When my wife Alyce called me on the phone after a function last week, I knew from the tone of her voice that something nasty had happened. She was devastated. Her handbag had been stolen.

The small amount of cash in the bag was not the real problem.  But it was rather more the valuables such as her residence permit in Germany, driver’s license, credit cards and the iPhone with all contact addresses – more worrisome the house and car keys

Any crime victim will attest: Apart from “things” stolen, it is the invasiveness of knowing that persons with evil intentions have taken or have access to some of your most personal belongings, that is the real trauma.

After a sleepless night and making the dog sleep in front of the door to keep away potential burglars, we set about assessing the damage. Just changing the house door and car locks would set us back several hundred euros. Worst of all:  Weeks of bureaucratic time and trouble in getting new documents.

“So what’s this teaching us?” “What have we done to deserve this?” “Couldn’t I have been more careful?” were just some of the questions going through Alyces mind. It took some time to realise that what we teach others we also had to learn: Good decisions come only from a calm mind. Nothing happens without a reason.

First thing was to get a new iPhone because Alyce was scheduled to leave for a business trip to London on Sunday. Only when configurating the new phone it dawned on me. The iPhone data was in the cloud so it should be possible to find its location. Sure enough after a few clicks on Google maps, Alyces iPhone was telling me it was about one kilometre from the crime scene where it was stolen.

While I was still telling Alyce not to get her hopes up to high we started searching the area that the map was showing us. “So we just go up there and knock on the house door of the thief to ask for your things back?” I asked sarcastically. “I know its right there. I can feel it. Its just over the fence right over there…” I heard Alyce saying. While googlemaps was just giving us a rough indication, it would be much more difficult to actually find the gadget. But then Alyce did something quite amazing. “I’m just going to go by my gut feeling. I am going right over the fence there to get my things!”

Sure enough a few minutes later, a victorious and beaming Alyce found her bag behind a bush where it had been thrown by the thieves, who had obviously overlooked the iPhone in one of the pockets in their hurry to find money and credit cards. So what did we learn:Image

  • Nothing beats modern technology combined with gut intelligence
  • Shit happens. So what? Don’t get stuck. Move on.
  • Ground yourself. Keep a calm mind. Sleep over it a night and then make whatever decision you need to make.