traveled the world, enjoyed every conceivable perk and incentives his company provides, built a network of thousands of members, and has helped and led them to make a considerable amount of wealth and fortune. Something seems to be troubling him.

I don’t do personal coaching. I live a mobile lifestyle and I hustle from one training engagement to another. But I see immense potential in the young man. He has the heart to help people. He wants to improve constantly, and most importantly, he takes my advice seriously. We have had coffee time together and I enjoy sharing life lessons, as well as business ideas with the young man and his wife. Over the years, I have witnessed very positive results.

I took the call. He says, “Sir Francis, this question may seem ridiculous, but how do I bring back the drive and passion I used to have when I was starting out in business? How come this drive seems to have disappeared?”

I responded by asking him questions. “Why are you bothered by this and what triggered you to feel this way, necessitating your call requesting for advice and an answer?” He says, “I am very poor in hiding my feelings. I am always transparent with my people.” Furthermore he says, “My people are important to me. This is why I am considering a no-show today in our general monthly meeting because I do not want them to see that I have lost that original fire.”

I thanked him for his honesty and said, “The reason why you feel this way is because you have done well, you have achieved so much, and as the old expression says: Been there done that. Travel incentives no longer excite you. Perks and profits no longer stimulate you and you longed for the excitement and fire you had when you were starting.”

“Sir Francis, it is uncanny for you to know what I am going through. It is as if you can read my mind. But what should I do?” the young man asks.

I hesitated for a moment, then explained, “You need to think carefully and make sure you make decisions based on what is reasonable and not based on what and how you feel. What you are going through is normal. Pays and perks used to excite you like crazy, but now that you have them it may even look boring.” Then I thought of an idea. “Like when you were first courting your wife, you spent sleepless nights conversing with her on the phone. The romance was there. You felt it and you were excited by it. But now that you are married, you realize that love does not deal with feelings alone. You now live your life committed to the responsibility of loving your wife and kids and taking care of them. You have entered the stage of commitment. And the more committed you are, the more you realize the feelings come back, but this time it is no longer the feeling of teenage romance, it is a feeling of significance as you create works of value that make a difference in the lives of your family.”

There was total silence from the other end of the phone. I thought I had lost the connection until he says, “I got it, Sir Francis. What you mean is that my focus should no longer be on myself, but on the commitment of leading and helping my people to have a better life. And if I do this, then the feeling of significance would take over the feeling of happiness driven by money and incentives.”

I said, “You got it.” Now think deeper. Would it not do you greater harm if you do not show up in your meeting? And if they cannot see you there, would it not lead them to feel that you, their leader, has abandoned them?” He says, “Thanks Francis, I will show up, and I will meet them.”

It was when I got home that I got to think deeper about the lesson I can learn from this.

This awful feeling of, “I have lost the drive. I am no longer motivated” is an awful feeling, but it is an emotion that accompanies growth, improvement, and learning. It could be a good feeling, if it stirs us to seek improvement.

Good leaders and great achievers continuously struggle with this feeling. They have acquired the skills and the competence, and they may have this awful feeling like “I have lost the fire,” but they have learned to counter this feeling by stretching themselves even more and exploring new things to learn and discover. The initial phase may be difficult like learning new software, fidgeting with a gadget or taking up a new course. But this feeling of initial difficulty counters the feeling of “losing the fire” and the determination to learn and to improve opens new opportunities and brings in the excitement of accomplishment again.

Well, love is not something that can be exhausted, but love is continuously renewable. Today I love speaking, writing, and training even more than when I started many years ago. And by the way, today I love the Ilocana even more. Trust me. Love is renewable, and fire can always be rekindled.

(Attend the two exciting and inspiring days of leadership training with Francis Kong in his highly acclaimed Level Up Leadership seminar-workshop this April 2 and 3 at the Makati Diamond Residences across Greenbelt 1. For registration or inquiries contact April at +63928-559-1798 or register online at

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