I came across this great article several weeks back, and I'm finally getting around to sharing it. It tells the story of former Sara Lee CEO powerhouse Brenda Barnes, and her battle to recuperate both physically and emotionally from a hemmorhagic stroke she suffered at the age of 56.
Forced to take a leave of absence, and eventually resign from her duties at Sara Lee due to the fallout of the stroke, Barnes talks candidly about learning to accept help from others, make major lifestyle changes, and refocus her efforts toward getting better with the same determination she used in the boardroom. Good advice for any of us who have left full-time work, due to our illnesses:
Her stroke, more than any challenge in her business life, showed Barnes the power of accepting reality, recalibrating priorities, and redefining success. "I hate not being able to do it all," admits this fiercely independent woman who learned to rely on others. In the process, she grew closer to her family. She also channeled the intensity that she once had for business into a recovery that she calls "miraculous."
And the article concludes with the following, advice that's particularly applicable when you're faced with a chronic illness that upsets, to whatever degree, your life's plan:
"Barnes' advice to anyone else thrown off a career track: "You need a plan for yourself, just like you need a plan for a business." She adds: "I owe it to myself to focus on me." Fitting words, given that Barnes herself is a work in progress."
Be sure to check out the entire article here!