Over the past few weeks I have met with several people who are stressed to the max.
In our province the much touted “Alberta Advantage” seems to have gone MIA leaving thousands of people facing a reality that had never previously been on their radar.
Each day our local media, following their long-held tradition of emphasising bad news, inform us of the latest layoffs, business failures and depleting opportunities.
So it was no surprise, in meeting with those folks that the burden of their plight, when compounded by the daily barrage of bad news, felt overwhelming.
Two of them talked of losing their houses, one was planning to sell personal belongings and others were cocooning themselves inside their homes and spending their days replaying the story of their present situation in their heads over and over again almost as if they felt compelled to do so, so as to prevent any faint ray of light from seeping into their darkness.
I am not unsympathetic. I have had times in my life where I have felt as stressed and where my flawed reasoning at the time lead me to believe that the only available direction was to sink even further down.
I know what it is like to feel helpless and afraid, terrified and panicked and am all too familiar with that feeling of being trapped with no way out.
The other thing I know is that the longer we confine ourselves to thoughts of doom, misery and pain the longer we will linger in the clutches of those very emotions.
In times like this it becomes mandatory, in my opinion, to strip emotion out and away from our thinking and to examine the objective facts as we know them to be and in the case of each of these people they were all faced with the same, singular, objective fact.
They had no jobs and therefore they had no income. And what I (cruelly) pointed out to them is this: It is what it is.
In each case I used those words to begin the discussion of their objective reality.
I explained that in the very moment they lost their jobs they arrived at a fork in the road.
And they had a decision to make.
The decision was this: If you take the one fork – the one called Misery – you will trudge down a narrow, poorly lit pathway that will get darker and narrower the further you go until you reach a point where you will stop travelling because the absence of light will leave you scared, confused and feeling helpless.
That is the path you chose.
Now you need to backtrack and take the other path – the one marked called Opportunity.
This path is brightly lit and you can use that brightness to examine – without judgement – the limitless array of possibilities that are out there for you.
The opportunities are plentiful and there are many people, who today are in exactly the same situation you are in, who will choose this path, seize this opportunity, and will turn this year – 2015 – into the most progressive and successful year of their lives.
On this path the possibilities are endless, the other path always ends in misery.
I don’t know what it is you should be looking for. What I do know is that it is out there and it won’t find you, you have to go looking for it.
And you need to start this very moment. You need to get up every morning and prepare for a day of excitement which means you need to be dressed and be ready to go and seek a new life that will provide you and your family with everything you’ve ever dreamed of.
Perhaps it is to be found in seeking a different type of career. Or perhaps in a business of your own. This I know: if you are determined to find it, and leave no stone unturned in doing so, you will find it.
If you prejudge every opportunity and decline it without investigating every element of possibility you will be doing yourself an enormous disservice that may well leave you to conclude that the path called Misery is your true destiny.
And what a shame that would be.
If you commit to staying on the path called Opportunity you might experience some pain but it will be short term painful followed by many years of long-term pleasure.
If you go back to the path called Misery, short-term pain will assuredly be followed by years of long-term pain.
It really is simple decision to make, isn’t it?
Till we read again.