Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.
I am writing on this topic again, from a slightly different take because a few of my friends/colleagues have shared they are in this miasma right now and my heart goes out to them.
If there is one thing that is common among every one of the great sages whom I have read… it is that they all hit a period (or multiple periods) in their life where they were completely lost.
That is one of the byproducts of living life in a “take no prisoners – do what you said you were going to do, with no exception” mindset.
Most of their lost experiences (with the exception of J.J. Abrams who got Lost and got successful) involved financial catastrophe, personal relationship disintegration, doubt cast from those who love them and all found themselves in a position of trying to ascertain who and what they really were and what they were willing to spend the rest of their life doing and pursuing.
When I was flying high before I hit the stage of losing, my perspective on life was similar to the way I see it now but nowhere near as advanced. As shared, all of the philosophies that I bring to my morning discussion had been floating around in my life since I was 19 so I was fully grounded in the philosophy, but I was not fully grounded in life experience. Success came very easily to The Illusion Factory. I never used any aggressive techniques and the company continued to escalate year after year so it became easier for me to believe that that is how it would always behave.
Filled with a boyish enthusiasm, I continued my course of action without trepidation or reserve. I do not think anything could have forewarned me that a housing crisis would be capable of taking down the entertainment industry which had been our bread and butter for decades prior.
Being non-misogynistic, nothing would have convinced me that the two top female executives in my company would take credit for the creativity of countless individuals and find a way to steal our biggest clients during a crisis and jump ship in the process.
None of my idealism, philosophy, spirituality or anything else was going to solve the crisis and, like most of the country, everything spiraled out of control.
I was unquestionably lost in every sense of the word at that point in time and the more I tried to make intelligent moves to solve the issue, the more lost I became. Eventually, I found myself drowning in my own inability to turn things around in the worst of financial times.
It was at that moment in time that the person I have evolved into made it self known to me. It was little tiny glimmers at first, almost imperceptible and certainly easily ignorable… which I am certain I must have done for the first year.
I believe that the combination of the excess weight that I was carrying and the intense devotion to growing The Illusion Factory as big as I could possibly make it, were combining with no exercise in a little cocktail that was most likely going to kill me at an early age.
Within a relatively short period of time, all of the trappings of success disappeared and left me really with my own being as my core asset and a team of incredibly loyal friends who agreed to keep working with me under the worst of circumstances. I owe my life to these people because without their belief, there’s no chance that I would be here writing this now.
Look at Steve Jobs… can you imagine founding a company as transformative as Apple and ultimately being a thrown out of your own company? I do not think that any of us truly can imagine what that must’ve been like for him. And yet, later he goes on to say, “Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith.”
Being lost strips away distraction layers of all kinds leaving one with very little to shelter them from their own personal introspection required to catapult out of the darkness. Introspection, when done in a moment of brutal honesty with oneself, enables any person to find some of the chinks in the armor that enabled the recent failure to come to pass and it is only through that degree of core assessment that we are ever able to make the deep internal resolution required to turn everything back around again and create a new trajectory into more comfortable territory.
Athletes are known to hit a slump, performers sometimes lose their internal compass, academics sometimes lose their internal push for a new truth and business people are often times overtaken by variables for which they might have planned better.
When I was researching da Vinci, I was surprised to discover that there are notes in his notebook lamenting his patron and the lack of any reliable payments for which he could make a living for himself and his staff.
I think my net take away is that being lost is one step in the giant journey. It comes with boatloads of fear, anxiety, self-loathing, and despair. But if you find yourself in this space, I believe one of the only ways out is through personal introspection and reevaluation of all of your initial premises with expectation of discovering core flaws in your initial approach so that you may begin to rebuild with fortitude and determination stemming from a new paradigm that you have manifested for yourself. I don’t see any other way to get there.
Stay the course. It will resolve in your favor if you project this to the universe.
If you like what you are reading in the blog, you will even love the book more. Take a free preview below and watch the Sizzle Reel. It will give you a sense of how this book might be of help in your life when you are looking to make some tough decisions.