Advice for The Desperate Should Read This Way

by | Mar 18, 2024 | Personal Development

Monthly sailings into Vancouver have by now become routine. But there are two key differences this time around. First, I’m meeting the bustling Queen of Oak Bay for the first time (on an early morning sailing no less), and while first impressions can be deceiving, so far, I’m inclined to say she is very agreeable.

Second, the cloudy, rainy weather of the former months almost seems like a dream staring out across clear horizons. Of course, we may yet experience a shorter wet season before finally embracing long summer days.

This weekend’s mission isn’t that much different from former trips into Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley. But besides attending a monthly gathering of the success-minded, I am Abbotsford-bound to clear out my storage unit.

There is no way I could have known that I would end up a nomad for 22 months and would therefore pay monthly dues for that duration on largely unusable clutter. Oh, there are more than a few guitars, electronics, valuables (with real value), and keepsakes stored in there too.

But the larger objects, what do we call them again…? Right, furniture. Sadly, these seem to hold close to no value in these “enlightened” times, and there is little point in me storing them at personal expense any longer.

If I had found a home within a few months of leaving Abbotsford, it wouldn’t have been any bother. But now it seems the objects have fashioned themselves into a weighty boat anchor drowning me in past regrets. It’s time to let go.

***

It took a while. But when I stopped to notice who I’ve become, the intention with which I now speak, and the determination with which I now act, I am truly beyond recognition. Especially compared to who I was pre-pandemic.

I may never be acknowledged for this. Very rarely have I found public recognition for private victories. But as I’ve said many times before, if you aren’t your greatest cheerleader and can show others what that means, how can you expect anyone else to do the same for you? And even if others shower you with praise, will you even be able to lap it up if you don’t first see yourself as worthy of the accolades?

In the last couple of months, the message has come across loud and clear – “Very soon, you won’t even remember what this moment felt like.” Of course, I considered such notions foolish, especially as I didn’t see much of anything changing around me.

Lottery spoils and deus ex machina are ponderings of the delusional, though we do fervently pray for them when things are looking dire.

Privately, I was suffering. It wasn’t a long stretch, but I spent a few days unable to buy fuel or food. I’ve learned to be peaceful and optimistic even in such scenarios, but failure, exhaustion, and circumstances were all conspiring to get the best of me. Only a saint or god would be able to maintain composure under such pressure.

Somehow, though, I’ve emerged the other end better. I can’t say that it was a surprise because this has happened before. Current circumstances mirror the events of 2014, another trying time that, in retrospect, resolved rather miraculously all on its own.

It has been said that if you change how you look at things, the things you look at change. This shift in mindset, attitude, perspective, whatever you want to call it… It seems to have more power to shift our lives than I have often given it credit for.

***

As I shared in a previous letter, there have been some important lessons in resiliency. Yet, this turned out to be how my mind was pigeonholing the situation, versus where spirit was wanting to lead me.

I have been reading Karmic Management, and it reminded me of something I had intuitively known and acted upon but could not have put into words 15 years ago. Within that short volume are treasures too many to expand upon here.

One such gem, however, is that our purpose in business is to make our partners successful. The book defines “partners” as our employees, vendors, customers, and ultimately the world.

When all your choices are guided by making others successful, says Karmic Management, you will never need to make another decision about anything. You will simply know, intuitively, what to do, how, and when.

The principle holds up well beyond the realm of business. For me, 2011 represents both the worst and best of times. But when I look back, I can see that I was attuned to this principle, especially as life was starting to get exciting again. I took friends out to lunch. I booked fun birthday parties for the family. I shared business opportunities with my connections. And boy oh boy did I reap the rewards.

***

With mounting challenges, it’s easy to think we’re supposed to figure out everything by our lonesome. After all, by now haven’t we become smarter, more resourceful, and better-connected individuals? Shouldn’t we know how to manifest a couple of thousand dollars out of thin air when we desperately need it? It should be easy!

Ask yourself this, and really ponder it – how many times has a famous author, expert, or “guru” attributed their escape from looming financial collapse to their smarts and cunning? How many times have they claimed to “get out of jail free” thanks to their brilliance?

Beware. When you’re hungry, tired, and sad, most of the inner strengths you think you possess will seem to fly right out the window. Even entrepreneurs will take a job at Tim Horton’s if they’re hungry enough.

I have no doubt Russell Brunson or Dan Kennedy has managed to surmount such challenges by launching a sales funnel or by writing a brilliant sales letter, at least once or twice. But so far, I cannot attest to the real-life applicability of such strategies.

Advice for desperate times should probably read more like this:

Do whatever you can. Call and email all your friends asking for money. Sell your car, guitars, and electronics. Downgrade your lifestyle. Move to a bachelor suite. Explore loans and credit. Sell off investments. Dig in couch crevices. Collect cans and bottles. Pick up gigs, contracts, or employment opportunities you think are below you and thought you would never return to (it’s okay, it’s temporary).

These actions are not the solution, and they may not get you out of the tunnel, but the universe, it seems, honors your actions anyway. Spirit will assist you and show you to the light if you hang in there long enough. It’s not about the actions. It’s about the willingness to take them.

And if you’ve still got time and energy left over after all that, and only then, take a gamble on your “bigger, better plan” – a business venture that might work, a YouTube channel that could go viral, an investment that could pay off, whatever.

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