Are you terminal?
The question could not have been better. It was asked by a wife of her husband, a stoic special operations returning veteran. She had begun to see a kinder, happier partner and wondered how this transformation had occurred. The change was so dramatic she wondered if something was very wrong. It was not.
The context for the question is an organization called Operation Warrior Resolutions in Sarasota, Florida. The group and its leader, Kendra Simpkins are in a Results1st program my partner, Robyn Faucy is guiding. Their program has historically been called a retreat. It is five days with an intensive focus on brain trauma therapy. In most cases (including the returned veteran cited above) the program is effective at resolving brain traumas with which the veteran has returned.
Kendra liked our observation that the retreat is just the starting point of a success path forward. In the results business, you cannot declare victory until you know what has happened longer term, especially when the focus is on relationships with a spouse or significant other. Kendra has shifted from calling their work a five-day retreat with follow up to a 90-day program that integrates follow up.
I was fascinated to learn that no potential participant dropped out when the program was described as having this much longer duration. Kendra says the veterans were the first to know that they needed more time and the strong support of Operation Warrior Resolutions to make the changes they wanted to make. Participants who believe they are still in a program act differently than those who believe the program has ended.
Terminal has another meaning that fits this situation. Terminals are not just places where journeys end. They are also places where trains, planes, busses and people depart for a new destination.
Are you terminal? I can only aspire to making the positive changes that would lead someone to ask me that question!