Muddy Water – Thanks Mum.

By John Rahme

I remember as a child, my Mother losing her mind at me because I had worn a brand-new pair of white shoes and of course, I ran through the mud wearing them. Not just once did I run through the mud, but I made sure that I covered every single part of that white shining shoe with dark brown, black wet soil. This was my job. This was the reason why I was born. To ruin any new shoe, especially if the colour was white in one sitting. Forty years later, it is I who is losing my mind at my kids for doing the same thing. It’s a beautiful cycle which includes payback. So, my Mother tells me. Except I do not dare raise my voice toward my children in front of my Mother. My Mother’s in tuned neural system and muscular strength is just as conditioned today if not even more so than when I was a child. By this I mean, if I am to scold my children in front of her. Her shoe or slipper comes off her foot quicker than Clint Eastwood’s gun would be drawn and shot in his western movies. Without fail, she does not miss. I have still a many scare across my skull to tell many stories of a shootout with my Mother.

Not long ago, whilst sitting with my Mother and for the record I was wearing a crash hat. My Mother said to me, “John, why is your jug filled up with muddy water?” My first reaction as you would imagine was to dive and take cover under the couch. My Mother was wearing a pair of shoes which were pointed and had heels on them. That’s double action hitting pain! Not quite understanding her I questioned what she meant. She relayed to me that she was my Mother and she knew when something was bothering me. Also, she could tell when I was doubting myself, my ability and allowed negativity into my thoughts. My mother then went to explain the following;

  1. Your mind and thoughts are like a cannister or jug full of clear water.
  2. In troubled or worried times without being aware we allow muddy water on top of this clean water.
  3. The muddy water is ten times heavier than the clear water.
  4. It only takes just a little bit of muddy to be allowed into the jug, being so heavy that it will force then clear water out of the jug.
  5. What started with a clear jug of water with just a small amount of muddy water, before you know it the jug is just full of muddy water.
  6. No one wants to drink muddy water and no one wants to look at it either.


I was taken back with what I had heard my Mother describe to me. It made me have a look at what was going on for me.


I am in the process of finding a job. I have a few skill sets. Firstly, within the building industry working as a site manager. Secondly as a strength and conditioner. Last but not least, working as a consultant in the area of Leadership, team building, developing culture and my favourite one on one mentoring. To be honest, I believe I am great at it. Yes, at all three.


In the process of looking for work you create a CV, where you place your life works on this piece of paper. This piece of paper is you. You are measured by this piece of paper. A value is placed upon you and you are compared to other applicants. All through a piece of writing on a paper. The majority of the time, when applying for a job, it goes to a recruitment company. These men and women sypher through the applicants and decide which ones to engaged. I have had a many of conversation with the recruitment companies but have found it enormously difficult to get a returned message from them. After applying for a lot of jobs and not having any success. You start to ask yourself questions. And for me, they have been the wrong questions. Actually, more so they have been statements with no answers in the form of questions. And this is how the muddy water starts.

  1. Am I really as good as I think I am?
  2. What is it about me that people don’t like?
  3. I really must be hopeless?
  4. I mustn’t be as good as I thought I was?

I think you get the point.

When my Mother said to me that no one likes to look at muddy water. What she meant was that what you feel on the inside about yourself, cannot be hidden from the outside no matter how hard you try. You unwarily change in composure. Your demeanor changes and to be blunt. You become dark. I found this to be true about my situation. I had allowed what people read about my on a CV determine who and what I was. I let them influence how I thought and felt about me. What I was doing was not helping me your serving me.

All people have their jobs to do. Whether you are in HR or working at a recruiting agency, it is their job to find the best person to fit the job description. The opinion and judgement of such people is theirs and theirs alone. You must be careful not to let their opinion, judgement or how they measure a person infiltrate you personally and mentally. Allowing it then to become ugly heavy muddy water in your head.

Staying true to you, staying true to who you are and what you can do is not the easiest of tasks in worrying times. I am not arrogant or egotistic, I am way to old to be any. I do know one thing for certain. In any role which I will be hired for, I will add value to the company and environment. I will compliment the team and its culture. If needed I can mentor and help people through hard times. Last but not least, I will always LOOK AFTER THE PERSON FIRST. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you do. Generally speaking, you are in the role that you do because you are capable. The majority of my success has always been to LOOK AFTER THE PERSON FIRST. When you do this, it leaves them to do their job better.