As if I would say no. I chuckled to myself. Eliott, you haven’t been picking up on the signals I’ve put out there.
“Sure, I would love to have dinner with you, Eliott.”
“Great, you choose – hearty burgers, Indian or Spanglish Mexican. That is what is closest to the hotel, and I’ve been to them all,” Eliott offered up. “I can recommend them with confidence as I broke from the meal plan a few times already.
“Hmm, it’s been a long time since I’ve had Indian, let’s do that,” I said, looking forward to eating some Chicken Tikka Masala and Naan bread to dampen the heat. I hoped it was as tasty as Eliott said.
“The seminar is over at 5:30 pm, but I need to wind down a bit and shower. How about you meet me in front of Conference Chicago at 6 pm?”
“See you then!” I said excitedly. A quick hug and we went our separate ways.
“Well, hello again, Mr. Blast from the Past,” I said, beaming as I approached. After a quick peck and a firm but brief squeeze, we made our way to the restaurant. I was looking forward to this evening and seeing how it would progress.
We laughed for hours, picking up where we left off at the coffee shop. Eliott went into more detail about his messy divorce, hitting rock bottom emotionally due to it and explained more about the wrong financial decisions he made. Sadly, it all happened around the same time, and it took a toll on his mental health. I found him very mature to have accepted his mistakes and taking the next steps to get back on track. It’s rare to see a man know when he has to reach out. I found myself drawn into his personal success story and applauding with each detail of his journey towards stability.
“I think that had I not gone through what I did, I would not be where I am today,” Eliott said humbly. Even that was refreshing to see that he wasn’t braggadocious about it. Mr. Stedwell, you are looking better and better every minute!
“Eliott, it sounds like you’ve become a wise man going through all your struggles. I admire that in you.”
“Yeah, I’ve picked up a thing or two. This positive life I have now is one of the biggest reasons I got started in mentoring. I wanted to give something back. Jack Canfield was inspirational and willing to take a chance on me. He brought me onboard his organization after seeing all the progress I had made,” he said and then paused for a bit, just staring into my eyes, reaching in to touch my soul. “Under his tutelage, I grew the confidence to break out on my own.”
“So happy for you, Eliott!” I said, resting my hand on his. “If anyone is deserving, it’s you. Say, do you mind if I change the subject to something a tad more personal?”
TO BE CONTINUED ON WEDNESDAY…