Part 44: The path least travelled (Recap 1–22)
2007-09-20 12:46:59 -

 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 

Every one of us is on a journey in life; whether or not we are in search of treasure is a personal decision – only you will know whether or not you have decided to go after and obtain your own treasure.

In our hearts we are always seeking our destiny, our reason to be – and it is this journey that often passes us by. The number of lessons that we recognise as we travel upon this path of life is a combination of luck and desire. By reading this story you will see inside yourself many of the gifts that you have already – maybe as yet undiscovered, but still there as surely as you breathe.

We go through many stages in our life, which are full of pains, misfortunes, happiness and joy. Our ultimate destiny is crafted by how we treat each of these experiences. Whether they are friends or foes is merely a matter of perception. It is often said that one man’s pain is another’s gain. Again, only you can choose how to react to the bumps and hollows that life’s journey throws at us.

Nothing that is great on this earth we inhabit was ever created because people accepted the problems they encountered. All good comes from solving and removing pain and discomfort. What drives us to take the first step on the journey that is the rest of our lives is uniquely individual. Each step takes place in a single moment of time in a single place. The step you take now can only be taken now.

If you have an idea, be true to yourself and use it – act on it, breathe life into it and keep on trying until your vision takes off into the sky with awe inspiring reality.

Our story follows the journey of three friends who set out from their village in search of a treasure. You will become absorbed in the intricacies of their story as they each battle with their individual demons. At many times you will find yourself relating more strongly to one of the three.

What is worth looking for within this story is the way we view life. Our three friends’ names come from the way they primarily view life:

Preteritus (Past) is focused primarily in the past and trying to figure out what might have happened if he had perhaps made different choices in life, which can mean that he finds it difficult to move forward.

Prostremo (Future) looks more towards the future and is constantly creating expectations that are not always possible to achieve and can lead to disappointment.

Nunco (Present) uses his experiences from the past to learn from, and his desires for the future to drive his actions in the present.

They all agreed to start out on the quest the following Saturday, bright and early. Prostremo as usual, made all of the plans, told them what to carry, what to wear and of course brought maps and compasses – and even remembered the sun cream.

On the first day that they set out, a huge crowd gathered to wish them all well and one of the onlookers asked them what was the treasure that they were going to seek and what they hoped to obtain when they found it. The three friends took it in turn to answer.

“I have not done all that was expected of me yet by my parents and I don’t want to have to go back to the job I was in,” said Preteritus

“I know that the treasure will transform my life and I will be able to go back with my head held high and do whatever I want,” replied Prostremo

Meanwhile, Nunco quietly said: “I don’t actually know what the treasure is, other than the fact it is important, however I feel that the journey, if it is remotely as enjoyable as starting it now is, then that will be rewarding in itself.”

On the very first day, they had a decision to make as to which path they should follow around a lake. There were many reasons for taking either path and indeed you will face these decisions every day. The decision that Nunco took was based on where he was right now both in terms of place and time.

Was the decision correct? Well we won’t know for a while, but the most important thing is the fact that he made a decision. Maybe you might have considered leaving your two friends behind; let’s go back and understand what Nunco was thinking.

Initially, Nunco had wanted to go along the short and challenging path; he felt that it might be a good shortcut through life, even though it might have had some risks. This is in effect the strategy of the gambler, and indeed there is nothing wrong with that.

After a long walk, seeing some of the most amazing sights and a few disagreements that actually had the effect of bringing them all closer together, they pitched their tent on the side of a lake and went to sleep.

The next day, they awoke, had breakfast and set off. Before long both Preteritus’ longing for the past and Prostremo’s fanatical obsession on how things might be different in the future were left in the distance and they all experienced some of the beauties of nature.

They came across a mountain stream, at which Nunco reflected on how time can be like a river, which comes into existence only when two become one; the flowing water and the river bed itself. The riverbed provides a passageway for the mountain brook as it flows without a care, always changing and yet constant. Just as the riverbed combined with the water to become a river, so the past and the future combine in the present to become your reality.

After the three friends share some incredible moments in complete harmony with nature, and climb further up the mountains, through some heavy mist, they meet another group of travellers. It turns out that the new entrants to our story are three other treasure seekers who had left their village about a year before and had been presumed lost. They are now accompanied by Electra, who ends up falling for Prostremo.

As a result of various circumstances, we don’t actually find out what the treasure is; Electra ends up joining our friends and tells of one of the tragedies in her life in which she lost her husband and daughter. Even from this tragedy, Electra found she was able to grow as she said: “It was only two months later that I realised I was serving no purpose being sad. It was then I knew that I still had the memories, the beautiful times we had shared together with me. No-one could take that from me, except me.”

Towards the end of the second day, they decide to set up camp again, at which spot –amazingly – a magpie drops a ring, which turns out to be Electra’s wedding ring. After yet another story, the rain starts, and while the group struggles to pitch a tent, a huge branch breaks off from the tree above and comes crashing down, pinning Preteritus to the ground knocking him unconscious.

Later, in the driving rain, Prostremo goes off to collect some firewood, when he returns to the camp, he can find no one. After a little investigation, he discovers the others, where they are rescuing a fox from a gin-trap.

The next morning after freeing the vixen, as the four travellers are sitting around the campfire, Nunco observes the dramatic changes in the three people around him. He felt a deep sense of calm and joy at seeing so much radiant energy around him.

They continue on their journey and end up by a lake fishing, after some more breakfast stories from Nunco about a friend of his who had learnt many lessons in life. He also tells of a mystery character who also learned at the same time, and that person is none other than Nunco himself.

It was good for everyone to realise that Nunco was not always so calm and understanding, that he also had has trials and tribulations in his life and it was through his making mistakes and learning from them that he grew to be the person we see him as now.

Later, the vixen returns; she has now been christened Sophie, in memory of Electra’s daughter. We are taken on an exploration of how humans differ from animals in the choices we are given and the frightening fact that so many people still live in self-imposed prisons.

We are then brought up to the present moment, with the appearance of a native of the woods called Mike, who has some of his own insights yet to give, and in fact the last episode finished with the cliffhanger that suggested Mike was going to tell them some information about the treasure they were seeking…

To be continued next week
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