The Last Flight Out of Dubai!

It was March 2020, and I arrived in Dubai, ready to deliver my Mental Resilience Masterclass to several blue-chip companies organised by Robin Wells, who was running a successful employee benefits business spanning the Middle East and Asia, advising some of the world’s leading companies.
He kindly arranged for me to deliver my Mental Resilience Masterclass to several of his key clients to secure further work.  
When I arrived, everything seemed fine, and I was excited to be in Dubai again, doing what I love. I also arranged a meeting with the British University in Dubai, where I arranged to meet the Vice Chancellor to discuss mental resilience for his students.
Something was wrong
It didn’t take long before rumours of a pandemic circulated, and before I knew it, all the schools and Universities were closed, which meant my meeting was cancelled. This was a massive blow as I had spent months working on this. I had already presented my Mental Resilience Masterclass to the British University in Dubai staff, and this was a natural follow-up.
The following day, I met Robin at the offices of Deloitte Middle East, a customer of Robin’s business. I presented my one-hour masterclass, and all went well. Later that day, Dubai went into lockdown, and the whole world changed.
All my presentations were cancelled, and it became very tense as many planes were cancelled. There was a real chance that I would be stranded in Dubai. I had to act fast and was fortunate to change my flight. As we waited to take off, I was told our plane was the last to leave Dubai!
I just made it
This was a close call, and I was relieved to be heading back to the UK but in total shock, as I had lost the opportunity to present to some world-class companies. When I returned to the UK, it wasn’t long before the same happened, and the world was in lockdown.
This changed everything for everyone, and within three days, all the presentations I had confirmed for the next six months were cancelled. I sat at home wondering what to do and, like everyone else, wondering what the future held.
I was 66 years old and receiving my pension. I thought about retiring, but instead, I wrote my second book and created three online mental resilience masterclasses, which I started to deliver. This transition took a bit of time to gain momentum, but it proved to be highly successful.
It’s your response which determines the outcome. 
As I continue to say, ‘It’s not what happens to you in life that counts; it’s how you respond that makes all the difference.’ This is one of the most factual statements in life. We can’t control the outside circumstances, but we can control how we respond.
Many prisoners during the various wars have relayed how those who gave up under torture were the ones who died, but those who had hope and visualised being back with their families were the ones who survived in many cases. It was their response which made all the difference.
Our first meeting
I first met Robin in 2017 when I presented to a business club in Dubai, and we developed a great relationship. We kept in touch, and Robin has been very helpful with information and recommendations.
Following a successful sale & exit in 2022, Robin switched fields completely and is now based in the UK, building a sportscar company … making the sensational little ‘Vertige’, a 2-seat, mid-engine sportscar, attracting a cult following and getting rave reviews in the media.
Last week, I had the pleasure of delivering my new Maximum Productivity Masterclass to some of his staff in his car factory, surrounded by engines and cars being built. This was a first and was a unique and exhilarating experience.
The team was brilliant, and Robin told me afterwards that they all found it very helpful. They will be implementing some of the techniques I shared, especially the Eisenhower Matrix.
We can control our response.
We can choose how we respond to adversity. While we may not have control over the challenges we face, we do have control over our reactions and attitudes towards them. Here are a few ways we can choose our responses:
Mindset Shift: Adopting a growth mindset allows us to see challenges as opportunities for learning and growth rather than insurmountable obstacles.
Positive Attitude: Focusing on positive aspects and maintaining an optimistic outlook can help us navigate tough times more effectively.
Problem-Solving: Instead of dwelling on the problem, we can channel our energy into finding solutions and taking actionable steps to overcome the adversity.
Resilience: Building resilience through self-care, seeking support, and maintaining perspective helps us bounce back from setbacks more quickly.
Acceptance: Accepting that some things are beyond our control can reduce stress and allow us to focus on what we can influence.
By consciously choosing our responses, we can better manage adversity and emerge stronger.
I thought it was all over.

I lost everything in 2020, and I could have given up. It was challenging, exhausting, and a real struggle at times. There were times when I thought it was impossible, but I didn’t give up. I kept believing that it would be possible to rebuild my business. I used my Dream Board and daily affirmations to keep myself in a relatively positive state, and slowly but surely, my dreams became a reality.
Several people were vital in helping me recover. They know who they are, and Robin is one of them.
Thoughts for the week. 

  1. Have you had a severe adverse event happen in your life?
  2. Did it have a significant impact on you?
  3. This week, consider this event and see how you recovered.
  4. If it’s a recent event, you may be in the process, so use today’s blog to help you.  
  5. If it’s a past event, see what you have learned and observe if more work is needed on your response and mindset.    

Well, that’s it for this week. Have a wonderful weekend and keep believing.
Warm regards


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