In my life, I’ve discovered the most amazing things sometimes happen when you just let go. Of course, this relaxed state of acceptance and openness should not be compared with laziness. More, it seems to work best in a crisis, when truthfulness combines with acceptance – and an eagerness to listen to discover the new way ahead.
There’s a correlation between this kind of revisioning and course changing experience and an epiphany, the kind of mind-altering flash of insight that really changes you at your inner core. Epiphanies often have religious connotations. I’m intrigued about how many people have experienced them in relation to the overall population, and (for those of us who have had the experience), how often they happen in our lifetimes.
Certainly, as the thirty-fifth anniversary of my most dramatic personal epiphany approaches, I think of the events that led to the blinding flash of insight in a bar full of very black former guerrilla soldiers and civilians in Tjolotjo, Rhodesia turning to Zimbabwe, on Good Friday, 1980. There isn’t a day in my life that has had as much impact on my world and self-view. Of course, there are also probably less dramatic ways to come of age as an adult and clearly quite a number of decisions led a very shy and nervous/nerdy guy from Vancouver to live through the end of an African civil war as a journalist.
Yet, in many ways, the second epiphany, in April 1991, had even more dramatic impact on my life. Then, as my new publishing business seemed to be failing and I was sinking into personal bankruptcy (with a property ‘under-water’ essentially I had negative net worth), I thought: “I’m responsible for myself, and I will have to solve these problems without blaming myself or anyone else.”
Free flowing . . . but committed . . . acceptance, set the epiphany stage. Then I worked to dig myself out of the hole, encountering setback after setback over several months until February, 1992, when I met my nemesis, a con-artist, in the lobby of an apartment building. He was trying to extort me and used words like: “I understand the law of uttering death threats.”
The next morning, I filed a report with the Ottawa Police – figuring that if I really ended up in cement shoes under the Ottawa River, at least there would be some documentation – only to discover, less than three hours later, police would pick him up on unrelated fraud charges.
That’s life. Sometimes coincidences happen. Sometimes surprises occur, and things aren’t always fair – but there are rewards for risk-taking, adventuring, and listening and accepting things as they are.
As you read this story, I invite you to think about your own life; the decisions you made; the choices and directions you selected. If you’ve experienced one or more epiphanies, take a few moments to celebrate the transformational experience.
If you haven’t, that is okay. It is easy for someone like me to share his advice or story, but you need to define your own choices and vision. Most likely you’ll find reason for pride in the work you do, and the architectural, engineering or construction business you’ve built. It never hurts to dream.
Mark Buckshon, president of the Construction News and Report Group of Companies, writes a daily blog at www.constructionmarketingideas.com. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (888) 627-8717 ext 224.