Purpose – Your Best Friend In Tough Times

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Parents, think back on the first time you set eyes on that beautiful baby. When you first held their hands and felt them squeeze your hand back. What went through your mind at that point? Remember that squeeze in your heart and that tear in your eye? Wow.

It was 1994; I was a student in France. My wife and I had just gotten married and we were expecting our first child. We were alone in a foreign land and in the middle of the school term. To top it off, the baby’s due date was in the middle of my exams period so I had to juggle studying for exams and taking care of her.

29 May 1994, Mother’s day.  It was 1am, stressed out and exhausted. We just went through an 18 hour labour. However, all the stress and exhaustion just went out the window the moment I set eyes on Côme.

If you were with me, you would have seen the nurse pass little Côme to me. You would have seen me standing speechless, tears in my eyes. I just stared at this little life in my hands, a life so small I could crush him if I wasn’t careful. He looked so small, so vulnerable and he looked at me with such complete trust. It suddenly hit me.

“This little life is my responsibility from now on”

Rather than feeling overwhelmed, I had a sense of power. I KNEW at that point, I would have the strength to provide and protect this little child. I knew I would do whatever it takes to keep him safe and happy. It was unlike anything I had felt before.

At 25, all I knew was studying and partying. My motto then was “Carpe Diem”. Even when I got married, even when I found out Isabelle got pregnant; I never fully grasped the concept of responsibility till that moment.

And 20 years since, a happy father of 4, I still remember that moment. From that moment, responsibility became the main theme in all that I do. Responsibility drove me to work even harder through my exams, my first job hunt, my first job till where I am today.

Life is not always easy but with a big enough “Why” and a new purpose, I came through. Being suddenly thrown into that responsibility wasn’t easy but it gave me a purpose to work towards and from there, the power to pull through life’s toughest moments.

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Jerome de Grandmaison,
Cice president, Human resource, asia-pac
Alstom group

 

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