Part 52: The path least travelled (Part 29)
2007-11-22 16:08:31 -
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 Metro Eireann presents the latest weekly column by the entrepreneur coach and business growth specialist, designed to help you overcome any obstacles and reach your dreams 

Previously: The last number of weeks we have been travelling with Janus, Santiago and Andreas, and things came full circle as we discovered that they, too, had met the enigmatic Mike, when they approached the place where they believed the treasure to be.

How often do seemingly meaningless connections that determine our destiny go unnoticed in the maelstrom of living? Would it just be possible, if we were more aware of what we truly want, that our minds could be more open to those opportunities that present themselves to us every day?

In the meantime, let’s return to our three friends Preteritus, Prostremo and Nunco, who have just asked Mike what they could expect when they each find the treasure that they seek…

“When you get where you are going,” posed Mike, “what each of you sees could well be something that you knew about all along, but had not yet realised how easy it was to find.”

“That sure tells us a lot, it gives us great scope to plan our adventure!” said Prostremo sarcastically. One could see an internal battle going on inside him; he was struggling with the concept of trying to find something unknown to him in a place he had yet to find.

As though reading his mind, Nunco said: “Without a map it can be difficult to plan a journey, especially if you don’t know where you are or where you are going.”

“Well it’s easy to see that we are in the middle of nowhere, beside a lake, talking a whole load of rubbish!” exclaimed Preteritus feeling rather frustrated. “And we don’t seem to have got any further to wherever the heck we are going!”

“Three days ago, did you know where you were?” asked Mike.
“Of course I did! We were these three hopeful fools setting out on a journey to find our fortune from a place that we really knew,” said Preteritus. “And you know what? I actually think for once that maybe Prostremo was right in wanting to bring a map along!”

“But what good would that have done if we didn’t know where we were going?” said Nunco, another of his mischievous grins spreading across his face. “After all, where would we have put the ‘X marks the spot’?” 
“Then what are we doing here if we don’t actually have a plan?” asked Prostremo.

“Do you know what you really want out of life?” said Mike in response. “Do you know what will make you most happy to be alive?”

“To get out of that boring job I was in,” replied Prostremo, “which I seem to have done, ending up in the middle of nowhere talking a load of nonsense. In fact, maybe I should just go back to it now, since it doesn’t seem so bad after all!”

“Whatever you focus on, is what is most likely to manifest itself into you life,” said Mike. “And even if you manage to focus on what you don’t want, that ends up becoming your key focus, and you should not be surprised that that is what you end up having.”

“So are you telling me I should focus on getting to this treasure, whatever it is, and stop whinging?” asked Prostremo

“I don’t know what is right for you, Pro, but I have a real belief that I will find what I want,” said Nunco. “And since I don’t know precisely what the treasure is, what I am enjoying most is the journey. Look at all the people that we have met, leading to some wonderful insights into who we really are. In so many ways, I already feel richer for the last three days.”

“Are you saying that you would be happy to go right home now, then?” asked Electra, waking up from a daze in which she had been half-listening to the conversation. 
“Why would I wish to leave you guys right now?” he replied.

“Because we’re a bunch of moaning gits, who don’t seem to have anything going for them right now,” said Preteritus. “Though I’ll leave Electra out of the equation right now, because she seems to have actually enjoyed our company.”

“You guys are great, you truly are,” replied Electra, “and in this short time, I have to come to love you all in a special way. But why are you so hard on yourself, Pre? Surely you believe there must be some good in you.”
“Is there not good in everyone?” asked Mike.

“That reminds me of a beautiful story I heard a while ago,” said Nunco. “My friend’s young daughter was having a problem with one of her friends at school.  She came home one night and suddenly announced that her friend was mean. Always striving to be a good father, my friend responded to his daughter by acknowledging that this situation did indeed made her sad, but asked her if there was any way that she could see something nice in her friend.

“Her response completely amazed him, and indeed me, for it is completely true when people say that you can learn so much from children’s insights. Rolling her eyes up in her head, a look of realisation and wonderment flitted across her face as she recalled a conversation that they had had the a few weeks previously.

“‘I get it,’ she said, and looking really rather serious she continued, mustering the amazing innocent logic of a six-year-old: ‘Didn’t we agree that God is everywhere?’ To which, of course, my friend agreed. His daughter went on: ‘And God is good, yes?’ Again my friend agreed, encouraging the girl to continue: ‘Which means if God is everywhere, then he will also be in my friend, which means that if I look hard enough I can find him, and that bit will be good, and if I keep thinking about the good in her, then it will be easy for us to be friends again.’ She concluded with a triumphant smile, but still not quite finished: ‘So maybe she wasn’t really being mean to me at all, its just that I couldn’t see the good at the time!’”

Electra looked up with tears in her eyes as she remembered her own daughter, and could see the beautiful simplicity of the story

“Sorry Electra, I wasn’t thinking,” said Nunco, noticing her reaction.
“On the contrary, Nunco, thank you for telling us that beautiful story,” said Electra. “It actually brings to mind yet another way that I feel we can all learn and gain hugely from children.”

“And what’s that?” asked Preteritus, feeling somewhat abashed for his earlier negativity.
“Well, it is actually something I have missed since my daughter passed on,” said Electra. “When you take the time to instil the core values of honesty, passion and confidence in a child, there is a knock-on effect. What actually ends up happening is that through positive reinforcement, you actually end up reinforcing those same beliefs and values in yourself.”

“I suppose you could call it a form of conditioning through repetition,” added Nunco for clarification.
“Well it sure beats the negative conditioning we get each day from the news and the gloomy outlook that many people seem to have,” said Preteritus.

“And I think I am starting yet again to understand where Nunco and Mike are coming from in respect to where we are going,” said Prostremo. “In fact, who knows what paradise or even enlightenment really looks like? Yet so many religions or spiritual groups encourage us by telling us that if we are good we will eventually end up there.”
“Yes,” said Mike, “but I suppose the real question on so many people’s lips is – can we actually find paradise on earth?”

To be continued next week

peter@3r.ie
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