Are you Awake?
What I learned from Chad Nelley:
hypervigilance /(hi″per-vij´ĭ-lans) abnormally increased arousal, responsiveness to stimuli, and scanning of the environment for threats.
It was 3am in Las Vegas. We were sharing a room at a trade show and the night was pitch black and silent - Chad was asleep. Across the room I noticed his eyes flicker open in the darkness with a slight stir.
"Hey Chad - How are you doing ? " I spoke and he took a moment to respond, you could tell he was startled "Uh .. Ok i guess". - You could say, and sometime later he admitted, that it freaked him out a bit.
Chad and I worked together and often at work I would lock him in the building at night to continue working and open up in the morning to wake him from the couch in his office - " I get my best work done while the masses sleep" he would say. Now that was something I liked and respected - working while others rest is an old school principle that very few embrace - This young whippersnapper was a bit of old school.
Chad Nelley is a pretty conscientious guy - he takes personal accountability for things that don't work out and does what it takes to fix them - whatever it takes, however long it takes. Chad's not your nine to five kind of guy. I frequently noticed the time stamps on his emails - 1am - 11:50pm, 2am, 4am the kind of times most people are tucked away and flying the friendly skies with Peter Pan and Tinker Bell.
There are some traits, some things, that people do just because that's the way they are. But a few people develop habits, traits and behaviors, that differentiate them from the rest, with a singular discipline of consistently Doing what others Won't - When others won't. It's those people that interest me. The ones that consciously do what others can't or won't and then discipline themselves to make it a habit.
Chad Nelley is one of those who does what others can't or won't. I don't think a creepy, out of the darkness "Are you awake?" would freak him out today - it's no longer a question - it's now more of a work ethic understanding from one man to another - a kind of secret handshake.
Some people choose to ridicule the extreme. Some people choose to rationalize their own safe and balanced middle road and some loudly proclaim that those who work and walk the road less traveled, while others sleep are absurd, intellectually challenged, idiots. Who cares.
From those of us that choose that rocky, winding, uphill, path strewn with obstacles and ogres - I extend the secret handshake and say - "Welcome to the club".
Welcome to the club Chad.
"There will be sleeping enough in the grave" - Benjamin Franklin.
Are you Awake?
That's what I learned from Chad Nelley.
Chad Nelley - Linked In Profile