Stepping outside the fog

May.29. 2012

What’s the fog?

It’s the current reality we operate under. All our assumptions, our expectations, our beliefs, our goals or lack of goals.

How do we get out of our fog?

It can happen in a few ways.

The most dramatic is the sudden turnaround, or what I call the St Paul conversion.

This requires a catalyst, a traumatic event that turns your current reality upside down.

That’s what happened to me. For years I lived in a fog of music and guitar, blissfully unaware of other areas of life until a small accident knocked me off my feet, literally.

I ended up in the ER and my life was changed forever, not instantly, but after the trauma had subsided, the moment of reflection began and the change came by itself.

It can be a chance encounter that sparks off your imagination and enables you to see reality in an entirely new way.

This was what happened to a former student, a retired vet.

Raised by a single mother in a poor part of town, one day, he happened to be in a better part of town. At that moment, he resolved that one day, he would live in one of these fine houses. He spent the next thirty years working on that dream and ended up buying a home in an even better part of town.

Sometimes the fog can lift because of a deep dissatisfaction with the status quo.

That’s what happened to a friend of mine.

Dissatisfied with the music career, he started looking for other career alternatives, and he chanced upon a book on how to build real estate riches. That was thirty years ago and now he’s a wealthy man, beyond his wildest dreams.

Some fogs have an expiry date and whether we like it or not, it will lift of its own accord in what I call a day of reckoning.

For example, I see many young people living in a fog of carefree existence. It’s sleep till noon and party all night and if you need some cash, work at the local hamburger joint for a few hours a week.

No thought of the future, no thought of building a worthwhile life.

But like every party, this carefree existence has to come to an end one day. At that point, however, it’s usually too late to change direction, and unlike their video games, there’s no restart button either.

And it’s a minimum wage existence from then on.

Either that or holding up a cardboard sign by the roadside.

Finally, some fogs persist indefinitely and stay with you until you die.

I suspect this is what happens to most people.

They grow comfortable with their lot in life. And they stay in that cocoon until they die in its warm embrace.

Which is not a bad thing either.

Unless, of course, if you happen to check out with all your dreams and human potential unfulfilled.


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